Menopause treatment options 101

So you’re approaching menopause—how do you begin managing the changes that are happening in your body?

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the treatment options. You may feel like just trying a little bit of everything. But doing that can make it difficult to determine what’s exactly helpful.

We understand how frustrating this can be, that’s why we created Bia. Women deserve support and expert guidance during menopause, and we hope to save you time and money through our services.

There’s no one-size-fits-all menopause treatment. A personalised treatment plan is necessary to get the best results—unfortunately this often means a trial and error process in finding the best treatment combination.

Menopause treatments broadly consist of:

  1. Healthy lifestyle behaviours – including diet and exercise
  2. Medical – hormone replacement therapy, other prescriptions, and behavioural therapies
  3. Over-the-counter – including supplements, vitamins, minerals, and creams

Healthy lifestyle behaviours

Perimenopause is the perfect time to reassess your health, personal goals, and priorities.  Focus on yourself. This will benefit your present and future wellbeing, while also helping you manage situations and relationships.

A food first approach is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. That means getting as much nutrition as possible from your diet—consuming a sufficient amount of key vitamins can help with menopause symptoms. Physical activity is equally as important, but it’s recommended to avoid high-impact exercises that strain your bones and joints.

When considering your needs, think of a champagne glass tower. You’re the glass on top, the glasses below may be your children, family, or relatives. The champagne is your energy and is first poured into your glass, before trickling into the other glasses. You need to prioritise your wellbeing for that positivity to flow to others.

Medical treatments

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is the most common and effective treatment for menopause symptoms, studies show it helps 80–90% of women. Most people think of oestrogen and progesterone when considering HRT, but HRT can include androgens, like testosterone, too.

There are over 50 types of oestrogen-based prescription treatments licensed worldwide, and many of them are available in the UK. Each one has different components, strengths, and ways of administering the drug. You can read more about the different types of HRT and how to find the right one for you in our free HRT guide here.

Over-the-counter (OTC) treatments

There are lots of non-prescription treatment options available to manage your menopause symptoms. After ensuring you get as many nutrients from the food you eat, adding in supplements such as Vitamin D, calcium, and magnesium can be very beneficial for menopause symptoms—especially during the winter.

Many women experience symptom relief from herbal remedies that contain phytoestrogens—like soy based supplements or red clover. They’re regulated by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), which means these herbal supplements are allowed to be sold as long as they meet a certain level of quality and safety. This regulation doesn't necessarily mean there’s significant scientific evidence to show they’re beneficial for treating symptoms—but research is lacking in a lot of aspects of female health.l. Always buy supplements from brands and recognised retailers who acknowledge the MHRA's standards.

Menopause treatment myths

Evening primrose oil, ginseng, and sage have been investigated for their benefits in relieving menopause symptoms. Research thus far has not found evidence for their efficacy.

St. John's Wort, dong quai, chaste tree berry, and valerian root also have little evidence for symptom relief. These herbs can also affect your liver and other bodily functions, interacting with certain medications and potentially causing dangerous effects. You should always inform your doctor if you’re taking any of these substances.

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