If you do not want to take hormones or you cannot take them for medical reasons, there are other ways to relieve some of the problems brought on by menopause.
For hot flashes:
- Try dressing in layers of clothes so you can take off some of them to get cool quick.
- Drink cold drinks instead of hot ones.
- Drink less coffee, tea, colas and other drinks that have caffeine.
- Drink fewer alcoholic drinks.
- Sleep under lighter covers or no covers.
For vaginal dryness, try ointments that you can buy without a prescription such as KY Jelly or Replens.
Some scientists think that vitamin E may help prevent hot flashes, but this has not been proven. If you can't take estrogen and these other tips don't keep you from having hot flashes, ask your doctor about other prescription drugs that might help you.
Osteoporosis can sometimes be prevented by eating foods that have lots of calcium and Vitamin D, and by exercise. This works best if you do this for many years before menopause. Most people get enough Vitamin D from sunlight. Read the labels of milk and cereal to see if they have Vitamin D added. Salmon and sardines are other sources of Vitamin D. If you're not in the sun much, or if you live far north, ask your doctor if you should take a vitamin supplement. Calcium
You can get calcium from foods such as milk, cheese and yogurt. If you are allergic to milk products, other foods with lots of calcium are broccoli, kale and other dark green leafy vegetables, and canned fish with bones, such as sardines. Some foods have calcium added. These include some breads, cereals and orange juice. Read the label to see if calcium has been added. Ask your doctor if you should take calcium supplements to prevent osteoporosis. Ask Your Doctor
FDA has approved prescription drugs besides estrogen to prevent and treat osteoporosis. They include:
- Miacalcin a nasal spray that contains the hormone calcitonin
- Fosamax a drug without hormones
- Evista a drug that acts like estrogen in preventing osteoporosis but does not have some of the other good and bad effects of estrogen.
Not all women should take these drugs. Ask your doctor what is best for you.
Not every woman has discomfort during menopause that needs to be treated. Some women go through menopause with few problems. Before you begin any treatment, talk with your doctor.