City of Oaks Midwifery’s certified nurse-midwives provide primary care for women across their lifespan from adolescence through menopause. As women reach perimenopause, we can help with menopause management and the symptoms that are often related to the fluctuating levels of estrogen and progesterone. We serve our patients utilizing the very best, evidence-based models of wellness care, which includes our approach to menopause management.
Perimenopausal symptoms start before a woman officially starts menopause. Perimenopause is defined as the menopause transitional phase when your body’s hormone production is being regulated by fluctuations in estrogen and progesterone. These fluctuations cause the most common symptoms of perimenopause and menopause. Symptoms include:
- Mood Swings
- Hot Flashes
- Bone Loss
- Loss of Sleep
- Concentration Issues
According to the Office on Women’s Health, “Menopause is when your period stops permanently. Menopause is a normal part of a woman’s life. Menopause does not happen all at once. As your body transitions to menopause over several years, you may have menopause symptoms and irregular periods. The average age for menopause in the United States is 52.”
According to studies, “Phytoestrogens are plant-derived compounds found in a wide variety of foods, most notably soy. A litany of health benefits including a lowered risk of osteoporosis, heart disease, breast cancer, and menopausal symptoms.” Eating soy-based foods that contain high levels of phytoestrogens could be helpful in reducing hot flashes.
Exercise is also shown to reduce hot flashes or ease the intensity of hot flashes. Exercising 20 minutes a day a few days a week helps to reduce the amount of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH), in turn helping hot flash symptoms.
It is also important to avoid things that could worsen the hot flashes or induce hot flashes, like piping hot beverages, extremely spicy foods and alcohol. Always keep a water bottle on you and stay hydrated. Try not to get overheated in high temperatures and humidity.
Very similar to premenstrual symptoms, swelling and tenderness of breasts are also symptoms of menopause. Anti-inflammatory drugs like Advil and Aleve can help alleviate pain and reduce swelling. If this pain becomes unbearable, always talk to your healthcare provider.
Another unpleasant symptom that some women may experience during menopause is vaginal dryness. It can be uncomfortable and it can interfere with sex life. Look for over-the-counter lubricants that can help ease this uncomfortability. If you’re looking for a natural solution, sesame seed oil can also be used to relieve dryness.
The hormonal changes that are brought on by menopause can also impact your mood and emotions. While none of these solutions are groundbreaking, a combination of these suggestions might help alleviate some irritability and moodiness.
Avoid or limit alcohol
Try meditating and yoga
Cut caffeine consumption out past noon
Regular exercise, even just a brisk walk
Many women report trouble getting to sleep and staying asleep during menopause. While it might be hard to resist a nap when you are tired, try avoiding naps. We also suggest incorporating regular exercise into your routine. And try sipping on a calming chamomile tea at night before bed.
There are numerous multivitamins available for women in menopause. Look for a multivitamin that includes vitamins B-6, B-12, and D, as well as calcium and magnesium for bone health and energy. If you have questions about finding the right multivitamin for you, our team would be happy to assist.
Talk to A Midwife
At City of Oaks Midwifery, one of our goals is to help patients in Raleigh and the greater Triangle area manage menopause and the symptoms that oftentimes go hand-in-hand. We use the best, evidence-based models of wellness care and menopause management. If you have questions about managing your menopause symptoms, schedule an appointment with one of our certified nurse-midwives by calling (919) 351-8253 or clicking here.