Going through “the change” – how to manage a difficult menopause

For some women, the menopause comes with hardly any suffering and “the change” passes by almost without a trace.

But for those women who go through a difficult menopause, it’s common to experience severe physical, psychological and emotional problems.

Fortunately, there are ways to alleviate the symptoms and bring some respite to women who have it tough. This blog post will take a look at some of the methods on offer.

Speak to your doctor

If you are menopausal and are suffering from symptoms like hot flushes, vaginal dryness or breast tenderness, your first step is to speak to your GP. They will be able to identify exactly what your problems are and recommend solutions.

Make lifestyle changes

For lots of women, the menopause is best managed with diet and exercise changes.

Yoga, Kegel exercises and massages have been used effectively for loss of libido, while problems like urinary incontinence can be managed by cutting back on spicy food, alcohol and caffeinated drinks.

Whatever your specific problems, an active lifestyle can work wonders for women suffering an arduous menopause. Not only does exercise reduce the number of the follicle-stimulating hormones which cause hot flushes, it also stimulates the production of mood-raising hormones too.

Consider hormone replacement therapy

The menopause is caused by a slowdown in the amount of oestrogen produced by your ovaries. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) replaces this lost hormone and keeps your body’s supply topped up.

HRT can take a few weeks to take effect, and it is wise to begin with a low dose and increase it later if needed.

However, this form of treatment is not appropriate for everyone. Some women who suffer from particular health conditions, including high blood pressure and liver disease, may need to avoid HRT.

Women with a history of certain types of cancer, such as breast and ovarian, may also be advised not to go down this route.

If you need assistance dealing with your menopause, get in touch with London-based female gynaecologist Tania Adib – Lead Clinician for Gynaecological Oncology at the Queen’s Hospital and an expert at managing the menopause.