Hormone replacement therapy (HRT)It's taken as a tablet once a day. Talk to your GP about the risks and benefits of tibolone if you're considering taking it. It's taken as tablets non hrt treatment for menopause or three times a day. It doesn't affect hormone levels, so unlike HRT it doesn't carry an increased risk of problems such as breast cancer. But research suggests it only has a very small effect on menopausal symptoms.
NonHormonal Treatments for Menopausal Symptoms - Australasian Menopause Society
Hormone therapy is the most effective therapy for hot flashes. However, other non-hormonal options are available for women who are suffering from symptoms, but are not yet ready to consider hormone therapy. Some women are not appropriate candidates for hormone therapy, such as those have been recently treated for breast cancer. It is important to remember that when used appropriately, hormone therapy can be a safe and effective option for many women.
Here we will review non-hormonal treatment options for women. Hot flashes may be precipitated by hot weather, smoking, caffeine, spicy foods, alcohol, tight clothing, heat and stress.
Identify and avoid your hot flash "triggers. Exercising in warm temperatures might make hot flashes worse. Avoiding caffeine, spicy foods, and alcohol can help lessen both the number and severity of hot flashes. Many women try to incorporate more plant estrogens into their diet.
Plant estrogens, such as isoflavones, are thought to have weak estrogen-like effects that may reduce hot flashes. They may work in the body like a weak form of estrogen. Examples of plant estrogens include: In general, soybeans, chickpeas, and lentils are considered to have the most powerful plant estrogens, though their effect is much less than that of human estrogen. Try to choose natural foods rather than supplements.
Also remember that only crushed or ground forms of flaxseed are likely to help as compared to the whole seed or seed oil forms. Reducing the temperature in a room, dressing in layers, and the use of a fan while asleep can be effective ways to help deal with troublesome hot flashes.
Women who are overweight tend to have more bothersome hot flashes, therefore weight loss can be helpful. Quitting smoking has a dual importance during menopause. First, smoking contributes to the increased cardiovascular risks of being postmenopausal. Second, smokers tend to experience more hot flashes. Women who lead a sedentary life seem to suffer more from hot flashes; however, it is best to exercise in a cooler environment.
Try deep, slow abdominal breathing 6 to 8 breaths per minute. Practice deep breathing for 15 minutes in the morning, 15 minutes in the evening and at the onset of hot flashes. For some women, wearing socks to bed is helpful as it can help to cool core body temperature.
Try using a vaginal water-based moisturizing lotion or lubricant during intercourse. These are sold without a prescription near the condoms in most stores. A number of non-hormonal remedies are available for the treatment of hot flashes. Some of these remedies e.
Using a product "off label" means that it is not FDA-approved for the treatment of hot flashes, but is often used because it can be safe and effective for hot flash treatment. While safe when taken in moderate amounts through diet, the consumption of extraordinary amounts of soy and isoflavone supplements may be harmful to women with a history of estrogen-dependent cancer, like breast cancer, and possibly to other women as well.
More research is needed to determine the safety and effectiveness of botanical treatments. For example, ginseng, dong quai, wild yam, progesterone cream, reflexology, and magnetic devices are sold to help menopausal symptoms, but there are no good studies looking at their safety or effectiveness.
To make an informed decision about the use of these treatments, be sure to discuss them with your doctor. Because little is known about many botanicals, the best way to evaluate their safety and effectiveness is to become an educated consumer.
Here are some tips to consider when shopping for alternative therapies. Once you answer these questions, discuss the therapy with your doctor. Make sure your doctor knows what therapy you are considering in order to discuss possible interactions or side effects with your current treatment.
When trying to determine whether or not a product is what it says it is, one of the elements you may want to look at is how the product is promoted. Be cautious of products promoted through:. Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Non-hormonal treatments include modifying your diet, lifestyle changes, and over-the-counter therapies.
Knowing the triggers of hot flashes Hot flashes may be precipitated by hot weather, smoking, caffeine, spicy foods, alcohol, tight clothing, heat and stress. Diet Avoiding caffeine, spicy foods, and alcohol can help lessen both the number and severity of hot flashes.
What foods have high amounts of isoflavones? Relieving insomnia Keep the bedroom cool to prevent night sweats. Avoid using sleeping pills. Avoid caffeine and alcohol at night. Take a warm bath or shower at bedtime. Try milk products at bedtime or during the night but avoid products that contain caffeine. Coping with mood swings, fears, and depression Find a self-calming skill to practice, such as yoga, meditation or slow, deep breathing.
Avoid tranquilizers, if possible. Engage in a creative outlet that fosters a sense of achievement. Stay connected with your family and community; nurture your friendships. Relieving painful intercourse Try using a vaginal water-based moisturizing lotion or lubricant during intercourse. Prescription and nonprescription remedies A number of non-hormonal remedies are available for the treatment of hot flashes. Prescription therapies Prescription therapies are considered the more effective non-hormonal treatments.
Nausea, change in bowel habits, headache temporary side effects for most. Elevated blood pressure at high doses. Effectiveness has been proven in several well-designed studies. One of the safer medications for women taking tamoxifen no drug interaction.
Elevated blood pressure at high doses Effectiveness: Improvement in hot flashes compared to placebo has been shown. Newer medication compared to venlafaxine, so there are a smaller number of studies are available. Nausea, change in bowel habits, decreased libido, insomnia. Should be avoided in women taking tamoxifen. Improvement in hot flashes has been shown in well-designed studies.
Nausea, change in bowel habits, decreased libido, dry mouth, weight gain not common. Has been FDA-approved to treat hot flashes. Tends to be more effective for sleep in women who are also suffering with insomnia. Nausea, change in bowel habits, decreased libido, abnormal EKG not common. Fatigue, dizziness, nausea, disorientation, swelling, weight gain. Dry mouth, drowsiness, fatigue, constipation, lowers blood pressure. Relieved hot flashes in some, but not all studies.
Less commonly used than some of the other options. Non-prescription, herbal, over-the-counter therapies: Evening Primrose Oil Side Effects: Only one well-designed study showing not effective. Black cohosh Side Effects: Safe up to 6 months only due to possible estrogen-like effects.
Liver toxicity has been reported. Some small, short-term studies have suggested benefits, however most studies do not suggest that it works. Also referred to as phytoestrogens. Appears safe if consumed in foods.
In supplement form, consistency of dose and quality can be a concern. Supplements are not recommended for breast cancer survivors. For the most part, results from clinical studies show that phytoestrogens are not effective for treatment of hot flashes.
Uncomfortable for some, often costly. Generally well-tolerated, but multiple visits required. Individual trials have reported some benefits, but larger studies have not shown any improvement over placebo procedures. However some women do report benefits with this, so it is possible that more well-designed studies are needed to answer this question.
Vitamin E Side Effects: Might increase death rate in those who use high doses for a long time. A higher risk of prostate cancer has also been shown, but applies only to men. One study showing effective. However the improvement seen in this was only one less hot flash per day compared to placebo. Are the over-the-counter herbal products botanicals safe?