Menopause Medication: How Your OBGYN Can Help

Gynecology professionals know there are any number of symptoms related to menopause that require no medical treatment; in fact, often enough menopausal symptoms go away on their own, and many women find they aren’t bothered enough by them to seek medical attention. Fighting the effects of hot flashes by avoiding spicy foods, for example, or keeping a fan at work, might just be enough for a woman to remain comfortable during this time in her life.

But every woman is unique, and every woman’s path through menopause is going to be different. Dealing with the symptoms of menopause doesn’t have to be a solo journey; there are several medications your OBGYN can suggest to help you suffer less.

OBGYNE0902In the years leading up to menopause — what is known in gynecology as “perimenopause” — hot flashes, mood swings and vaginal dryness can often be address through the use of lower-dosage oral contraceptives. Birth control pills can sometimes be a useful tool to help with heavy, frequent or irregular periods. Other prescription medications, such as those often used for depression, high blood pressure, and epilepsy, can sometimes help with the mood swings and hot flashes as well.

There are also some over-the-counter medications your OBGYN can recommend to address vaginal dryness; these range from lubricating moisturizers to water-based lubricants like KY jelly. In addition, your OBGYN may recommend one of several prescription medications that can assist in vaginal comfort, including estrogen creams and tablets, or even menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) pills and patches that release estrogen and progesterone. MHT treatments are especially helpful for many of the more severe symptoms of menopause, and have been shown to also slow bone loss — but there are risks of increased chances of several kinds of disease, including heart attacks, strokes, blood clots and breast cancer.

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