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How To Manage Menopause Symptoms

Menopause is the time in a woman’s life after her periods have stopped. It is identified as one year after your last period. It happens women in their 40s or 50s with the average age of menopause being 52 years old. The few years before menopause are called perimenopause and are usually when women start to experience symptoms. Periods start to change becoming lighter or heavier and less frequent.

Menopause can also result from surgery to remove the ovaries, chemotherapy or radiotherapy and some medical conditions such as Down’s syndrome, Turner’s syndrome or Addison’s disease.

During perimenopause your oestrogen levels are dropping which can cause hot flushes, chills, night sweats, sleep problems, vaginal dryness, thinning hair, dry skin and well as mood changes.

It is important to remember that pregnancy is still possible during perimenopause so contraception should be used for two years after your last period if you are under 50 and for one year if you are over 50.

A full medical check up with your GP is always a good idea around this time as your risk of some medical conditions increases. This includes cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and urinary incontinence.

Here at McGorisk’s pharmacies, we have a range of products that can help manage menopause symptoms.

Soy isoflavones or phytoestrogens are plant-derived compound that can mimic oestrogen in the body helping to reduce symptoms of menopause, especially hot flushes. They may also help to reduce your risk of both heart disease and osteoporosis.

Cleanmarine Menomin contains soy isoflavones as well as a variety of other ingredients to help control menopause symptoms; Vitamin B6 and rosemary which help to regulate hormonal activity and vitamin B12 which can help reduce tiredness and fatigue, phospholipid omega-3 to help with brain and heart function and vitamin D to help maintain healthy bones

A Vogel have designed a range of herbal products such as Menosan, Menoforce and Menopause support. Menoforce and Menosan contain sage extract which can help with hot flushes and excessive sweating. Menopause Support contains isoflavones, magnesium hibiscus extract and vervain essential oil.

Sona Femikar Plus is another product containing soy isoflavones. It also contains omega 3 fatty acids, calcium and vitamin D for bone health, vitamin C for immune function and collagen formation, vitamin E and folic acid. Evening primrose oil can also be very beneficial in balancing hormone levels

New Nordic Meno Joy can help to regulate hormonal balance as well as helping ease anxiety and difficulty sleeping. It contains hops (isoflavanoid), damiana (flavanoid), red clover (phytoestrogen), vitamin B complex and magnesium. Melissa Dream is another product by the same company which contains lemon balm, l-theanine, chamomile, vitamin B complex and magnesium. This can help maintain a restful sleep.

Neom Perfect Night’s Sleep pillow mist is another great product for people experiencing sleep disturbances due to menopause. It is made from 14 essential oils including lavender, chamomile and patchouli

For some women, symptoms of menopause need treatment with prescribed medication. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is the most common treatment. This can be oestrogen only HRT, cyclical HRT or continuous HRT depending on what stage of menopause the woman is in. HRT can be a tablet, patch, cream or gel. HRT works by replacing the oestrogen which is no longer being produced at menopause.

Alternative treatments depending on what symptoms the woman is experiencing include tibolone, clonidine, vaginal lubricants and antidepressants.

For any advice on products, medication or general management of menopausal symptoms feel free to call into any of our pharmacies and speak to our staff.  

Supervising Pharmacist

Deirdre O'Sullivan

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