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Hormone Replacement Therapy Q&A

3. What else can I do to prevent menopause symptoms?

Soy or black cohosh: Soy and black cohosh supplements contain phytoestrogens, plant materials that may act like estrogen in the body. Some studies haven’t found any proof that these “natural” therapies reduce menopause symptoms. Supplements aren’t regulated or approved by the FDA, and phytoestrogens may increase risks for certain diseases.

Antidepressants: Studies show antidepressants like Prozac and Effexor reduce hot flashes. One study found that venlafaxine, the main ingredient in Effexor, reduced hot flashes and night sweats by 48%. The results were similar to those for low-dose estrogen but without the risks.

Lifestyle changes: Here are some other ways to cope with menopause symptoms:

  • Dress in layers so you can remove clothes as needed.
  • Avoid hot and spicy foods and beverages.
  • Use cotton sheets, and wear clothes that allow your skin to breathe.
  • Limit caffeine and alcohol.
  • Use relaxation techniques such as yoga.
  • Don’t smoke.
  • Get regular exercise.

Don’t forget to check with your doctor. The best plan for you might be to do nothing at all.

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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson, MD, FACOG on August 29, 2014

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