Natural Treatments for Menopause Symptoms

Menopause can cause symptoms that can last for months or years. Women have different symptoms, which can include:

  • Irregular periods
  • Night sweats
  • Hot flashes
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Chills
  • Problems sleeping
  • Mood problems
  • Weight gain
  • Hair or skin changes
  • Loss of breast fullness

Some women decide to treat their symptoms with herbs and dietary supplements instead of hormone replacement therapy. There are a number of natural options for the treatment of menopausal symptoms.

Black Cohosh

Symptom: Hot Flashes, Night Sweats

Benefit:

Black cohosh is derived from a species of buttercup. Studies have had mixed results on whether black cohosh is effective in reducing hot flashes. Some studies indicate it may help with mild hot flashes and night sweats for short-term treatment. May lower blood pressure, as well. In rare cases, hepatitis has been reported.

Soy

Symptom: Hot Flashes, Night Sweats

Benefit:

Soy has isoflavones, which are phytoestrogens (plant estrogens). Some studies have observed that soy may be effective in reducing menopausal symptoms. However, other studies have found no benefit. Only food forms of soy, like tofu and soy milk, are recommended. Soy in tablet or powder form is not advised.

Flaxseed, ground or oil

Symptom: Hot Flashes

Benefit:

Flaxseed has omega-3 fatty acids and lignans, which act as phytoestrogens. Results from studies have been mixed, but it may help symptoms in some women. It is also believed to help lower cholesterol. Avoid whole flaxseed because it is difficult to digest.

Vitamin E

Symptom: Vaginal Dryness, Hot Flashes

Benefit:

Topical vitamin E oil applied to the vagina helps improve lubrication and may also reduce hot flashes.

Yoga, Aerobic Exercise, Breathing Exercises

Symptom: Mood Swings, Sleep Disruption

Benefit:

Exercise and meditation reduce irritability, even hot flashes, in some women. Yoga combines both exercise and meditation into one activity. Exercise also helps most people sleep better.

Cold Drinks

Symptom: Hot Flashes, Night Sweats

Benefit:

Cold drinks help you feel cooler. Avoid caffeine and alcohol, which are diuretics that encourage dehydration and can aggravate hot flashes. Try cold water or fruit juices with antioxidantvitamins.

Warning

While the supplements mentioned above are among the most commonly used supplements to help control menopause symptoms, it's important to note that research is still ongoing to determine their effectiveness. To date, no supplement has consistently been shown to work better than placebo in managing symptoms.

Also, keep in mind that dietary or herbal supplements may have side effects or interactions with each other or with other drugs. Some may be unsafe to take due to certain medical conditions. Consult with your doctor before using them.

Continued

Lifestyle Changes

Changes in your lifestyle may help ease the symptoms of menopause. You may feel better if you:

  • Quit smoking, which can cause hot flashes
  • Drink no more than one alcoholic beverage per day
  • Keep your body weight at a healthy level
  • Take calcium supplements
WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD on September 24, 2020

Sources

SOURCES:

Holly Thacker, MD, chief of Women's Health, The Cleveland Clinic. Elaine Magee, MPH, RD. Joan Starker, PhD, MSW. Nancy Fugate Woods, PhD, RN, University of Washington. The Cleveland Clinic. The Journal of Women's Health and Gender-Based Medicine. Sunil Wimalawansa, MD, PhD, University of Texas.

Mayo Clinic: “Menopause.”

National Women’s Health Network: “Menopause and Natural Hormones.”

NYU Langone Health: “Lifestyle Changes for Menopause.”

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