Menopause is the end to a women’s menstrual cycle. Menopause happens to women in their 40’s-50’s and is diagnosed after 12 months without a menstrual cycle. Symptoms include hot flashes, vaginal dryness, sleep disturbances, sweating, fatigue, night sweats, anxiety, irritability, moodiness and osteoporosis. Treatment focuses on symptomatic relief and include medications such as gabapentin and venlafaxine which can help to reduce the severity and frequency of hot flashes. Other medications include topical lubricants for vaginal dryness. Women experiencing moderate to severe symptoms or those with a family history of osteoporosis can be considered for HRT or hormone replacement therapy. HRT is contraindicated in women with breast cancer or endometrial cancer, liver disease or those with history of bloods clots.
-Written by Natasha Pappoe, FNP-BC