As women approach their 50s, the body produces less estrogen in preparation for the end of fertility. As you enter this transition, called perimenopause, you will notice that your periods become irregular and may even skip one or more months. When you have not menstruated for 12 consecutive months, you meet the medical menopause definition. Throughout perimenopause and menopause, many women experience unpleasant symptoms associated with the hormonal changes that occur.
Natural Treatments to Try
While hormone replacement can address issues like hot flashes, sleep disturbances, and vaginal dryness, you may also have success with home remedies for menopause. Try these natural treatments when you struggle with periodic menopausal symptoms.
- According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, this plant extract can reduce symptoms such as mood swings, anxiety, heart palpitations, vaginal dryness, and night sweats. In fact, Native Americans also distilled this buttercup variant to use for menstrual cramps and countless other ailments.
- Most studies have used a daily dosage of 20 to 40 mg of black cohosh to treat the symptoms of menopause. However, you should avoid using black cohosh if you have liver issues.
- This plant root has been used in China to treat menstrual ailments and gynecological issues for more than 12 centuries. While few clinical trials have studied the effect of dong quai on menopause symptoms, many women report improvement of hot flashes and sleep problems when taking this supplement.
- You can make tea from the dried dong quai root or take the plant as a supplement. However, avoid dong quai if you have clotting problems or fibroids since uncontrolled bleeding could result.
- If you experience sleep disturbances associated with menopause, try incorporating ginseng into your diet. Asian nations have long used ginseng for medicinal purposes, including insomnia treatment. This root is readily available as tea, in ground and powdered form, and even whole at groceries and health food stores.
- If you don’t like the taste, you can also take a ginseng capsule. The recommended daily dose is 200–400 mg of extract. A study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology found that ginseng prolonged REM sleep and that research participants reported better quality sleep.
- Since soy contains plant-based estrogen, products that incorporate this ingredient can alleviate the hormonal symptoms of menopause. Add soy milk, tofu, or edamame to your diet if you have been experiencing vaginal dryness, night sweats, or hot flashes.
- If you prefer to take a capsule, you can also find soy extract in your local health food store. Research from the University of Rochester Medical Center indicates that soy could help reduce inflammatory symptoms associated with perimenopause and menopause.
- With apps, YouTube videos, and streaming classes, it’s easy to learn some beneficial yoga poses even if you’re new to this relaxing form of exercise. Research published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine in 2017 found that gentle yoga and meditation helped stabilize mood and improve sleep among women experiencing perimenopause symptoms.
- If you have mobility issues, look in meditation and mindfulness practice, which can have similar benefits.
Consult With Your Doctor for Menopause Treatments
As with all supplements and new exercise routines, you should talk to your doctor before adding these remedies. If you need a new healthcare provider to guide you through perimenopause and beyond, trust the compassionate team at Peoria Women’s Health. We offer comprehensive gynecology services for concerns across the lifespan. Contact us today to schedule your new patient appointment if you have noticed the signs of early menopause. Call (309) 692-2805 for more information.
Photo Credit: Shutterstock/nnattalli