Menopause Care

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Menopause is a natural process of aging. But it can lead to hot flashes, painful sex, and other problems that can make life miserable. You don't have to suffer. Treatment for menopause-related conditions has come far.  And at UVA Health, you'll find midlife experts who can help you thrive during this stage.

Menopause Care at UVA Health

At UVA Health, our midlife health experts help women manage symptoms and conditions that are common during menopause. We offer a full array of menopause care:

    Integrative & Complementary Medicine

    Some alternative approaches, like acupuncture, may help improve your well being during menopause. We can help you access nontraditional therapies to complement or supplement traditional treatment.

    Hormone Therapy (HT)

    When lifestyle changes don't work, hormone therapy can provide an effective solution. Our experts will tailor HT so it's safe and effective for you.

    Dietary Supplements

    Most studies do not show that nonprescription remedies work. But some women report finding short-term relief from:

    • Soy, isoflavone, S-equol 
    • Black cohosh and other herbal remedies
    • Topical progesterone cream

    Since these products do not fall under regulation and may interact with other medications or have adverse affects, we recommend talking to your doctor.

    Nonhormone Prescription Medications

    Some antidepressants can help ease hot flashes, as well as: 

    • Certain blood pressure medications
    • Antiseizure medications
    • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)

    Vaginal Lubricants

    Vaginal moisturizers and vaginal lubricants can alleviate vaginal dryness.

    Lifestyle Changes

    Ways to lessen the effects of hot flashes include:

    • Reduce your body temperature with fans, cold packs under a pillow, cold water, fans
    • Maintain a healthy weight; hot flashes increase with body fat
    • Stop smoking; smokers have more severe hot flashes
    • Relax with meditation, yoga, tai chi, quigong, massage, deep breathing; anxiety can increase hot flashes
    • Treat depression through counseling and antidepressants
    • Exercise to help with above items
    • Watch food triggers; some foods like caffeine, alcohol, hot or spicy foods can trigger hot flashes

    What Menopause Stage Are You In? 

    Menopause occurs as ovaries gradually decrease producing a hormone called estrogen and then stop releasing eggs.  

    We have experts in all stages of menopause. 

    • Premature menopause describes menopause before age 40 and may lead to heart and bone health risks
    • Perimenopause is the time leading up to complete menopause, during which periods become irregular
    • Natural menopause occurs when a person has had no periods for a year
    • Surgical or induced menopause occurs with the removal or damage of ovaries
    • Postmenopause describes the time after menopause

    Understanding Menopause

    Menopause happens as a natural process of aging and refers to the time when a woman's menstrual period ends. View menopause transcript

    Menopause Symptoms

    The signs and symptoms of menopause often start in a woman's 40s. About 90% of women experience 4 to 8 years of irregular periods before their periods disappear permanently. Midlife UVA Health experts can help you manage symptoms. Come to us if you have any of these symptoms:

    • Irregular menstrual periods
    • Hot flashes and night sweats
    • Trouble sleeping
    • Irritability
    • Vaginal dryness and pain with sexual intercourse
    • Dry skin
    • Decreased interest in sex
    • Frequent urination or leaking of urine
    • Increased risk of urinary tract infections