Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Postmenopausal Treatment

The treatment of menopause involves controlling unpleasant symptoms and reducing the incidence of medical complications, such as osteoporosis.

The treatment for a woman with menopause usually includes a healthy diet, regular exercise, avoiding exposure to heat, avoiding alcohol, calcium supplements, and weight reduction for those who are overweight. Treatment for menopause may also include estrogen hormone replacement therapy, as well as medications that reduce the risk for osteoporosis.

Treatment options for menopause include:

Postmenopausal Drugs

Medications used to treat menopause include:

Postmenopausal Hormone Replacement

Hormone replacement therapy is a term used to describe treatment with female hormones after menopause.

Hormones used in hormone replacement therapy:

Hormone replacement therapy for menopause may cause:

Hormone replacement therapy with estrogens can increase risk for:

Postmenopausal Estrogen

Possible Side Effects of Estrogen Therapy for Menopause

Abdominal crampsAcne
Anorexia (loss of appetite)Bloating
Blood clotsBreast secretions
Breast tenderness or cancerConstipation
Decreased levels of B vitaminsDepression
Elevated levels of calciumHair loss or excessive hair growth
Headaches (migraines)High blood pressure
High blood sugarHives
Increased appetiteIntolerance to contact lenses
JaundiceLeg cramps
Menstrual irregularitiesNausea
Oily and/or flaking skinPancreatitis
Skin discolorationSwelling
TwitchingVaginal bleeding after menopause
VomitingWeight gain
Worsening of nearsightedness

Postmenopausal Progesterone

Possible side effects of progesterone in women with menopause:

Postmenopausal Progestin

Possible Side Effects of Progestin Therapy in Menopause

Abdominal discomfortAcne
Allergic reactionsAlopecia (hair loss)
AnxietyBirth defects
Blood clottingBreast discharge
CervicitisChange of appetite
DizzinessElevated blood pressure
Fluid retentionHeadache
Hirsutism (excessive hair)Inhibition of beneficial estrogen effects on lipids
JaundiceMenstrual irregularities / PMS
Myalgias (muscle aches)Nausea
VaginitisVisual changes
VomitingWeight gain

Postmenopausal Risk Benefit

A woman with menopause should discuss the risks and benefits of hormone replacement therapy with her doctor.

Hormone replacement therapy should not be used in women who have had:

Postmenopausal Hot Flashes

General treatment for hot flashes in a woman with menopause includes:

Medications for hot flashes include:

Postmenopausal Painful Intercourse

Treatment for painful intercourse due to vaginal dryness in menopause includes:

  • Use a water-based vaginal lubricant during intercourse.
  • Use estrogen vaginal cream.

Postmenopausal Questions For Doctor

The following are some important questions to ask before and after treatment for menopause.

Questions to ask before treatment:

  • What are my treatment options?
  • What are the risks associated with treatment?
  • What are the complications I should watch for?
  • How long will I be on medication?
  • What are the potential side effects of my medication?
  • Does my medication interact with nonprescription medicines or supplements?
  • Should I take my medication with food?

Questions to ask after treatment:
  • Do I need to change my diet?
  • Are there any medications or supplements I should avoid?
  • When can I resume my normal activities?
  • When can I return to work?
  • Do I need a special exercise program?
  • What else can I do to reduce my risk for osteoporosis?
  • How often will I need to see my doctor for checkups?
  • What local support and other resources are available?

Postmenopausal Specialist

Physicians from the following specialties evaluate and treat menopause:

Continue to Postmenopausal Home Care

Last Updated: Dec 20, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Postmenopausal References
  1. Heinemann K, Ruebig A, Potthoff P, Schneider HP, Strelow F, Heinemann LA, Do MT. The Menopause Rating Scale (MRS) scale: a methodological review. Health Qual Life Outcomes. 2004 Sep 2;2:45. [15345062]
  2. Obermeyer CM. Menopause across cultures: a review of the evidence. Menopause. 2000 May-Jun;7(3):184-92. [10810964]
  3. Zollner YF, Acquadro C, Schaefer M. Literature review of instruments to assess health-related quality of life during and after menopause. Qual Life Res. 2005 Mar;14(2):309-27. [15892422]
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