Is there any treatment for perimenopause? What can I do?

Some women take oral contraceptives (birth control pills, or "the pill") to ease perimenopausal symptoms--even if they don't need them for birth control. These hormone treatments of combined estrogen and progestin can help keep your periods regular plus ease all the symptoms listed above. Talk with your doctor to see if this option is right for you. If you are over 35, you should not take birth control pills if you smoke or have a history of blood clots. You need a prescription to get oral contraceptives.

Making some changes in your life can also help ease your symptoms and keep you healthy.  .   

Eat Healthy. A healthy diet is more important now than before because your risks of osteoporosis (extreme bone loss) and heart disease go up at this stage of life. Eat lots of whole-grain foods, vegetables, and fruits. Add calcium-rich foods (milk, cheese, yogurt, broccoli) or take a calcium supplement to obtain your recommended daily intake. Get adequate vitamin D from sunshine or a supplement. Avoid alcohol or caffeine, which also can trigger hot flashes in some women.  .   

Get Moving. Regular exercise helps keep your weight down, helps you sleep better and makes your bones stronger. Believe it or not, getting physical activity not only helps relieve your tense muscles, but helps your mood too! Your body makes certain chemicals, called endorphins, before and after you work out. They relieve stress and improve your mood.  Try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week, but let your doctor recommend what’s best for you.  Consult your physician before starting an exercise program.  .   

Find healthy ways to cope with stress. Try meditation or yoga--both can help you relax, as well as handle your symptoms more easily.  Exercise as mentioned above, can also help relieve stress, take a walk to feel better.

Information provided by:  The National Women's Health Information Center which is Sponsored by the Office on Women's Health in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services