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Clinical and Top-Rated Support for Perimenopause

Clinical and Top-Rated Support for Perimenopause

Perimenopause is the precursor to menopause: the time when a woman’s body shifts from releasing an egg each month to the end of her reproductive years. As we move away from our fertile years, our ovaries reduce the output of estrogen and progesterone, two important sex hormones. This shift causes palpable symptoms in many women, usually between the ages of 40 and 50 when perimenopause occurs.

There have been 34 recognized symptoms of perimenopause which include:

  • Changes in mood, irritability
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Headaches
  • Hot flashes
  • Insomnia
  • Irregular periods and cramping
  • Mental and/or physical fatigue
  • Night sweats
  • Skin or hair changes
  • Vaginal or bladder issues such as UTI
  • Weight gain
  • …and others.

While you should always talk to your doctor to develop a treatment plan for perimenopause, we’ve gathered up a few over-the-counter solutions that are highly rated for their efficacy. Check the bottom of this article for clinical options you can discuss with your doctor.

Vitamins that ease the transition toward menopause include magnesium, calcium, and vitamin D which all support bone health, as well as biotin and zinc which can combat hair and skin changes. One a Day® Women’s Menopause Multivitamin is highly rated and contains vitamin D, calcium, magnesium, biotin and zinc. In addition, this multivitamin has 60 mg of soy isoflavones, compounds found naturally in soybeans that have estrogenic effects in the body and may decrease hot flashes and night sweats.

Chris C. says, “I was desperate: three hours of sleep at night if I was lucky. Sweating, soaking the sheets (and not in the fun way). After a month of intensified symptoms, I came across this multivitamin. After a week of taking it, I had only one hot flash a night—no longer soaking my sheets!"

One a Day Multivitamin

For Hot Flashes: Cooling Bed Sheets

Heat regulation, both during the day and at night, are one of the most common symptoms during perimenopause. An at-home solution that many find helpful is a set of cooling bedsheets. Shannon B. says these cooling sheets from LuxClub® are hot-flash approved. “I have reached that lovely stage of life where hot flashes are a nightly occurrence. I bought several types of sheets with varying fabrics, but these are my favorite. They’re soft, breathable, and I stay much cooler in them. Whenever I do sweat, they dry quickly, but I find that I don’t sweat as much in these. Hot flashers out there: These are great!”

LuxClub Cooling Sheets

For Restless Legs: A Weighted Blanket

Often overlooked symptoms of menopause include muscle twitching or restless legs. On top of other nighttime disturbances, you may find yourself getting less and less quality sleep. That’s where a weighted blanket can come in handy, especially one made of cooling material such as lyocell bamboo.

An anonymous reviewer says, “If I don’t wake up sweating, I wake up from tossing and turning all night long. My sleep has been horrific and almost nonexistent during menopause, coupled with stressful job during day. This blanket has helped my restless leg syndrome that also contributed to my tossing and turning. I cannot say enough great things. My daughter gave it to me as a present and it’s been the best present that I’d highly recommend to anyone who wants to sleep well.

Weighted Blanket

It's empowering to understand exactly what's happening inside as hormones shift and symptoms present. Two of our OB/GYN's favorite resources are the book The Menopause Manifesto: Own Your Health with Facts & Feminism by Dr. Jen Gunter and the podcast The Menopause Society hosted by Dr. Marla Shapiro.

The Menopause Manifesto: Own Your Health with Facts & Feminism

The Menopause Manifesto Book

The Menopause Manifesto is a New York Times bestseller, debunking misogynistic attitudes and the over-mystification of menopause to reveal everything you need to now about hot flashes, sleep disruption, sex and libido, mood changes, skin and hair health, outdated therapies, and much more.

"Menopause is not a disease—it’s a planned change, like puberty. And just like puberty, we should be educated on what’s to come years in advance, rather than the current practice of leaving people on their own with bothersome symptoms and too much conflicting information. Knowing what is happening, why, and what to do about it is both empowering and reassuring." —Author Jen Gunter

The Menopause Society Podcast

If doc-talk is your thing, you'll love the Menopause Society podcast. Hosted by Dr. Marla Shapiro, each episode is an interview with medical specialist covering the many side effects and nuances of menopause. Dr. Shapiro interviews cardiologists exploring heart health in your 40s/50s, a sexual health expert discussing how hormone shifts affect intimacy, a speech pathologist delving into voice changes, and many more.

The Menopause Society Interviews

Ogden Clinic's Dermatologists (and so many others across the country) call out this drugstore moisturizer as the holy grail of potent protective ingredients: Ceramides to restore the skin barrier, hyaluronic acid to lock in moisture, calming niacinamide, and a wallet-friendly price point. As menopause approaches, the surface level of our skin degenerates and becomes thinner. CeraVe® creates a barrier on fragile skin that protects it.

CeraVe PM Moisturizer

How can an OB/GYN help with perimenopause?

There’s no need to struggle with perimenopausal symptoms that affect your sleep or quality of life. OB/GYNs have a variety of options to help mitigate the symptoms that occur as hormones shift. The type and severity of your symptoms will help your doctor determine a course of treatment, and he or she will continue to monitor how you’re responding and make necessary adjustments.

Some of the options clinicians use for perimenopause symptoms include:

  • Antidepressants: These medications help with mood swings or depression.
  • Birth control pills: These medications stabilize your hormone levels and typically relieve symptoms.
  • Clinical hypnosis: This is a newer therapy for hot flashes with promising outcomes. Hypnotherapy can help regulate hot flashes by managing how temperatures are perceived and regulated in the brain.
  • Estrogen therapy: This treatment stabilizes estrogen levels. You may take estrogen therapy as a cream, gel, patch, or a pill.
  • Gabapentin (Neurontin®): This medicine is a seizure medication that also relieves hot flashes for some women.
  • Hormone replacement therapy (HRT): This is the most common treatment for hot flashes and other perimenopause symptoms. You’ll work closely with your doctor to help stabilize your levels of estrogen and progesterone.
  • Vaginal creams: Your provider can tell you about prescription and over-the-counter options. Treatment can decrease pain related to sex and relieve vaginal dryness.

Entering perimenopause? Don’t suffer through the symptoms. Ogden Clinic OB/GYNs are here to help and accepting new patients now. View our Women's Health team and learn more about them here.

Women's Health at Ogden Clinic