Menopause is diagnosed when a woman of middle age does not experience menstrual period for 12 consecutive months. Generally, menopause symptoms are enough to confirm that a woman is going through menopause. However, further evaluation may be recommended in some circumstances.
Your doctor may recommend the following:
Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and oestrogen (estradiol)
Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) to rule out hypothyroidism, which causes symptoms similar to menopause symptoms
How is menopause treated?
Most women do not need treatment for menopause. For some, the symptoms will go away by themselves with little discomfort.
If you are troubled by your menopausal symptoms, there are ways to treat them, including medication and lifestyle changes for the following:
Aches, weakness and stiffness – regular exercise and relaxation practices
Constipation and gas – eat high-fibre foods (e.g. fruits, wholemeal bread, and fresh vegetables)
Hot flashes and night sweats – wear cool natural clothing like cotton to let your skin ‘breathe’, drink something cold at the start of a flash, shower with tepid water instead of taking warm baths, and avoid alcohol, coffee and spicy food
Hormone therapy for moderate to severe symptoms
Low-dose oral contraceptives (birth control pills) to stop or reduce hot flashes, vaginal dryness and moodiness
Other medication may help with specific symptoms
Vaginal and urinary tract changes – water-soluble lubricant before sexual intercourse.
Urinary incontinence – maintain personal hygiene and regular exercise
Weight gain – cut down on your calorie intake and exercise regularly
Speak to a doctor to learn more about your menopause treatment options, and how to better manage or reduce your symptoms.