There are numerous over-the-counter products available that claim to relieve symptoms of menopause. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved the use of these nonprescription products for the treatment of menopause-related conditions. Since there may be potential risks involved in using any product, you should discuss these products with your doctor.
Nonprescription products that may relieve menopause symptoms include:
Vitamin and Mineral Supplements
Many women can benefit from taking a multivitamin and mineral supplement. If your menstrual periods are very heavy during perimenopause, your doctor may recommend taking an iron supplement . If you do not get adequate calcium in your diet and your multivitamin and mineral supplement does not contain the daily requirement for calcium, you may need a separate calcium supplement. If you suffer from hot flashes, phytoestrogens or remifemin may be advised.
Vaginal Lubricants and Moisturizers
Water-soluble vaginal lubricants and moisturizers can help relieve problems due to vaginal dryness, such as painful intercourse. Unlike lubricants, moisturizers can work directly on the vaginal tissue to make it less dry. Do not use any products that are not designed for vaginal dryness. Though vaginal lubricants and moisturizers can help, they do not cure vaginal dryness and atrophy because the underlying cause is lack of estrogen. Prescription estrogen therapy can help treat vaginal atrophy.
Menopause. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114698/Menopause. Updated July 22, 2016. Accessed October 6, 2016.
Menopause basics. Office on Women's Health website. Available at: http://womenshealth.gov/menopause/menopause-basics/index.html. Updated September 29, 2010. Accessed February 27, 2014.
The menopause years. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists website. Available at: http://www.acog.org/~/media/For%20Patients/faq047.pdf?dmc=1&ts=20130416T1306377302. Accessed February 27, 2014.
Last reviewed February 2016 by Kim A. Carmichael, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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