Treatment options for perimenopause
In most cases, perimenopause does not require medical treatment. However, if your symptoms are making you uncomfortable, your doctor can help you find relief. Treatment options include:
- Medication: Health care providers sometimes use antidepressants to treat persistent, troublesome hot flashes in women who do not have depression. A medication called gabapentin (Neurontin) is also sometimes prescribed to treat hot flashes.
- Hormone therapy: Hormone replacement therapy is the use of estrogen (and progesterone, in some women) to increase hormone levels and decrease uncomfortable symptoms. Hormone therapy may increase your risk of heart disease. Your provider will prescribe the lowest possible effective dose for only as long as necessary to treat symptoms. Women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer or who have a strong family history for breast cancer should not receive hormone replacement therapy. The same is true for women with certain blood clotting problems.
- Vaginal estrogen: To relieve vaginal dryness, women can use prescription estrogen vaginally in pill, cream, or insertable ring form.
It is important to remember that you can get pregnant while in perimenopause. If you do not want to get pregnant, use a reliable form of birth control until one year has passed since the end of your last period.
Perimenopause lasts a number of years and may bring about new health concerns. You and your doctor can discuss strategies for managing perimenopause in AZ, NV, and CA.
Dignity Health cares for women’s well-being from adolescence through perimenopause and beyond in Arizona, California, and Nevada.