If you Experience                                 You should


Hot Flashes    











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Dress in cotton or natural fibers that "breathe".  Many women can "feel a hot flash coming".  If you dress in layers, you can remove a layer before it starts.

Try to identify "triggers" that cause you to have more hot flashes and avoid them.  Some common triggers are spicy food, alcohol, caffeine, hot drinks, stress, and smoking.

Use light makeup and waterproof mascara.

Avoid sunburn which makes heat regulation difficult

Try to keep a consistent blood sugar level with small, frequent meals.  Try drinking Iced herbal teas.

Immerse your hands in cool water or splash your face to stop a hot flash sooner.

Vaginal dryness Use water-based lubricants made for sexual activity such as K-Y Jelly, Replens, or Astroglide (all are available without a prescription).

Experiment to find the most comfortable position for intercourse

Night Sweats/ Sleep Disturbances   

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Keep a change of bedclothes at your bedside

Resist throwing covers off, which can result in a chill.  Instead, uncover an arm or leg and cool slowly.

If sheets get damp, try double sheeting the bed with cotton sheets and remove one layer when necessary.

Use cotton nightclothes.

If loss of sleep affects your daytime concentration or leads to depression, call your caretaker.  Medication may be necessary

Bone Loss

Increase your calcium intake.  Good sources of calcium include:

dairy products (milk, yogurt, cottage cheese), collard greens, sardines, salmon, and broccoli.

Do weight bearing exercises such as walking, low-impact aerobics, racquet sports, jogging, and weight lifting.

Mood Change               

Realize that menopause usually occurs gradually (over months or years)

Anticipate changes-sometimes it's easier to tolerate changes when you expect them and understand they're probably due to hormone changes over a short period of time.

Enlist the support of those close to you-ask them to help you  through this temporary experience

Call your caretaker if you have symptoms of depression.  (There is no evidence that menopause causes depression).

Adapted from: Innovations in Women's Health Nursing   Vol 1, No 1, 1994                                                          


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