16 Most Common Menopause Treatments

Medically reviewed by Paige Henry, LMSW, J.D.
Updated February 22, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Menopause is a natural and inevitable phase for women and often comes with many physical and emotional changes that can be challenging to manage. Many women may see practical solutions to ease their discomfort and improve their quality of life as they transition through this stage. 

This comprehensive guide may offer an insightful look at popular menopause treatments, providing valuable insights and practical advice to help you navigate this journey.

Understanding menopause

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This article refers to biological women as “women.” Biological or assigned sex at birth refers to reproductive organs and functions derived from chromosomes. This differs from gender, which refers to an individual’s gender identity. Current science has found no conclusive brain differences between sexes, but biological differences can potentially impact certain aspects of health, aging, and healthcare. 

Menopause is a natural biological process that marks the end of a woman's menstrual cycles when the ovaries stop producing eggs. This leads to a decrease in estrogen levels. It's diagnosed after a woman has gone 12 months without a menstrual period. It typically occurs between 45 and 55, with the average age around 51. 

While menopause is a natural part of aging, it can be challenging for some women to manage. It could be helpful to recognize the common symptoms and possible treatments to make informed decisions about managing menopause effectively.

The decrease in estrogen that accompanies menopause can cause symptoms such as: 

  • Hot flashes
  • Night sweats
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Mood changes
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Decreased libido

Lifestyle adjustments

It's often beneficial to begin with lifestyle changes to alleviate menopausal symptoms. Some adjustments might include the following ideas:

  • Diet: Consuming a well-balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins may help support overall health during menopause. Some nutrients, like calcium and vitamin D, benefit bone health.
  • Exercise: Regular physical activity could help maintain health, improve mood, and enhance sleep quality.
  • Stress management: Techniques such as meditation, yoga, or deep-breathing exercises might assist in reducing stress and managing mood.
  • Sleep hygiene: Establishing a consistent sleep schedule, creating a relaxing bedtime routine, and maintaining a comfortable sleep environment may improve sleep quality.

Hormone replacement therapy

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) involves taking estrogen and, in some cases, progesterone to replace the declining hormones during menopause. HRT has been proven effective in alleviating many menopausal symptoms. However, it may not be suitable for everyone and should be considered individually.

Types of HRT

  • Estrogen-only HRT: Often recommended for women who’ve had a hysterectomy.
  • Combined HRT: Taking estrogen and progesterone may be recommended for women who still have their uterus to prevent overgrowth of the uterine lining.

Risks and benefits

  • Benefits: HRT effectively reduces hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, and discomfort during intercourse. It might also help prevent osteoporosis and improve the overall quality of life.
  • Risks: Potential risks include an increased chance of blood clots, stroke, and certain cancers. Discussing these risks with a healthcare professional before starting HRT may be helpful.

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Non-hormonal medications

Non-hormonal medications can offer alternative options for symptom relief for those who can’t or don’t wish to use HRT.


Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) may help alleviate hot flashes and mood-related symptoms.


Typically used for treating seizures and nerve pain, gabapentin could also help reduce hot flashes.


Initially developed for treating high blood pressure, clonidine might provide relief from hot flashes in some cases.

Natural and complementary therapies

Many women explore natural and complementary therapies for menopause management. It might help to consult a healthcare professional before trying natural or complementary therapies, as they might interact with other medications, have potential side effects, or have little scientific evidence to support their claims.

Some popular options include:

  • Phytoestrogens: Plant-based compounds that mimic estrogen in the body. They can be found in foods like soy, flaxseed, and legumes. Some studies suggest phytoestrogens may help reduce hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms.
  • Black cohosh: An herbal supplement used for centuries to alleviate menopausal symptoms, though research on its effectiveness remains limited and inconclusive.
  • St. John's wort: Often used for mild to moderate depression, this herbal supplement might also help improve mood swings associated with menopause.
  • Acupuncture: Some women find relief from hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms through acupuncture, a traditional Chinese medicine practice that involves inserting thin needles into specific points on the body.

Navigating menopause treatments

Finding the proper menopause treatment may involve considering individual symptoms, personal preferences, and potential risks. Some steps to help guide women through the process might include:

  • Keep track of symptoms: You might maintain a journal to record the frequency and intensity of menopausal symptoms. This information can be helpful when discussing treatment options with a healthcare professional.
  • Research treatment options: You can familiarize yourself with the available treatment options, including their benefits and potential risks.
  • Consult a healthcare professional: It can help to discuss menopausal symptoms and treatment options with a healthcare provider, who may help you find the most appropriate approach based on individual needs and medical history.
  • Monitor and adjust: After beginning a treatment plan, it might help to continue to track symptoms and communicate with the healthcare provider about any changes or concerns. It may be necessary to adjust the treatment plan over time to ensure the best possible relief from menopausal symptoms.

Effectiveness of online therapy

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Online platforms such as BetterHelp have mental health professionals who may be able to help women experiencing emotional symptoms related to or caused by menopause. Menopause often includes mood changes and increased stress levels, which can impact overall quality of life, and therapy can help women manage these symptoms and learn effective stress management techniques.

Research into online therapy has shown that it can be as effective as in-person sessions. Another benefit of online therapy is the opportunity for clients to join sessions from the comfort of their homes. This means that mental health care can be available to people in locations where therapy may put them on long wait lists, involve heavy traffic commutes, or in rural settings. Embracing the journey of menopause with a proactive approach and a well-informed mindset can help women maintain a sense of balance and well-being during this natural life stage.


Managing menopause and finding relief from its symptoms might require a combination of lifestyle adjustments, medications, and complementary therapies. By staying informed and working closely with a healthcare professional, women could find the most suitable treatment plan to enhance their quality of life during this life stage.

Therapy, particularly cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), could be a valuable part of any treatment plan; it may offer practical support and guidance during this transitional period. With this approach, women can maintain their mental health on their journey through the pause. Go on that journey with BetterHelp at your side.

Understand how menopause impacts the body and mind
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