Skip to main content

Warning notification:Warning

Unfortunately, you are using an outdated browser. Please, upgrade your browser to improve your experience with HSE. The list of supported browsers:

  1. Chrome
  2. Edge
  3. FireFox
  4. Opera
  5. Safari

Things you can do - Menopause

Eating well, exercising and looking after your mental wellbeing can help with symptoms during perimenopause and menopause.

It can also help you keep as well as possible in the future.


  • eat a healthy diet

  • have calcium-rich food like milk, yogurt and kale to keep your bones healthy

  • exercise regularly and try including weight-bearing activities where your feet and legs support your weight like walking, running or dancing

  • do relaxing things like yoga, tai chi or meditation

  • get plenty of rest, including keeping to regular sleep routines

  • talk to other people going through the same thing, like family, friends or colleagues

  • talk to a GP before taking herbal supplements or complementary medicines


How to ease mood changes

It's common to have mood swings, low mood and anxiety around the time of menopause and perimenopause.

You can try to:

  • get plenty of rest
  • exercise regularly - it increases endorphins which helps your mood
  • do relaxing activities
  • make time for activities you enjoy

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a type of talking therapy that can help with a low mood and feelings of anxiety. 

Other treatments are also available, including hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Antidepressants may help if you've been diagnosed with depression.

How to ease hot flushes and night sweats

If you experience hot flushes and night sweats because of menopause, there are things you can do that may help.

You can:

  • wear light clothing
  • keep your bedroom cool at night
  • take a cool shower, use a fan or have a cold drink
  • try to reduce your stress level
  • avoid or reduce potential triggers, such as spicy food, caffeine, hot drinks, smoking and alcohol
  • exercise or do physical activity regularly

Weight gain can be an issue during menopause. Weight loss should be gradual - combine healthy eating with keeping active.

CBT can also help manage hot flushes. It can also help with sleep problems.

Learn more about hot flushes

How to ease vaginal dryness

There are vaginal moisturisers or lubricants you can get without a prescription at a pharmacy.

You can talk to a pharmacist in private if you'd like help deciding which moisturiser is right for you.

If you're using condoms during sex, do not use oil-based lubricant as this can damage condoms. You can use a water-based lubricant.

There are other treatments for vaginal dryness that a GP can prescribe, such as HRT or hormonal treatment (creams, pessaries, gel or vaginal rings).

Keep up to date with your screening tests during and after menopause. There are things you can do to make a cervical screening test easier.

Find out about treatment for menopause

Vaginal dryness and how to treat vaginal dryness yourself

Protecting against weak bones

Women who have been through menopause are at an increased risk of developing osteoporosis (weak bones). This is because of the lower level of oestrogen in the body. Taking HRT can reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

You can also try to:

  • exercise regularly, including weight-bearing exercises, where your feet and legs support your weight (like walking, running or dancing) and resistance exercises (for example, using weights)
  • eat a healthy diet that includes plenty of fruit, vegetables and sources of calcium, such as milk, yogurt and kale
  • take a calcium supplement if you're vegan or cannot get enough calcium through your diet - talk to your GP about this
  • get some sunlight on your skin as this triggers the production of vitamin D, which can help keep your bones healthy
  • take a vitamin D supplement - talk to your GP about this
  • get help to quit smoking and cut down on alcohol

Get screened

Keep up to date with your screening tests and appointments during and after menopause.

These are:

Page last reviewed: 13 October 2022
Next review due: 13 October 2025