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.
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.
- 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
It can also help to lose weight if you're overweight. 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.
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
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
Keep up to date with your screening tests and appointments during and after menopause.