In recent years, menopause has gained increased awareness and understanding as discussions both public and private about the experiences of people in menopause and perimenopause have become less stigmatized. These conversations are critical as there are nearly 50 different effects—from hot flashes & mood swings to sleep disturbances to bone health issues—people can experience during perimenopause and menopause. Not everyone experiences all of these effects, some people experience few or none, and each effect can vary greatly in intensity and duration from person to person.
As more articles are written, and more women open up to each other (even celebrities are going public!) about their menopause experience, women everywhere are not only learning about what menopause can look like but also having their experience validated. Now the question is, how can you get relief?
The healthcare industry is slow to respond in an impactful way (though progress is happening). Historically, doctors receive little to no training on menopause, so women can’t rely on medical professionals for information and, more importantly, relief.
Recently, many new products and services have come to market to help with the effects of menopause—from vitamins and supplements to cooling devices to intimate care, and so much more. Overwhelmed with which products to choose? We get it. Here is a round-up of some of the best and worst menopause care products available.
Best Menopause Products on the Market
Vitamins and Supplements
Black Cohosh: Many women wonder what is the number one vitamin for menopause. While the answer isn’t that simple, black cohosh is a great place to start. It's an herbal supplement that's gained popularity for its potential to alleviate hot flashes and night sweats. It's considered a natural alternative to hormonal therapy. Black Cohosh is a key ingredient in MENO Menopause Relief supplement.
Chasteberry: Research suggests chasteberry may help reduce the frequency of hot flashes & night sweats, and help improve your mood. Chasteberry contains phytoestrogens, a natural substance that mimics estrogen.
Calcium and Vitamin D: This duo helps maintain bone health which becomes crucial during menopause due to decreasing estrogen levels. Calcium and Vitamin D supplements can help strengthen bones and prevent osteoporosis.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids: These healthy fats found in fish oil may help reduce inflammation and support heart health, which can be particularly beneficial during menopause. Omega-3s has also been proven to help support weight loss, so it can be a smart choice as a menopause supplement for weight loss.
Ashwagandha: A flowering shrub that has been used homeopathically for thousands of years, and has been shown to help alleviate hot flashes & urinary concerns that may come with menopause.
Cooling Devices and Clothing
Cooling Towels: These portable, lightweight, reusable towels can be soaked in cold water and draped around the neck to provide instant relief from hot flashes.
Cooling Mattress Pads & Sheets: Menopausal night sweats can disrupt sleep and that disruption is compounded by the fact that many menopausal women often find it hard to fall back to sleep. Cooling mattress pads and sheets are made from materials that help wick away moisture and regulate body temperature, promoting better sleep quality.
Moisture-Wicking Clothing: Similar to cooling sheets, clothing made from moisture-wicking fabrics helps manage sweat and keeps the body cool throughout the day.
Wearable Devices: One of the most exciting advancements in cooling technology is the growth of personal cooling devices. This new technology brings wearables like bracelets to the market that can help stop a hot flash in its track with the push of a button.
Yoga & Meditation: These practices offer not only physical benefits but also emotional support during menopause. They can help reduce stress, anxiety, mood swings and more.
Deep Breathing Exercises: Deep, slow breathing techniques can help calm the nervous system and manage hot flashes and anxiety.
Sexual Wellness & Intimate Care Products
Water-Based Lubricants: Vaginal dryness is a common symptom of menopause. Water-based lubricants can provide comfort, decrease pain during intercourse and enhance intimacy and pleasure.
Vaginal Moisturizers: Different from lubricants designed for intimacy, there are also serums, oils, creams and more that can be used daily on the vulva and entire external intimate area to help ease dryness and discomfort. Some even help rebuild collagen lost as we age and can double as a play product in a pinch!
Vaginal Devices: Perhaps you’ve heard the term “use it or lose it” in reference to menopause-related vaginal atrophy. Understanding the importance of orgasms for continued sexual health, including pelvic floor strength and lubrication, companies have created sexual wellness tools that go beyond the basic vibrator. In addition to vibration, these devices provide heat and some are equipped with LED light. Both of these functions can help rebuild vaginal tissue. Of course, they can be used just for fun, too!
Products To Avoid During Menopause
Hormone Replacement Therapy Without Medical Supervision
HRT involves taking hormones like estrogen and progesterone in different formats to manage menopausal symptoms. While it can be effective, it should only be pursued under the guidance of a medical professional due to potential side effects.
Unverified Supplements and Remedies
As the wellness boom continues, new supplements seem to hit the market every day, and with the rise of awareness around menopause symptoms, companies are looking to capture market share in the quickly growing space. Beware of supplements or remedies that promise unrealistic results (“your menopause belly will be gone in one month!”) or lack scientific evidence. Always consult a healthcare provider before trying any new product.
High-Dose Vitamins and Supplements
While certain vitamins and supplements can be beneficial, taking excessively high doses can lead to adverse effects. Stick to recommended dosages to ensure safety.
Supplements with Added Sugar
Supplements that contain added sugars can be less than ideal during menopause for several reasons. During menopause, bodies undergo hormonal changes that can impact metabolism, weight management, and overall health. Keeping an eye on added sugar is a way to help feel your best during this time.
Single-Use Cooling Pads
Single-use cooling pads may provide temporary relief in a pinch but can be costly over time and contribute to environmental waste. Opt for reusable cooling products instead.
Women over 40 are no longer accepting the narrative that they are “invisible.” Many know they are in the prime of their life, the pinnacle of their career and feeling more confident than ever.
Still, navigating menopause can be a challenging journey. With the right products, you can ease the transition and manage its associated symptoms more effectively. Remember that every individual's experience is unique, so what works well for one person might not be as effective for another. Before trying any new product, especially supplements and hormonal therapies, it's essential to consult with a healthcare professional who can provide personalized guidance based on your health history and needs.
When considering products like vitamins and supplements, cooling devices, intimate care and more, opt for those that are backed by scientific research and have a positive track record in providing relief to menopausal symptoms. Additionally, incorporating a healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise, a balanced diet, and stress management techniques can complement any product-based approach to managing menopause.
By making informed choices and staying attuned to your body's needs, you can embrace this new phase of life with confidence and grace, enjoying the journey to the fullest.