May 2020

What’s New in Menopause Therapies

Even though menopause can be a tough time in a woman’s life, it's a normal transition. And it spells the end of monthly periods—often a welcome change.

But menopause may also bring symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal dryness. Sometimes, they’re mild or go away on their own. Other times, they’re more bothersome and treatment may be needed.

Today, healthcare providers have more choices than ever before to help you manage difficult menopause symptoms. Here’s a look at the latest options.

Hormone therapy innovations

As you move through menopause, your body gradually makes less of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. Hormone therapy involves taking hormones to restore what your body no longer makes. This may ease menopausal symptoms and reduce the risk of developing thin bones.

But there’s a potential downside, too. In some women, hormone therapy may increase the risk for blood clots, heart attacks, strokes, certain cancers, and gallbladder disease. Talk with your provider about the risks and benefits for you.

Hormones comes in various forms. These are some recent options:

  • Bijuva. Several different types of hormone pills are available. This pill contains forms of estrogen and progesterone that closely match natural hormones.

  • Imvexxy. Vaginal dryness and irritation due to menopause may cause pain during sex. One way to treat the problem is with vaginal tablets, rings, or creams containing estrogen. This newer vaginal tablet is available in a lower-dose form than other tablets. That helps you use the lowest dose of estrogen that works for you.

  • Intrarosa. This vaginal tablet contains a steroid called prasterone. Like estrogen, this hormonal medicine helps ease pain during sex caused by vaginal dryness.

Treatment without hormones

The FDA has also approved two nonhormone drugs to treat symptoms of menopause. That’s good news if you can’t take hormones or prefer not to. Brisdelle helps reduce hot flashes. Osphena helps relieve vaginal symptoms.

Researchers are now also studying the use of lasers to treat menopausal changes in the vagina. But the FDA says the safety and effectiveness of this approach is still unclear.

If menopause is making your life difficult, talk with your healthcare provider. Together, you can choose the treatment option that’s right for you.



Online Medical Reviewer: Brian McDonough, MD
Date Last Reviewed: 2/1/2020
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