5 Natural Remedies for Menopause

Middle aged woman sitting on the couch

Getty Images / Lumina Images

Table of Contents
View All
Table of Contents

While many individuals face discomfort throughout their monthly period, the stage of life that includes losing that period has struggles of its own. Entering menopause—defined as 12 consecutive months since your last period—often includes new, unwelcome symptoms.

When you go through menopause, you are actually in the menopausal transition, 12 months after your last period. During the menopausal transition is when you will begin experiencing symptoms. This generally occurs around 50 years old.

The menopausal transition comes with various symptoms, such as hot flashes, trouble sleeping, loss of bladder control, painful sex, aches, memory problems, and physical changes with your body. You will also lose the ability to become pregnant.

Causes of Menopause

There are three types of menopause: premature menopause, early menopause, and typical menopause. The difference between these is the age at which menopause occurs.

Premature menopause occurs before the person is 40 years old, and early menopause occurs before the person is 45 years old. Typical menopause happens in an individual's early 50s, generally between 51 and 52. Menopause happens naturally, but certain circumstances may cause it to occur earlier in an individual's life.

Menopausal symptoms last for about 7 years, but they may last longer depending on an individual's unique situation.

Age

Menopause generally happens naturally after the age of 50. Yet going through early menopause is not unheard of—about 5% of people who have ovaries experience early menopause naturally.

Surgery

Menopause can sometimes be caused by a surgery that removes the ovaries. This procedure is called a hysterectomy. Individuals may choose to undergo a hysterectomy for a variety of reasons, including painful periods or the intent to become infertile.

Chemotherapy or Radiation

Chemotherapy and radiation—though useful, lifesaving tools in treating disease—may unintentionally spark menopause. Both practices can be harmful to your ovaries as they are designed to rapidly divid cells (and ovaries are cells that create eggs in your reproductive system).

Experiencing menopause during one of these treatments could be temporary or permanent, it depends on your overall health and the circumstance in which you are undergoing these treatments. It is more likely to be permanent if you are older or if your medications put you at risk.

Smoking

While we know that smoking can cause many health problems, you should know that smoking can also cause early menopause. Both current smokers and former smokers are at risk for early menopause. However, the more you have smoked in your life, the higher your risk.

Natural Remedies for Menopause

Natural remedies can help you feel relief from your symptoms in your day-to-day life. However, just because they provide an alternative to traditional medicine does not mean you should avoid speaking to your doctor about any remedies you're using.

Elimination Diet

When going through menopause, you can benefit from an elimination diet. This simply means to stop eating any foods you think are triggering your menopausal symptoms. This often helps lessen the frequency of these symptoms. For example, you should avoid alcohol, spicy foods, and caffeine to minimize hot flashes.

As you experience menopause, focus on a nutritionally balanced diet. Getting all of the nutrients you need helps your body function at its best. 

Kegel Exercises

Menopause can cause urinary incontinence—a lack of bladder control. Kegel exercises are workouts that are intended to strengthen the pelvic floor and are known to improve bladder control. It has been proven that kegel exercises are safe and beneficial at home without supervision.

Kegel exercises are all about contractions. To contract your pelvic floor, you can pretend that you have to urinate and hold it in. These are the muscles that you feel when you start and stop peeing. Aim for 10 sets of these contractions each day.

Hydration

Individuals experiencing menopause might be more likely to get urinary tract infections. In a study where the patients had a high rate of UTIs, researchers found that many of these patients were dehydrated. After giving the patients easy access to water throughout the day, the study reported fewer people getting UTIs. UTIs requiring antibiotics decreased by 58%.

Herbal Creams, Gels, and Oils

Many topical creams, gels, and oils can help treat vaginal dryness, a common symptom of menopause. You should choose a topical treatment with a similar pH to your natural vaginal secretions—this would mean selecting a slightly acidic option.

Further, you should choose a cream, gel, or oil with as few chemicals as possible to avoid upsetting the natural pH and environment of your vagina. Chamomile gel, licorice cream, or preparations with hyaluronic acid are commonly recommended. These both have been proven to relieve symptoms of pain during sex and vaginal dryness, burning, and itching.

Phytoestrogen

Phytoestrogen is a plant-based compound similar to estrogen, the primary female hormone. Phytoestrogen is believed to prevent hot flashes, maybe the most well-known menopausal symptom.

There is not enough evidence present about the adverse effects of phytoestrogen to assume that it is a safe or preferable solution. Talk to your doctor about whether this is a good option for you. Phytoestrogen can be found naturally in certain foods, such as soy or legumes.

A Word From Verywell

Natural remedies can be helpful to lessen uncomfortable symptoms you are experiencing, but they do not replace advice from a health care professional.

If you are going through menopause, be sure to discuss it with a doctor. They will be able to explain what is happening with your body, what symptoms you might experience, and possible treatments if your symptoms are causing a lower quality of life. If you intend to try a natural remedy, it is best to discuss it with a health care professional first.

Was this page helpful?
14 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. National Institute of Aging. What Is Menopause? National Institute of Health. 2021.

  2. Premature and early menopause: causes, diagnosis, and treatment. Cleveland Clinic. 2019.

  3. Avis NE, Crawford SL, Greendale G, et al. Duration of menopausal vasomotor symptoms over the menopause transitionJAMA Intern Med. 2015;175(4):531-539. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.8063

  4. Hysterectomy: purpose, procedure, benefits, risks & recovery. Cleveland Clinic. 2021.

  5. Boekhout AH, Beijnen JH, Schellens JHM. Symptoms and treatment in cancer therapy-induced early menopauseOncologist. 2006;11(6):641-654. doi:10.1634/theoncologist.11-6-641

  6. Whitcomb BW, Purdue-Smithe AC, Szegda KL, et al. Cigarette smoking and risk of early natural menopauseAm J Epidemiol. 2018;187(4):696-704. doi:10.1093/aje/kwx292

  7. Hot flashes: what can i do? National Institute on Aging. 2021.

  8. Cavkaytar S, Kokanali MK, Topcu HO, Aksakal OS, Doğanay M. Effect of home-based Kegel exercises on quality of life in women with stress and mixed urinary incontinenceJ Obstet Gynaecol. 2015;35(4):407-410. doi:10.3109/01443615.2014.960831

  9. Marques A, Stothers L, Macnab A. The status of pelvic floor muscle training for womenCan Urol Assoc J. 2010;4(6):419-424. doi:10.5489/cuaj.10026

  10. Welk B, Hickling D. Frequent urinary tract infections in a premenopausal womanCMAJ : Canadian Medical Association Journal. 2016;188(7):522. doi:10.1503/cmaj.150893

  11. Lean K, Nawaz RF, Jawad S, Vincent C. Reducing urinary tract infections in care homes by improving hydrationBMJ Open Quality. 2019;8(3). doi:10.1136/bmjoq-2018-000563

  12. Edwards D, Panay N. Treating vulvovaginal atrophy/genitourinary syndrome of menopause: how important is vaginal lubricant and moisturizer composition? Climacteric. 2016;19(2):151. doi:10.3109/13697137.2015.1124259

  13. Fakari FR, Simbar M, Nasab MB, Ghazanfarpour M, Fakari FR. A review of pharmacological treatments for vaginal atrophy in postmenopausal women in IranJournal of Menopausal Medicine. 2020;26(2):104. doi:10.6118/jmm.19021

  14. Rietjens IMCM, Louisse J, Beekmann K. The potential health effects of dietary phytoestrogensBritish Journal of Pharmacology. 2017;174(11):1263. doi:10.1111/bph.13622