The menopause isn’t a health ‘problem’ or illness as such. It is a natural process that happens to almost all women as they age.

The menopause does, however, cause a wide range of symptoms that can be challenging and uncomfortable. Mood swings, depression, vaginal dryness, low sex drive, hot flushes and sleep problems are all common symptoms. As well as directly impacting those assigned female at birth going through the menopause, some symptoms like mood swings and behaviour changes can affect the people close to them too.

Whilst you cannot prevent the menopause, the good news is that there are several ways to manage and treat symptoms. Some people will benefit from hospital treatments, prescribed medication, or mental health support. Whilst for others, simple lifestyle changes could be enough to support their mood and improve any physical discomfort. It’s important to remember that the menopause affects people in different ways – it’s not a one-size fits all approach!

Some women won’t need medical treatment, but making some simple lifestyle changes can help manage milder symptoms before they get worse…

Adjusting lifestyle factors can help… 

Speaking to other people who are also going through, or have recently experienced the menopause themselves, can provide a great source of comfort and reassurance. Whilst everybody’s symptoms are different and the impact on their lifestyles will vary, knowing that you’re not alone and that symptoms don’t last forever can make a huge difference.

Eat a healthy diet

Lower oestrogen levels can increase the risk of heart disease as well as osteoporosis (a disease that weakens the bones, increasing the risk of sudden fracture*). Reducing saturated fats and salt will help keep blood pressure lower, and eating calcium-rich foods like leafy greens, milk and low-fat yoghurts can help maintain stronger bones. Vitamin D from oily fish and eggs improves bone health too.

Minimising alcohol, processed sugar and caffeine can help improve heart health and reduce the likelihood of low mood or mood swings too.

Exercise and keep fit

Regular movement, in addition to exercise, can help to manage feelings of anxiety and stress. Plus, weight bearing exercises in particular can improve bone health and reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis, which is a risk associated with the menopause. Keeping up a consistent routine, especially during the dark winter months, isn’t always easy! 


Lack of sleep can be detrimental to your physical and mental health. Feeling irritable, depressed, forgetting things and making mistakes are all symptoms of being over-tired.

Cutting down on caffeine, especially after a certain time of the day, can help you to achieve a better night’s sleep. Try switching your phone off at a certain time or avoiding screens before bed. Keep your bedroom at a comfortable temperature and consider lighter bedding if you’re experiencing hot flushes. Avoid eating large meals or consuming alcohol close to bedtime and avoid napping during the day if you can. Making these changes will improve your sleep quality.

Over the counter medication such as melatonin can also help. But it’s best to speak to your GP if you feel you’re unable to manage your sleep problems. Read our blog ‘how to get a good nights sleep’ for more hints and tips on improving your quality of sleep.