Most women don't need treatment for the menopause, with only about 10% seeking medical advice.
If symptoms are mild, they may be managed without medication.
Medication may be recommended if symptoms are more severe and they're interfering with your day-to-day life. The use of medications (including HRT) is considered when an assessment indicates that a woman's quality of life would be significantly improved with the use of treatment.
Treatment options include:
vaginal lubricants / estrogen
hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
tibolone (similar to HRT)
antidepressants (most commonly Venlafaxine)
The type of treatment that's suitable for you will depend on your symptoms, medical history and your own preferences.
HRT and tibolone don't provide contraceptive protection, and although your fertility will decrease during the menopause, it may still be possible for you to conceive. You should therefore continue to use contraception:
for one year after your last period if you're over 50 years of age
for two years after your last period if you're under 50 years of age
A great source of information for women entering the menopause is the Australian Menopause Society website.
They have a collection of videos which are very helpful. These can be found HERE.
Below are links to documents published by the society.
Diagnosing menopause - it's not as easy as you might think!
Genito-urinary syndrome of menopause - changes that occur to the vagina and bladder with menopause
Vaginal changes in menopause - discomfort particularly with intercourse can become a major problem
Combine HRT - Oestrogen and progesterone - this is the HRT you need if you have a uterus
Oestrogen only HRT - this is the HRT you need if you have had a hysterectomy