As the last of the baby boomers head full force into menopause, many want to know how they can make the next few years of life livable.
But Lauren Rowe found several new options for women dealing with hot flashes, night sweats, and weight gain.
[WEB EXTRA: Hot Flash Treatments]
“I have gained 40 pounds.”
“I'd get really hot from head to toe.”
“I literally started to cry and that's not me.”
49-year-old Ronda Grant has been dealing with menopause symptoms for two years already.
But she's not the only one living with it.
“I feel frustrated and helpless,” said her husband Ed who is right by her side, “The natural male instinct to fix things. I want to try and do something, but all I can do is hold her hand and say it will be ok.”
“You see people on TV talk about it and they always seemed like they're older,” said Grant.
But the fact of the matter is the average woman goes through menopause at age 51.
The symptoms often begin years earlier and can last for a decade.
“I tried some over the counter stuff and my doctor told me you have to take it for three to four weeks before you'll feel the effects, well I took it for two months,” said Grant.
That's when she turned to her doctor who prescribed, of all things, an anti-depressant.
“I guess it might have taken the slightest edge off,” said Grant.
And not just her mood.
Grant is one of the 20 percent of women surveyed in a recent study who say anti-depressants have reduced their hot flashes.
Grant is not, however, interested in hormone replacement therapy. She says she worries about cancer risks.
“I like to have a candid discussion with my patient,” said gynecologist Christine Greves, who says patient worries over hormone therapy come as no surprise to her.
After all, Greves says, managing menopause is different for every woman.
“Everything is boiled down to a risk versus benefits and alternatives scenario,” said Greves.
But after more than a decade of study, women and their doctors finally have a definitive research to use as a guide.
It show using a combination of estrogen and progesterone is safe as long as it's for a short period of time -- less than five years, and there's little family history of cancer or heart disease
But Greves cautioned, “It does become more risky the older a woman is.”