Yuma, Arizona (NAPSI) - Thousands of women begin menopause every day in the United States. For many women, symptoms of menopause can be tough to get through, especially because they can last for many years. Symptoms such as night sweats can rob women of sleep, and hot flashes can cause embarrassment and anxiety.

If you think symptoms like these make day-to-day life harder, you are not alone. A 2012 survey showed that, of women between 45 and 60 years old who have menopausal symptoms, the majority of women report that their symptoms negatively affect their quality of life. The good news is that suffering is not your only option. Help is out there.

As women get older, their bodies begin to change—on the outside and on the inside. This change is due in part to a change in hormone levels. Menopause is a normal part of aging, but “normal” is different for every woman. Some women have few symptoms that last for a short time. Other women suffer greatly for many years.

Each woman will experience menopause differently, and there are also many ways that women can lessen their suffering. In some cases, women with mild symptoms may choose no treatment. However, many women have moderate and even severe physical symptoms as they go through menopause—such as hot flashes, night sweats and even bone loss. For these women, treatment can make a difference.

One such treatment is hormone therapy, the best known and most studied treatment for menopausal symptoms. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) states that “hormone therapy is the most effective FDA-approved medicine for relief of your hot flashes, night sweats or vaginal dryness” associated with menopause.

Today, many experts agree that hormone therapy can be a good option for women who are between the ages of 50 and 59, but it may not be right for every woman. There are risks associated with hormone therapy, so women should speak with their doctor about their health history, symptoms and treatment options.

“Women do not need to suffer during menopause,” said Michelle Warren, M.D., founder and medical director of the Center for Menopause, Hormonal Disorders and Women’s Health, as well as a professor of medicine and obstetrics and gynecology atColumbiaUniversityMedicalCenter. “Menopause may be a natural part of life, but these bothersome symptoms can be managed. I urge women to talk with their doctors about what they are experiencing, and to consider all of your treatment options.”

For more information about menopause and available treatment options, visit www.menopause.org, a site run by The North American Menopause Society, and www.hormone.org, a site run by The Hormone Health Network (the public education affiliate of The Endocrine Society). Women may also consult www.menopause.org for certified menopause practitioners.