Suffering Through Menopause - There Are Options

Posted on

Ask any woman that has been through, or is currently going through menopause, what is the worst part about it, and you will get a wide variety of answers. For some it is the night sweats, for others it is the hot flashes, and still others will report that the worse part is the vaginal dryness that makes intercourse very painful. No matter which symptoms that are the most hated. Most women would gladly take hormone replacement therapy, as long as it is safe. If you are experiencing the symptoms of menopause, there may be good news on the horizon. 

What Is Hormone Replacement Therapy?

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is the supplementing of the body's natural hormone levels to achieve certain results. It is most commonly used to treat women who are not only in the process of going through menopause, but who are experiencing severe menopausal symptoms as a result of reduced levels of estrogen and progesterone.

Do You Need HRT?

Estrogen and progesterone play important roles in your body. These two hormones help you body to process the amount of calcium that your body needs to have stronger bones. They help your body to maintain your levels of healthy cholesterol, as well as helps your body to produce natural lubrication that makes sex more comfortable. When your body begins to go through menopause, the amount of estrogen and progesterone that your body produces drops. When this happens you will start experiencing:

  • Night Sweats
  • Hot Flashes
  • Mood Swings
  • Sleep Problems
  • Vaginal Dryness
  • Higher risk of osteoporosis

If your symptoms are bad enough, or you have a family history of health issues such as osteoporosis, your doctor may prescribe HRT for you.. It is not for everyone. Due to the side affects that  HRT can have, doctors should not prescribe HRT for you if you have a history of blood clots, cancer, or heart or liver disease. The long term side affects simply outweigh the benefits.

What Alternatives Are There?

There are several alternatives to HRT that are currently on the market. One of these are bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. These are natural hormones that reflect the exact molecular structure of the hormones that your body would naturally make. While they are not available in nature in the form that your body needs, they can be created, or synthesized, from plant chemicals most commonly found in yams and soy.  There are many FDA approved bioidentical hormone replacement therapies on the market and they can be found in a wide range of pill, patch, and cream forms. 

There are also many natural remedies that are being touted as an alternative to HRT. While many people have reported that they have achieved relief from these, there are no valid studies that have proven that they work. 

What Can You Do?

Only you and your doctor can click here and decide whether HRT, or even bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is right for you. Whichever way you decide to go, there are other things that may bring you some form of relief. Some of these are: 

  • Keep a diary. Record what you are doing, eating, or drinking when your symptoms start to develop. Look for patterns. You may find that caffeine, alcohol, stress, spicy foods or certain environmental factors are triggers to your hot flashes, or even your night sweats. Once you begin to see a pattern developing, try avoiding these things to see if it makes a difference.
  • Keep night sweats at bay by staying cool. Place cover on your bed in layers versus one heavy comforter or quilt. This will allow you to quickly throw off and reduce the amount of cover you have on you at any given time.

There are multiple products on the market designed to keep your pillow cool. Some are the actual pillow, while other products can be used with the pillow you currently prefer. Often times, keeping your head and neck cool will help to regulate the temperature throughout your body.

Reduce your body temperature by taking a cool shower prior to going to bed, then turn down the thermostat, or keep air circulating by using the ceiling fan. 

  • Exercise have been shown to reduce your menopause symptoms, or shorten the period of time that you go through menopause. There are a wide variety of exercises that will not only help to strengthen your bones, improve your cardiovascular health, but will even help with the weight gain that is very common during menopause. 
  • Learn deep breathing exercises. These will not only help you to relax, but they can get you through some of the worst hot flashes without causing you to disrobe in public.

As you are going through just remember, the symptoms of menopause will not last forever. This too will past.