Women who are suffering from the adverse effects of menopause are often desperate to alleviate their symptoms. Uncomfortable night sweats, hot flashes, and vaginal dryness can adversely affect a woman's overall quality of life, and it can leave many women searching for answers. However, women should be aware of both the different options and treatments for menopause and their side effects before beginning any treatments.
What Is Hormone Replacement Therapy?
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is one of the treatments for menopause, and it is designed to replace progesterone and estrogen hormones in women's bodies. Hormone replacement therapy balance the body's hormone levels when they become depleted during menopause. It is used as one of the most intensive menopausal treatments and has both benefits and risks.
Benefits of HRT
HRT can considerably increase a woman's quality of life by managing menopause symptoms such as hot flashes and vaginal dryness. It has also been shown to reduce the risk of osteoporosis; however, there are other medications that are just as effective for this, but carry far fewer risks.
Risks of HRT
Many studies have shown that HRT as a menopausal treatment can be extremely hazardous to a woman's health if taken for more than five years. HRT is not one of the long term treatments for menopause that women should use to combat unpleasant menopause symptoms. Studies have shown that HRT can be linked to serious health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, blood clots, and ovarian and uterine cancer.
Although it is important to understand the different treatments available for menopause, women should always discuss their treatment options with their medical practitioners. There are many treatments available for menopausal symptoms.
Other Treatments for Menopause
There are a number of hormone balancing treatments that have the potential to assist in menopause relief.
Lifestyle changes can be an effective menopause treatment for many women. A healthy, balanced diet, regular exercise, and the avoidance of alcohol are changes that you have to take that can be very effective. This is because a healthy body is the first defense necessary for any other treatments of menopause to be as effective as possible. Before a woman begins any further treatments, she should make healthy lifestyle changes.
Natural supplements such as black cohosh have been reported by some women to be effective treatments for menopause. They can often reduce unpleasant menopause symptoms and help balance the body's hormone levels. Other reportedly helpful treatments include acupuncture, homeopathy, and massage.
However, if a woman's chosen treatments for menopause are not working, they should consider other, stronger therapies. Doctors will often offer women hormone replacement therapy as an effective treatment for menopause.
Click on the following link to learn more specifics about the different treatments for menopause.
- BMJ Group. "Menopause: What is it?" Patient Leaflet. 2007.
- Hopkins, Virginia. Lee, John R. M.D. What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause. New York: Warner Books Inc., 1996.
- Love, Susan M.D. Menopause and Hormone Book. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2003.
- Martin, Raquel. The Estrogen Alternative. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 2000.