Although menopause is a natural part of a woman's life, it can have some difficult and painful symptoms. The most common side effects of menopause are hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, vaginal dryness, and vaginal atrophy. The most effective treatment for these symptoms is hormone replacement therapy. However, a range of treatments exists to treat menopause symptoms, and they vary widely in price and effectiveness.
Hormone Replacement Therapy
It can be difficult to estimate how much hormone replacement costs because it differs depending on the type of hormone replacement therapy being taken, the type of insurance the woman has, and the state or country where the woman is living. However, it is standard for insurance companies to at least partially cover hormone replacement therapy for menopausal women.
Studies done in the United Kingdom and United States have overwhelmingly shown that hormone replacement therapy is cost effective. This means that the price of hormone replacement is worth it because of the positive impact it has on a woman's overall well-being. It is cost effective even when symptoms are mild, because hormone replacement therapy reduces a woman's likelihood of osteoporosis and other medical conditions.
Keep in mind
As opposed to hormone replacement therapy, the cost effectiveness of herbal supplements is not clear. Some studies show that herbal supplements and nutrients - such as black cohosh, red clover, and vitamin D - have no more than a placebo effect when it comes to treating menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and mood swings. However, some women use these supplements to reduce their symptoms, and some studies support that these herbal remedies really do have a positive effect.
Many people also see herbal supplements as affordable. If herbal supplements work for a woman, or if she is medically unable to take hormone replacement therapy, an herbal supplement may be a good option to reduce menopausal symptoms.
Acupuncture also makes claims that it can treat menopause symptoms, but research has not shown great benefit. Acupuncture sessions can vary widely in price, and if no improvements are seen, then the therapy is not cost effective.
Although finding a treatment for menopause symptoms can be a financial strain, in many cases, it is worth it to find a treatment to reduce symptoms and improve long-term health. Natural supplements and lifestyle changes can both play a role in boosting a woman's health and relieving menopause symptoms.
Many questionable treatments, such as bioidentical hormones, exist that mislead and manipulate women. Talk to your physician to discuss what treatment options are best for you when it comes to combating menopausal symptoms.
- Laughlin-Tommaso, S.K. (2014). Are "bioidentical" or "natural" hormones safer and more effective than hormones used in traditional hormone therapy for menopause symptoms? Retrieved October 7, 2015, from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/menopause/expert-answers/bioidentical-hormones/faq-20058460
- Lekander I., Borgström F., Ström O., Zethraeus N., Kanis J.A. (2002). Cost-effectiveness of hormone therapy in the United States. Journal of Women's Health, 18(10), 1669-1677. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2008.1246.
- Lekander I., Borgström F., Ström O., Zethraeus N., Kanis J.A. (2009). Cost-effectiveness of hormone replacement therapy for menopausal symptoms in the UK. Menopause International, 15(1), 19-25. doi: 10.1258/mi.2009.009004