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Hormone Therapy Options for Menopause

By Expert HERWriter
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Menopause, according to the Mayo Clinic, is the permanent end of menstruation and fertility, defined as occurring 12 months after your last menstrual period. There are many women whose menopausal symptoms are so severe that they interfere with their daily activities. To help women manage their symptoms some women choose to Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT).

HRT continues to be an area of interest for women that are having symptoms related to their transition. The advantages of hormone therapy can provide protection against heart disease, osteoporosis, and colorectal cancer in certain patients. The risks of taking hormone therapy are increase risk of heart disease, breast cancer, stroke, blood blots and increase of false positives on mammograms.

Because of the 2002 landmark nurses study on women and menopause, many women began to have concerns about when to take hormone therapy (HT). The recommendations for hormone therapy generally are to take the lowest dosage of the therapy for the shortest duration to help with symptoms. Hot flashes are usually the symptoms that are best corrected. Estrogen-only therapy is the gold standard for treatment.

The Analysis Group, Inc., conducted a study of over 54,000 women in Canada and found that women that used hormone therapy using a patch had lower risk of blood clots in their legs or lungs than those that took oral hormone therapy. The reason given for the better tolerance for the patch is the administration process into the body. Since lung clots can be fatal any reduction in the risk factor for blood clots is a good health benefit.

As a naturopathic physician I am obligated to include all of the options related to improve the menopausal symptoms for my patients. When I work to restore a women’s balance during menopause I always include recommendations on dietary support, additional nutritional support, weight loss(if needed), exercise and stress management. Finally I talk about hormone therapy support if needed or wanted by the patient. I will now include the option to use patches instead of oral including the reduction of blood clots as an advantage for the patch.


Add a Comment5 Comments

I am so glad I read your article and visited my M.D. he suggested the lowest HT possible dosage for me and now I am feeling so much better. My doctor spoke of HT treatments and was very clear on explaining to me that HT has come along way and that the lowest dose should help alot and there was no need to go any higher then that. I was so sick having the hot flashes. The hot flashed lasted for 10 min and I was having severe headaches along with feeling sick to my stomach every day. So thanks again this article was a blessing.

November 20, 2012 - 7:13pm

Several points missing in this article---1. the 2002 WHI study used synthetic/monster hormones, and they were given orally. The hormones used in that study were not bioidentical, and yet nearly every media article you read lumps all hormones together. 2. True hormonal balance is not just sticking an estrogen patch on, I see nothing in this article about progesterone (and all women need progesterone---I haven't had a uterus in 9 years, and I have been taking progesterone for 5, it cured my hot flashes in 3 days, and my seasonal allergies, restless leg syndrome and acid reflux in less than 2 weeks) nor do I see any mention of testosterone. 3. The lowest dose for the shortest duration of time----why, because we are going to suddenly start generating our hormones again? Optimization of hormones goes way beyond just menopausal issues, hormones affect EVERY system in the body. My osteopenia was cured with testosterone optimization and Vitamin D (Vitamin D is a prohormone). I do not understand why this is still so controversial, women at the peri/menopausal transition have a hormone deficiency, not an antidepressant deficiency. If anyone would like a list of resources to help you find a doctor/compounding pharmacy in your area who deals with bioidentical hormones, please feel free to drop me a line at holyhormones@gmail.com and I will get the information right out to you. Best wishes to all for hormonal health!

September 4, 2011 - 8:52am
(reply to Holy Hormones)

THANK YOU for mentioning progesterone! I was scrolling through the comments in search of anyone who disagreed with this article and its fixation with dosing women with artificial hormones. Fortunately, you beat me to it, and in a thorough way.

I took Dr. John Lee's ProgesterAll cream for the entire 5 years I was in menopause. Within a couple of days my hot flashes subsided to a minimum, my insomnia stopped, and I felt clear in my mind again.


And it wasn't just me. I gave away bottles of the stuff, and every woman had positive results. Hot flashes are highly individual so the reports about them varied from completely stopping them to significantly lessening them. But every one of the women I passed the progesterone cream to reported sleeping better after struggling with persistent menopause-related insomnia. OF COURSE this helps make your mind clearer and your body more rested.

Dr. John Lee's ProgesterAll formula is 100% natural. There's no fear of putting more chemicals in our bodies. It's applied topically, as you would any lotion. And the cost is reasonable, especially vs. the estrogen patch.

I fully agree with you about the confusion over why this is still an issue. For 99.5% of women, menopausal symptom relief and control can be easily & naturally achieved without breaking the bank.

Thanks for your post. I stopped taking the progesterone cream once menopause passed, but now that you mention osteopenia, I'm heading back to Dr. John to see what he has to say about it.

June 2, 2013 - 10:23am
EmpowHER Guest

Excellent article, Dr. Dae.

I have to say that I'm encouraged that people are starting to look more deeply into how "the change" can best be dealt with.

One thing’s for sure — the standard drugs that are being marketed to women leave much to be desired. We need something better than rebranded horse urine, ie. Premarin. (More about Premarin here: http://www.bhrcenter.com/menopause.html)

It's important that women realize that they need to be responsible for making sure they get the care they need. No one will care about us as much as we do!

September 2, 2011 - 5:32pm

Thank you for this article.I am going to my MD for some help with menopause.I read some aricles already on EmpowerHer and realized that I needed to go and seek medical attention for this issue. I will mention the patch for hormone replacement I am just hoping I will be able to pay for it as I do not have benefits.I do my best to keep healthy by excerise and eating good and now with EmpowerHer guidance I feel empowered with all the knowledge you have offered me.I do not take any medications only vitamins daily.If all goes well here in Canada hopefully the patch will be a hopeful choice to me as I know I do have severe menopause symptoms,Hot fashes 4 to 5 times,lightheaded, nausea, constant headaches and above which I noticed irritable,lashing out at people,really for no good reason.

September 2, 2011 - 8:38am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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