Facebook Pixel

I am going thru menopause for 2 yrs. didn't know until this yr. 2009, how long do i have to take hormonal pills?

By May 20, 2009 - 10:40am
Rate This

I have been diagnosed with menopause, I am taking hormones from the pharmacy, I buy them over the counter, I don't like the ones my Dr. prescribed me they contain chemicals. How long does menopause last, and how long do I keep taking the hormonal pills, mine are Estro-Natural, no chemicals, I also deal with Hypothyrism since 2001, and anxiety, i take meds for that it is called clonazepam(klonopin)1mg. for my thyroid i take levoxythrozine 50 mg. I also take Omega 3, am I taking to much pills for my health, I do exercise at home, and take long walks. Deal with stress also taking care of my mom, who is elderly, 73 yrs. old. I am 52 yrs. old.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

M. Gonzalez

Add a Comment7 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

Well, I enjoyed reading all the helpful information as well. But I have some concerns of my own. I have been taking Estro Natural Extra Strength, for about a year now. I have heard from some friends that Black Cohosh Extracts is not good to take for long periods of time. What I am wanting to know is it safe or no. I am 31 yrs. old and I had a Hysterectomy a year and a half ago. I was taking prescription Estrogen and now I cant afford to take the prescribed. So I had to rely on the Estor Natural. Please let me know something.. Missy in Kansas

May 14, 2010 - 11:36am
(reply to Anonymous)

Hi, Missy,

Welcome to EmpowHer, and thanks for your question!

So am I correct in assuming that you are concerned about the amount of black cohosh already in your EstroNatural Extra Strength? Or are you thinking of taking another supplement of black cohosh in addition?

The Walgreens label for your product, which you can find here:


says that it has 40 mg of black cohosh in a 2-capsule dose. What I found about taking black cohosh was that it has been studied in people who have used it for up to six months without many adverse conditions, but that it hasn't been studied longer than that. And since the FDA doesn't strictly regulate herbs and supplements, there's not a guarantee of consistency or product safety.

Here's what the Mayo Clinic site says:

"Black cohosh is popular as an alternative to hormonal therapy in the treatment of menopausal (climacteric) symptoms such as hot flashes, mood disturbances, diaphoresis, palpitations, and vaginal dryness. Several studies have reported black cohosh to improve menopausal symptoms for up to six months, although the current evidence is mixed.

"The mechanism of action of black cohosh remains unclear and the effects on estrogen receptors or hormonal levels (if any) are not definitively known. Recent publications suggest that there may be no direct effects on estrogen receptors, although this is an area of active controversy. Safety and efficacy beyond six months have not been proven, although recent reports suggest safety of short-term use, including in women experiencing menopausal symptoms for whom estrogen replacement therapy is contraindicated. Nonetheless, caution is advisable until better-quality safety data are available. Use of black cohosh in high-risk populations (such as in women with a history of breast cancer) should be under the supervision of a licensed healthcare professional."

And here's a link to the Mayo's page about dosing:


And to its page on safety:


I am wondering why you had a hysterectomy? Because women who have hormone-sensitive conditions, such as cancer of the breast, ovaries or uterus, endometriosis or uterine fibroids, should avoid black cohosh until more is known about how it works and whether it has a hormonal effect. Here's a page with information on the latest study:


And here's a very thorough page on black cohosh from the National Institutes of Health's Office of Dietary Supplements:


So overall, I couldn't find any recommendations for black cohosh being used for more than six months. Does your doctor know that you're taking this supplement? It's always a good idea to take a bottle to your doctor's office so they can look at the ingredients and be sure, even if it's even just to check that it doesn't interact with anything else you might be taking.

Did you lose your insurance, Missy? Some pharmaceutical companies now help people with their prescription medicines who can't afford them. Or you may be able to get a prescription through your county health department. Do you think either of these is an option?

May 17, 2010 - 9:32am
EmpowHER Guest

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



February 8, 2010 - 9:50pm

Hello minieiris, In addition to Alison's incredible information, we asked Dr. Carrie Jones to get her feedback. Here's what she had to say:

"Menopause is different for every woman and the length of time she experiences the symptoms depends on family history, health, lifestyle, stress, diet, exercise...etc. On average it can last from 2-10 years but some women may experience it for more than 10 years. Unfortunately there is no test that can predict how long a woman's menopause will last.

The pills you are taking do not contain any hormones. They contain herbs and vitamins to help ease your symptoms of menopause. For some women, herbs can be really helpful with symptoms of hotflashes, nightsweats, irritability, and insomnia. Again, every woman is different and you may only need the estro-natural for a short period of time to help your symptoms or you may need to stay on it longer if your symptoms come back.

In menopause, it is really important to eat a healthy diet, reduce or eliminate sugar and caffeine, get enough sleep every night, and manage your stress. Take time to care for yourself and do things that make you happy."

Carrie Jones, ND
Tigard, Oregon

Did you find that information helpful?

May 22, 2009 - 11:22am
(reply to Tina Tran)

Hello, I am so glad that this site is full of info. for women, I sure found it very helpful, thanks again for your input, or feedback. God Bless

May 22, 2009 - 4:46pm

Menopause occurs naturally as your ovaries stop producing estrogen, and menopause is completed once you have not had a period for 12 months. After this time, you are considered to be "postmenopause".

You probably want to know how long the symptoms of menopause last? This depends on so many factors, and differs from woman to woman. What symptoms are you experiencing? It sounds like you are taking good care of yourself, through exercising, managing stress, as well as taking medication for hypothyroidism and anxiety.

Did you/do you have any of the following symptoms: menopausal hot flashes, night sweats, or vaginal symptoms of menopause, such as dryness, itching, burning and discomfort with intercourse?

According to the Mayo Clinic, long-term use of hormone therapy (estrogen) is not recommended for postmenopausal conditions (symptoms), but short-term hormone therapy (estrogen) may be recommended to prevent against the following conditions:
"* Osteoporosis. Studies show that hormone therapy can prevent the bone loss that occurs after menopause, which decreases the risk of osteoporosis-related hip fractures.
* Colorectal cancer. Studies show that hormone therapy can decrease the risk of colorectal cancer.
* Heart disease. Some data suggest that estrogen can decrease risk of heart disease when taken early in your postmenopausal years. A randomized, controlled clinical trial — the Kronos Early Estrogen Prevention Study (KEEPS) — exploring estrogen use and heart disease in younger postmenopausal women is under way, but it won't be completed for several years."

Have you talked with your doctor, and let him/her know that you are not taking the prescription hormone therapy, and are "self-medicating"? This needs to be shared with your doctor, so you can both discuss the pros/cons of your treatment, and make sure any complementary/alternative supplements you are taking are a safe part of your overall treatment. Remember--even though you are taking an over-the-counter "healthy" medication, it does not mean that it is automatically "safe"! OTC and "natural" vitamins and supplements are still potent enough to help, and therefore potent enough to cause harm. The phytoestrogens that you are taking---have you talked with your doctor about taking these instead of your prescription? Are they working for you in relieving your symptoms? If so, only you and your doctor will know how long you can safely and effectively continue to use them.

For example, something you may wan to speak with your doctor about (especially if the prescription was for both estrogen and progestin):
"For women who undergo menopause naturally, estrogen is typically prescribed as part of a combination therapy of estrogen and progestin. This is because estrogen without progestin can increase the risk of uterine cancer. Women who undergo menopause as the result of a hysterectomy can take estrogen alone."

I just looked up Estro-Natural, and found the ingredient list online (is this accurate)?
Hesperidin Concentrate: 100 mg
Sensoril- Ashwagandha root/leaf Extract: 50 mg
Butcher's Broom: 50 mg
Indole 3-Carbinol: 50 mg
Proprietary Estro-Choice Blend: 40mg (includes Licorice, Hops, and Pomegranate)
Nattokinase: 25 mg
Gamma Oryzanol: 25 mg
Other: Vegetable cellulose capsule, cellulose, silica, maltodextrin and magnesium stearate.

You can read about herbs and supplements that have been clinically studied and been shown as beneficial for menopause symptoms at the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM).

Further reading:
- Menopause at American College of Gynecologists and Obstetricians (ACOG)
- Menopause reference at EmpowHer
- Menopause reference at MayoClinic
- Menopause at MedlinePlus
- The ACOG produces a free consumer magazine for women in menopause, called Pause (click on orange link)

I hope this information helped some. Please let us know what additional questions you have!

May 21, 2009 - 12:39pm
(reply to Alison Beaver)

Hello Thank you so much for getting back to me on this Menopause subject, my Gyno. does know that I am taking over the counter estrogen, I didn't want to take the other meds he prescribed because my mother when she was menopausing her Gyno. which is mine prescribed her some hormonal meds.and one of them made her hemorrage, she was bleeding alot, so I don't want to take any chances on my health, I don't experience hot flashes anymore, and anxiety, sometimes I get moody, but not all the time. I don't have a sexual partner for over a yr. so I don't experience any of those symptoms. Thank God. I am going to call my Gyno. and ask him how long I should take Estro. Don't want to over medicate myself. will keep in touch!!
Thanks again

May 21, 2009 - 5:33pm
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy
Add a Comment

All user-generated information on this site is the opinion of its author only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for any medical conditions. Members and guests are responsible for their own posts and the potential consequences of those posts detailed in our Terms of Service.


Get Email Updates

Menopause Guide

HERWriter Guide

Have a question? We're here to help. Ask the Community.


Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!