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Menopause with no hormone treatment?

By September 24, 2008 - 9:24am
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Has anyone gone through menopause 5 years ago or longer and done it completely without any hormonal help at all?

I am in my second year of menopause after about five years of perimenopause. I have not used hormones of any kind and seem to have gotten through at least the physical effects (hot flashes, etc) without tearing my hair out.

But I have noticed other changes -- in my skin, my hair, and my libido -- that bother me, and I know that our hormones affect all these things. I'm now wondering if my decision (almost by default; I just didn't have an extraordinarily tough transition) to go hormone-free was made in haste, and if I should reconsider.

Does anyone have the experience of 5 or 10 years post-menopause without hormones? Are you happy with your decision?

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EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

need to correct my typos.....take maca daily......for a couple of weeks
i recommend this and it works....went off of it and could telll a big difference and bought some more.
i take that and the estroven over the counter every day........
sometimes when i have trouble sleeping i will take melatonin and some magnesium just before bed and that really will knock out the stresses keeping you awake.....but you will need to go to the bathroom the next morning....which i like.....that slows down with age also and most women are magnesium deficient anyways....
make sure you take your calcium during this age in life....we need that also with all these horomonal things but maca helps with bone health....too.
google it and find out more..

November 30, 2009 - 9:01am
EmpowHER Guest

Hi , I believe I am now going from peri-menopause to full menopause. I am getting 3 - 4 hot flashes a day, feel a little depressed at times, sleep disturbance but apart from that am coping. I am hoping it will not get any worse. I take natural vitamin e capsules and essential fatty acids. I noticed my skin started to age, but have upped my skincare routine and it is back to normal. I have put a little weight on but that is through wrong diet. I am now eating healthy and taking exercise and hopefully will get through it. How long does it take for symptoms to go away?

October 28, 2009 - 3:23am
(reply to Anonymous)

Hi, Anon, and thank you for your question.

Full menopause is defined as when a woman has not had a period in a calendar year. How long has it been since you had a period?

While every woman is different of course, some of your symptoms will ultimately go away. My experience was that I dealt with night sweats or hot flashes pretty often for about 2-3 years of perimenopause and that they slowed down after about a year of menopause. But some things -- drier skin, hair and fingernails, for instance -- are here to stay. I'm so glad you're working on each symptom individually. Things like weight gain in the wrong places (usually around the middle) is also common and in many women it takes longer to lose it than it did previously.

How old are you, and how long have you been in perimenopause? Are you considering any hormone replacement therapy, or no?

October 28, 2009 - 9:24am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Diane Porter)

Hi , I am 52 and have not had a period for about 1 year now. I believe I have been in peri-menopause for around 2 years. I have not had too bad a time peri-menopausal, but it is the hot flashes that make me think I am now in full menopause. When people say "they have got through the menopause" does that mean all symptoms have gone , or does it mean they have to take hormone replacement for the rest of their lives, Do you ever get back to normality?

October 28, 2009 - 2:13pm
(reply to Anonymous)

Hi, Anon, and thank you for writing!

I think that generally when people say they have finished menopause or got through the menopause, they mean that their periods have totally ceased and that the major symptoms like hot flashes have stopped.

The medical definition of menopause is if you haven't had a period in a year. But your hormones can still be having their little fits for a couple years afterward.

The symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats do go away for most women in menopause. In other words, you are not going to have hot flashes for 40 years if you don't take hormone replacement. But there are changes in our bodies that are permanent because of the loss of estrogen. Some can be small, like changes in hair, skin and nails; some can be sexual, such as our level of arousal or our natural lubrication; others can be psychological, like mood changes. Each woman and her doctor should discuss what symptoms she is having and which ones particularly are bothersome before deciding for or against hormone replacement therapy.

It also matters whether you still have your uterus and/or your ovaries intact, as to what kinds of HRT you can use and what your risks are for such things as cancer later in life.

Does that help?

November 4, 2009 - 9:00am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Diane Porter)

Hi , I am 52 and have not had a period for about 1 year now. I believe I have been in peri-menopause for around 2 years. I have not had too bad a time peri-menopausal, but it is the hot flashes that make me think I am now in full menopause. When people say "they have got through the menopause" does that mean all symptoms have gone , or does it mean they have to take hormone replacement for the rest of their lives, Do you ever get back to normality?

October 28, 2009 - 2:13pm
EmpowHER Guest

I'm 48 years old and began perimenopause about 4 years ago with very heavy periods and a few hot flashes. This year I have had only one period (six months ago) and I've had alot of night sweats and daytime hot flashes. I don't find myself wanting to eliminate the symptoms of menopause, though. Rather, I've decided to try and go through menopause sans meds and see what it's like. So far, I don't find the night sweats and hot flashes to be that bothersome...I just dress in layers and fling the covers off when I get too hot at night. My libido is still very good and I haven't noticed any mood swings or other symptoms. (Although my metabolism has slowed some.) Maybe lifestyle makes a difference in menopausal symptoms? Even prior to menopause, I followed an organic, vegetarian diet (which includes alot of soy and almost no processed foods), I exercise regularly and maintain a healthy weight and make sure to incorporate activities that I love into my life. I don't drink alcohol, or smoke, or take caffiene in any form. I'm hoping to actually enjoy this time of my life.

October 20, 2009 - 4:53pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Anon, you are very lucky and have a wonderful attitude. My problem is that after eight years of this mess I'm tired of it. When I exert myself, vaccuming, washing floors, yard work I don't just sweat. I don't mind normal sweat when I am physically active. But this is five minutes with the vaccum and I am burning up and have this awful clostrophobic feeling. I also get anxious. Perhaps because I am feeling physically awful. I do have a good run of days now, about 4-5 with almost no hot flashes at all. And then when I am all happy about it, kaboom. They're back....big time. And according to my hubby, my moods are pretty awful also. Since it's been eight years since the cancer and the start of all this menopause business due to chemo, I am sure he is not linking things together anymore. You know, gosh you were sick a long time ago. What's that got to do with the fight you picked this time. And I do pick fights. I never, and I mean never even raised my voice to my husband before. Now after 30 years I am letting it ALL come out. Poor man. He is so good to me. Gets me whatever I want. Within reason of course. But I am still a b_tch sometimes. I try to make up for it. But I'm in menopause.....who wants sex? Not me. No interest, no desire, yes pain. Poor man. I am thinking Breast Cancer or not, I am going to try something. Most likely through a holistic practice. My oncologist might give me like a vaginal cream short term. Or he'll tell me to get my GYN to order it. And then he won't bother to call her. She wants to talk to him first.AAAGGGGG. I am only 57, I have many good sex years ahead of me. I would like to not be robbed of those years due to CANCER ER+/PR +. I will eat soy up the wazoo with flax seed overflowing....... Any ideas from the cyber world out there???? Val

November 2, 2009 - 10:58pm
(reply to Anonymous)


What an awesome attitude! Sounds like you are doing all the right things for yourself and your body and that they are paying off in big ways.

I do not have the sparkling-clean lifestyle you do. I am primarily a vegetarian, but not completely. I do exercise regularly. But I drink caffeine, and wine at night, and would like to get my sugar intake down in a big way.

I actually went through menopause fairly easily too, and have not yet used any HRT. My issues are coming now, a couple years past menopause, as I'm noticing things like some insomnia, forgetfulness, and drier skin and hair, for instance. Weight and metabolism do change, in annoying ways despite attempts to control them! And mentally, I can simply tell a difference in how I feel.

So it's just now that I'm starting to really pay attention to what others say about HRT. The statement that most often strikes me is when women say they "feel like themselves again." I completely relate to this and it is common enough that it makes me weigh the possibilities.

I'd be very interested if you'd come back and update us in another few months, and let us know how you're doing!!

October 21, 2009 - 11:00am

Thank you, NanaJones!!

Did you get your progesterone-like wild yam cream from an organic foods store? Or did you find it somewhere else? And have you stopped using both products now, or have you kept using them?

October 13, 2009 - 9:15am
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