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Hormones, Menopause and Vaginal Atrophy: Paths to Self-Advocacy

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hormones, menopause, vaginal atrophy can be roads to advocating for yourself Paul Thomas/Photodisc/Thinkstock

Ann Louise Gittleman holds a PhD, is a Certified Nutrition Specialist, and has written extensively about the impact of nutrition in menopause. Her most incisive point to me was that nobody was connecting the dots for menopausal women.

She gave the example of patients who were experiencing recurring urinary infections, even those who were not sexually active. She elucidated that the infections were the result of a “changing vaginal environment.” She said, “When the vaginal tissue atrophies, it makes the urethra more exposed and vulnerable.”

Gittleman has found the bioidentical cream Estriol to be especially effective, while still considered the weakest form of estrogen. She strongly supports getting a saliva test every two months to show what the balance between hormones is. “The key to what you need is in the test,” she said.

Gittleman believes that the progesterone to estradiol ratio tells the most—as the two hormones should be in balance. She sees progesterone as being important because it stabilizes uterine lining cell growth. For Gittleman, “Balance is everything.”

For those women who prefer a strictly homeopathic approach, Gittleman recommends that they find a practitioner in that field, in order to obtain an individualized program tailored to their unique biochemical needs.

Dr. Laurie Steelsmith, a licensed naturopathic physician specializing in women's health, fits that description.

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EmpowHER Guest

Please check out Dr. Steelsmith's suggestions, which are holistic. The link you included had several suggestions that also seemed worth exploring. And when you visit your doctor, ask about compounded alternatives.
Good luck!

September 6, 2012 - 9:45am
EmpowHER Guest

I am trying to take a natural approach to dryness. I don't want to take HRT, but will this work? http://www.womentowomen.com/understandyourbody/symptoms/vaginaldryness.aspx

September 3, 2012 - 3:10pm
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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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