Don’t do it! Not unless you absolutely feel cornered and desperate.
HRT, hormone replacement therapy has been seen to increase your risk of developing various serious health conditions by huge percentages. The US Women’s Health Initiative did a study which published the following results for increased risk through taking a hormone replacement therapy during the menopause:
Coronary heart disease-related events 29%
Deep vein thromobosis, 200%
Blood clot in lungs, over 200%
Invasive breast cancer 24%
All cancers among previous HRT users 86%
Ovarian cancer 38%
Lung cancer 60%.
These are results not to be sniffed at. Having just crawled my way through the menopause I would emphatically like to say to you all, try the natural products first. They are milder, but HRT, as these statistics show, is simply not worth the risk except as a last resort.
What is the Menopause?
Menopause means – the last menstrual period and can take place from the age of 45 onwards. The average for the menopause is around 51, but thankfully we are all different. Different in the way the menopause affects us and different in how we choose to manage our menopause symptoms. Typical symptoms include hot flushes, mood swings, vaginal dryness, night sweats plus loss of concentration. In addition to this, the menopause increases our risk of heart disease and osteoporosis.
Natural and complimentary helps
All of us need a little extra support and understanding during these years, and many of us need a little extra help in the form of medication. Let’s take a look at the natural remedies and complementary therapies available. Some help in a preventative way, some help to relax, some are renowned for calming hot flushes or vaginal dryness and others just great for all round health in the menopause years. As a basic foundation a good quality multivitamin and mineral supplement would be a good idea at this time especially Vitamin E and C and Vitamin B complex.
Let’s take a look at the more specific natural alternatives:
Black Cohosh – a herbal preperation from the herb Actaea racemosa of the buttercup family, good at driving away insects and the preparation is thought to help keep at bay hot flushes, help reduce insomnia, depression and night sweats. Being a herbal remedy, black cohosh is mild and while it does help some with some of these symptoms, it does not help everyone. My conclusion is that it is well worth a try before heading down the HRT path. The trials that have been done on Black Cohosh tried it for 2 months taking 20mg twice a day.
Sea Buckthorn Oil – An oil from the sea buckthorn plant ( a Himalayan shrub) which is rich in essential fatty acids including omega 7 which is extremely effective in maintaining the health of the mucous membranes of our bodies including the vaginal tract. This little capsule should help with vaginal dryness – that very embarrassing and little mentioned symptom of the menopause.
Soya Isoflavones – Isoflavones are antioxidants that also act as phytoestrogens and are know to help fight against certain types of breast cancer. Soya beans are rich in these isoflavones. However is not with breast cancer that we are primarily concerned in this article. On the run up to the menopause(the perimenopause) the ovaries lose the ability to produce estrogen and progesterone. The diminishing production of estrogen can be central to mood fluctuation, irritability as well as diminishing bone density. By supplementing with isoflavones, the natural hormone replacement, these symptoms may be eased. Again, not strong enough for all women but well worth a try as there are many positive trial results that give isoflvones from soy or red clover its name of the natural HRT hormone.
I scraped through the menopause the natural way, and now reading the HRT statistics, I am very grateful that they are there to try. Even if they are not everyones cup of tea, they are cerainly mine.