Every woman has a different experience of menopause. Some women have debilitating symptoms. Others have very few. The main culprit behind many symptoms of menopause is lower levels of oestrogen.
The treatment(s) you choose for menopause will depend on your symptoms, medical history, and personal preference. The main categories of treatments include:
Menopausal Hormone Therapy (MHT) used to be called Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT).
MHT uses hormones that naturally occur in the body — oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone — to help smooth out the hormonal ups and downs of menopause.
There are different forms of MHT:
Already using MHT? You can order a repeat prescription here at InstantScripts®.
There are benefits and risks with MHT, so it’s important to talk to a doctor if you are considering it. Ask a GP:
InstantScripts® GPs can answer all your questions about MHT. Booking a consult is easy.
The benefits include improvements in symptoms like:
But not all women can or should use MHT. The risks of MHT depend on your age, the type and dose of hormone therapy you take, duration of treatment, and your medical history.
The most high-profile issue with MHT is a slightly increased risk of developing breast cancer or thrombosis (blood clots in the legs or lungs). This sounds very alarming. But be assured that a doctor will only prescribe MHT when the benefits for your health outweigh the risks.
You can find out more here.
Other side effects of hormone therapy that often go away with time, include:
You can talk to your doctor to find out if MHT will be right for you. If you are unable to take MHT, your doctor may suggest other medicines or strategies.
Tibolone: a synthetic (artificial) hormone that has a similar action to oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone
Antidepressants: prescribed to help reduce hot flushes, especially if you don’t want to or can’t take MHT
Some women use medicinal herbs and other supplements to relieve the symptoms of menopause. Current evidence supports:
Current evidence does not support using Black cohosh, dong quai, evening primrose, ginseng, and St. John’s wort. In testing, they perform no better than placebo.
Check with a GP before using any supplement or medicine you can buy over-the-counter from a pharmacy, supermarket or health-food shop.