Treating Menopause Naturally

Plant-based, Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) for hormone-related transitions can be extremely beneficial for alleviating the debilitating symptoms, as well as promoting optimal health.

Using BHRT in a low dose and safe manner essentially eliminates the health risks of previously utilized high dose synthetic hormone replacement therapy (HRT).

Perimenopause and menopause are natural life changes. Perimenopause occurs eight to 10 years before you officially hit menopause. Perimenopause typically begins in your 30s and 40s and is marked by a drop in estrogen, which is the main female hormone produced by the ovaries. The average age of menopause is 50-52, yet ranges from 37-55 years old. Women who have undergone a hysterectomy, or surgical menopause, where both ovaries have been removed, experience sudden and total menopause.

The perimenopausal period, which is a transitional time where hormone levels fluctuate prior to when women completely stop menstruating, is marked by period irregularity. Perimenopause lasts up until menopause, the point when the ovaries stop releasing eggs. In the last 1-2 years of perimenopause, the drop in estrogen accelerates. At this stage, many women can experience menopause symptoms.

Perimenopause and menopause can be challenging with debilitating symptoms including: fatigue, hot flashes, night sweats, migraines, and rapid heartbeat; joint and muscle pain, insomnia, poor memory, mood changes with depression, anxiety and irritability, breast tenderness, vaginal atrophy with dryness, itching, bleeding, painful intercourse and decreased libido; and urinary frequency, urgency and incontinence with increased susceptibility to infection such as UTIs.

Fortunately, hormone levels can be adjusted and stabilized through BHRT. Hormone levels can be tested and patients can begin treatment with BHRT using hormones that are molecularly identical to those produced by the human body. Symptoms can be alleviated within weeks.

Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy

BHRT uses custom-made hormone formulations derived from plant material specific for each individual patient and can include DHEA, estrogen, progesterone and/or testosterone. The hormones can be delivered using creams, gels, pills or pellets. BHRT can provide symptom relief, protective benefits, and decrease the risk of osteoporosis as well as enhance long-term quality of life. Within one or two months vitality, sleep, mental clarity, and balanced mood can be restored. Women are usually on BHRT for two years.

Other natural therapies I consider for my patients include phytoestrogens (plants with estrogenic response), diet modification and exercise that can be used in addition to or in place of BHRT. I can evaluate you for menopause as well as risks of osteoporosis, heart disease, and cancer suggest you on a safe, comprehensive, treatment plan. I also prescribe vaginal low dose estriol cream to address recurrent UTIs and interstitial cystitis due to lack of estrogen that is common for postmenopausal women. – Valinda Riggins Nwadike, OB-GYN, “Fairfax Woman Magazine”