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Alternatives to HRT

What alternatives are there to HRT?

The use of HRT during the menopause can be controversial. Before a decision is made, many women seek information on what else they can use. Here, our menopause expert Eileen Durward explores the alternatives to HRT, helping you reach an informed decision on the type of treatment that is right for you.

Eileen talks about: Alternatives to HRT

Symptom-relieving drugs

There are many drugs prescribed or recommended by your doctor which can be used to relieve the symptoms of menopause. For example:

  • Non-hormonal drugs which reduce the symptom of hot flushes brought about from menopause are available.
  • Moisturisers and non-oestrogen lubricants can be used against vaginal dryness.
  • There are also drugs to protect against diseases such as osteoporosis, heart disease and to lower cholesterol, which are more likely to be contracted once the production levels of oestrogen have dropped.

Soy Products

Soy has similar properties to oestrogen, although the effects on the body are not as strong. Soy has been seen to decrease the frequency and intensity of hot flushes, lower cholesterol, slightly increase bone density and benefit blood vessels in the same way as oestrogen.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and managing stress

For women who start the menopause after the age of 45, or women who are not affected by the symptoms of the menopause, HRT is not necessary. However, whether taking HRT or not, it is important to stay healthy. This includes:

  • Maintaining a healthy lifestyle through regular exercise, a balanced diet rich in fresh fruit and vegetables with a limited alcohol intake and no smoking. Other strategies may be implemented to reduce the risk of for example, osteoporosis and heart disease.
  • Managing stress is vital for staying healthy. Managing stress can also help relieve the symptoms of the menopause. Techniques such as yoga, acupuncture and meditation are beneficial in the management of stress.

Natural remedies

Many women look for natural remedies as an alternative to HRT. Such remedies include:

  • Sage – a member of the Lamiaceae family native to the Mediterranean region. It is used to control the effects of menopause and is used to regulate mood.
  • Black Cohosh - a member of the buttercup family, native to North America. It is widely used to treat the symptoms of the menopause.

Alternative therapies

  • Acupuncture – this is an ancient form of Chinese medicine which involves stimulating certain points on the body to correct any imbalances. It has been shown to relieve the symptoms of the menopause, particularly hot flushes.
  • Tai Chi – this is a Japanese martial art which has become recognised as an effective way of controlling the symptoms of menopause, relieving muscle tension and reducing the onset of osteoporosis.
  • Yoga – this is a Hindu discipline which involves breathing exercises and controlled body positions to relax the body and mind. Many women who have employed Yoga techniques have experienced the benefits. It strengthens the body so it is able to cope with the symptoms of menopause and it elevates mood.

A.Vogel’s Menopause Mondays: The symptoms you need to get checked

This week’s A.Vogel’s Menopause Mondays I explain why it’s important to go and see your doctor if you are experiencing certain symptoms. I take a closer look at a few symptoms and explain why they may not be what they seem and why it’s important to get them checked. Plus, I provide you with a helpful checklist which may benefit you when you go to see your doctor.

Missed one? Watch them all on my menopause blog.

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How I survived the menopause

What is happening to me? I know I asked this, so if you are asking it too, don’t worry, you are not alone! The menopause can be a daunting, confusing and scary time if you let it be, but as they say, knowledge is power.

I use my personal experience of going through the menopause (and surviving it) to offer support and guidance to help you have a happier, healthier menopause.

I survived the menopause and so can you!

Don't go through the Menopause alone!

Menopause expert Eileen Durward explains the benefits of joining the A.Vogel Menopause Health Hub.

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This week's talking point

HRT 'increases ovarian cancer risk' Well ladies, it's in the news again. According to a recent study, HRT has been linked to an increased risk of ovarian cancer in women taking it for over 5 years.

Menopause Expert Eileen Durward looks at the medical facts behind the news headlines.

What do you think?

Have you found what you read useful? If so, I would love if you would leave your comment below. Thanks Eileen Durward

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