While many women turn to hormone replacement therapy (HRT), it may not be the best choice for everyone. Women at elevated risk for breast cancer – or those who have already survived it – are understandably concerned about its downsides and often are precluded from using hormonal therapies by their provider. With more than 80% of breast cancers occurring in women over the age of 50, the decision over how to safely alleviate the changes with menopause is a big one.
We've compiled a list of ten natural alternatives to HRT. Make sure you discuss these options with your healthcare provider to ensure you're considering each one within the context of your personal health profile. Our hope is that, with the right information and tools, you'll be able to feel a little more like yourself again.
Natural Alternatives to Hormone Replacement Therapy
HRT is one of the most common treatments for minimizing the symptoms of menopause, but many women have reasonable concerns about its risks.
Luckily, there are alternatives.
Here are some natural ways to reduce the symptoms of menopause:
- Focus on good nutrition and exercise
- Cut down on alcohol, coffee and nicotine
- Reduce stress or improve stress management (cortisol makes symptoms worse)
- Avoid hot environments, beverages and spicy food and sip cold or iced drinks
- Keep a cool water face mist on hand
- Wear layered clothing made from natural fibers
- Opt for a lukewarm shower or bath
- Keep a towel by your bed in case of night sweats
- Keep your bedroom as cool as possible
- Give yoga, hypnotherapy or acupuncture a try (some women swear by it!)
When you're combating these issues, having sex may feel like the last thing you want to do. Believe it or not, staying sexually active is a great way to promote natural lubrication, increase your libido and alleviate stress (which can exacerbate the symptoms of menopause if left unchecked).
Additionally, some plant estrogens, supplements and other medications may also be helpful. Ask your healthcare provider to explain the full range of options available to you, including the possible side effects of each.
Vaginal Dryness: What can you do about it?
For many menopausal women, the feeling that you are literally "drying up" is very real. Feeling uncomfortable in your body is the last thing you need. But there is some good news.
Options now exist to help. By harnessing the power of red light, which has a very high safety profile, vFit provides an all-natural, non-invasive way to encourage natural lubrication.
Designated a low-risk general wellness device by the FDA, vFit and vFit PLUS use gentle heat to warm vaginal tissue and help soothe dryness. The best part, it involves no surgery, hormones, or downtime.
So, while we may not have the option of bypassing the physical changes of menopause, there are ways to help alleviate them, from the comfort of home.