Menopause used to be kept a secret and referred to discreetly as “the change”, but the baby boomers have changed all of that. What is great about this generation is they are not longer willing to accept inadequate healthcare for women.
For many years there were two options for dealing with menopausal symptoms; just suffer through it or take hormone replacement therapy (hrt). This standard hrt was derived from pregnant horse hormones prescripbed in one standard dose given to everyone. While some women did well on these hormones, as many as 2/3 quit taking them because of harsh side effects. Others refuse to take these hormones on moral reasons because of the inhumane treatment of these horses in order to obtain these hormones.
Previous generations were routinely prescribed strong hormones in a standard dose for every woman; prescribed by male doctors who didn’t really know the long term repercussions. Also, women of those generations were taught not to questions doctors and simply did what they were told, even if their bodies were not responding well. Since then, many female and caring male doctors have greatly improved upon the standard treatment of menopause.
Now there are many options for maintaining health throughout the menopausal transition and women can take the role of partners with their healthcare providers. Women who take an active role in their health can achieve optimal health and quality of life during the transition and after. With the Women’s Health Initiative stopping the clinical trials of hrt because of health risks, there has been much controversy and confusion about what women should do. Is it safer to take the hormones with the risk involved, or safer to not use hormone replacement and risk health conditions associated with the loss of hormones including: osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s and heart disease?
The controversy will probably continue for some time as researchers learn more, but fortunately there are safe answers women can implement today. With so many options available, no women needs to suffer through menopausal transition.
Bioidentical Hormones: For women who cannot go through this transition smoothly and have health concerns or symptoms which greatly interfere with their quality of life, there are other hormone options available today besides the traditional hrt derived from horse hormones. These hormones are made from plants (soybeans) and altered in a lab to be identical to your own human hormones – bioidentical. These are customized to the needs of your body in compounding pharmacy so that you get just the hormones you need and in the right amount for you. This is a wonderful option for women who had very bad reactions to the synthetic hormones in birth control pills and may not respond well to the traditional hrt.