Menopause occurs in women at the age of around 50 years, this transitional phase can be pleasing, relatively serene or turbulent. To cross this obligatory step gently, and avoid much discomfort, here’s what you need to do to restore the hormonal balance.

Menopause marks the end of ovarian function (ovulation) in women. A natural phenomenon it is part of the normal aging process. Symptoms associated with it vary according to women. There are several steps which will help reduce the discomfort and help you pass through this stage of life serenely.

Signs and Symptoms of Menopause

As the monthly cycle begins to change, the production of estrogen and progesterone becomes unpredictable and the number of eggs stored in the ovaries decreases. These hormonal changes can cause various symptoms including irregular periods, night sweats, hot flashes, fatigue, pain, urinary incontinence, vaginal fluid changes, sleep disturbances and mood swings.

The Female Body

Hormone replacement therapy or replacement therapy with hormones for estrogen alone or a combination estrogen-progestin is prescribed to counteract the decrease of estrogen and progesterone. Some researchers, like Dr. John Lee, argue that this is not the lack of estrogen, but the imbalance that develops between estrogen and progesterone that is involved. In menopause, progesterone levels drop faster than that of estrogen. Hormone replacement therapy would cause a physiological imbalance in favor of estrogen dominance. Synthetic progestins do not play the same role as protector of progesterone.

Since 2002, after a series of scientific articles, mainly inspired by the landmark Women’s Health Initiative were published, This belief ended prematurely because it was found that HRT increased the risk of breast cancer, cardiovascular disease and pulmonary embolism. However several uncertainties remain. Many researchers believe that the risks, especially in the long term, exceed the benefits. HRT is thus avoided, except to treat severe symptoms that no other treatment can relieve.

A Low-Dose Treatment Option

The World Summit on menopause (First Global Summit on Menopause-Related Issues), was held in Zurich in March 2008, and it concluded that HRT was safe for most women and the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Canada has reviewed its position. New treatment options are offered to women as well, but the research on these is based on how to relate to different modes of administration and not to the relevance of this therapy. The carcinogenic potential of HRT is still a serious concern.

As the research tends to show that the risks may outweigh the benefits, and especially since one will have to wait years to have a comprehensive picture of the long term effect, it is important to learn and explore alternatives, such as are bio-identical hormones rather than synthetic. Transdermal administration of estrogen rather than oral administration reduces the risks and side effects.