By: Amber Scrivner, RNC, OGNP

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) has been a controversial arena but now along with other therapies more options are available. I am a big advocate of HRT, but as with any medications, one has to look at risk versus benefit for each patent. Some patients are not candidates for HRT, and others want a non-hormonal treatment option.

The most bothersome symptoms for menopausal patients are hot flashes, night sweats, and sleep disturbances. These symptoms can be treated with hormonal therapy with estrogen. The goal with estrogen is to use the lowest dose possible to treat symptoms. If you have a uterus, the addition of progesterone is needed to protect the uterine lining. Progesterone also assists with sleep.

Non-hormonal options are also available such as medications that treat depression but are also beneficial in treating hot flashes. One such medication is Paroxetine (Brisdelle). Another non-hormonal option is a plant-based medication, Relizen. Relizen is made from a blend of pollen extract from flowers grown in Sweden.

Lifestyle changes can also be a benefit for patients. Avoid hot rooms, spicy foods, alcohol caffeine, stress, and smoking. Wear clothing that is breathable and layer your clothing. Exercising regularly can help promote more restful sleep. Medication and yoga are great ways to reduce stress. For nighttime sleeping, layer bedding, use fans and keep a froze cold pack under your pillow.

Many women proceed through menopause with no bothersome symptoms. If you are suffering, know that there are many more options available than what our grandmothers or even mothers had for treatment.

Call the office today. I am happy to help you through this journey!