Menopause treatment: hormones and other alternatives

Treatment of menopausal symptoms may begin before it occurs, but it is not always recommended or necessary. It is important that not only the gynecologist is consulted at this stage, but also other specialties so that health care is complete.

Due to aging, metabolic changes can lead to weight gain, which is why the endocrinologist and nutritionist are needed to assess metabolic and dietary conditions. In addition, the endocrine may accompany other conditions or diseases, such as diabetes , high blood pressure or cholesterol.

Gastroenterologists and cardiologists are other specialties recommended for general check-up, which must be performed annually.

In addition, it is always recommended to assess the need for psychological counseling. It is worth remembering that not everyone needs psychiatric medication, but therapy is a measure of maintaining health and mental quality.

Improving quality of life and well-being is the main point of treatment, which should always be discussed and evaluated with the doctor.

Hormonal and non-hormonal drug alternatives can be used, in addition to other therapeutic practices.

Drug treatments should be considered as short-term resources, with the aim of controlling symptoms.

Complementary or alternative therapies can be adopted without a determined time, since non-chemical measures to improve the quality of life must extend throughout life.

Currently, hormone replacement for disease or long-term prevention is no longer recommended.

Learn a little more about some options:

Hormone therapy (hormone replacement)

Hormone therapy aims to combat the most debilitating symptoms caused by the hormonal drop. Vaginal dryness, skin changes, compromised bone mass, sleep and mood changes are some of the symptoms that most benefit from replacement.

The presentation of hormones is varied, and it can be by oral intake (tablets), gel or topical creams, adhesives or injectables, for example.

When there are limited symptoms, such as vaginal dryness, there is the possibility of administering estrogen-based drugs directly into the vagina, through a cream, pill or vaginal ring.

In this procedure, small doses of the hormone are released so that the dryness in the region relieves, decreasing the friction of the vaginal mucosa.

Dosages should be as small as possible, aiming only at establishing the patient’s balance and comfort, always considering the risks that the therapy may offer.

In general, menopause therapy should be planned with the shortest possible time. In other words, according to the Ministry of Health, the medications must remedy the woman’s discomfort and improve the quality of life, returning the patient’s well-being.

For women who decide to start hormonal treatment, the average time of use should be 4 years and always considering the possible adverse effects. In addition, other remedies may be combined or used in isolation to alleviate symptoms.

When the patient presents with diabetes, endometriosis and uterine fibroids or pre-disposition for any type of cancer , hormone replacement should be properly discussed and evaluated with the doctor.

But hormonal use can pose health risks and, according to the Ministry of Health, therapy is discouraged when there is:

  • Breast cancer;
  • Endometrial cancer;
  • Severe liver disease;
  • Unclear genital bleeding;
  • History of acute and recurrent thromboembolism;
  • Porphyria

However, some studies assess the risks and benefits of adopting hormonal therapy before the end of menstruation, thus, replacement begins as a preventive and symptom-reducing method.

The method is known as resetting in the window of opportunity. That is, take advantage of the fact that the symptoms have not yet manifested and the woman has not yet suffered the effects of age and the lack of estrogen, to offer hormones.

The window of opportunity, according to supporters, could reduce the risks of complications caused by the hormonal drop.

However, several experts and studies, such as a review published in the Brazilian Archives of Endocrinology and Metabology, point out that, considering the current knowledge about the effects of hormone therapy, there is no evidence that it is safe or beneficial to start hormone-based drugs as a preventive method.

Non-hormonal treatment

Some symptoms, such as heat, excessive sweating, fatigue and emotional changes can be alleviated with the use of non-hormonal therapies, which can be through the use of antidepressants, anti-dopaminergics, vasoactive and hypnosedatives.

In addition, medications necessary to treat or stabilize other illnesses, such as diabetes, high blood pressure or osteoporosis (which can be triggered or worsened by the onset of menopause) must be maintained or initiated .

Alternative therapies

The Ministry of Health also considers natural medicine, complementary practices and herbal medicine as part of the non-hormonal drug treatment.

Resorting to alternative and natural measures to alleviate the symptoms is a valid and recognized practice, which can bring benefits to the organism and quality of life, as long as they are properly accompanied by qualified professionals.

Some options that can bring good results to the well-being of women are:

Phytotherapy

Women interested in adopting phytotherapy during climacteric or after menopause can make this transition between reproductive phases much more smoothly. The measures are supported by studies that point out the benefits and the action of some herbal medicines, including teas or manipulated supplements, according to the professional’s recommendation.

Read more:  Natural remedies to ease menopausal symptoms

Acupuncture

Considering the patient in its entirety, acupuncture aims to resolve or ameliorate the symptoms by working on specific points of the body. The practice promotes relaxation, improves breathing and can be functional to ease psychological and organic conditions.

Associated with drug treatments, if necessary, acupuncture can bring benefits to the routine, being also an activity to maintain and stimulate activities outside the family or domestic axis.


Find out more about menopause:

Loading...