Menopause – generally occurring anywhere between the ages of mid-forties to mid-fifties – is defined by the permanent cessation of a woman’s menstrual cycle. The ovaries cease to produce eggs and estrogen stops being produced. This is normally a process that happens gradually – sometimes occurring over the course of several years. In some cases, however, a needed surgical procedure will result in medically-induced menopause. Either way, it is the ending to a woman’s reproductive years and the ending of estrogen production – a hormone that, when absent, results in a bevy of symptoms. The hormone pill – or estrogen replacement therapy – supplements the body with estrogen and can minimize the symptoms of menopause.
Some of the more common symptoms of menopause include hot flashes, night sweats, memory loss, mood swings, and loss of sexual desire. Not every woman experiences every symptom. And when symptoms are experienced the severity with which they are experienced varies from woman to woman. For some women, their symptoms are difficult to endure and interfere greatly with daily life. In this instance, a doctor may suggest a daily hormone pill to help balance the body.
However, the hormone pill continues to receive mixed reviews as an answer to symptoms of menopause. Researchers continue to debate the safety of the hormone pill and the possibility of it compromising cardiovascular function. Most doctors will ask women to try a variety of natural therapies before turning to a hormone pill. Studies show that women, who eat natural, whole foods, exercise regularly, and live an overall healthy lifestyle, will find themselves far less affected by menopause symptoms. In many cases, a change in lifestyle will result in a relief of symptoms, making the hormone pill unnecessary.
By: Michelle Bery
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