Dr Alex Dragan ND
Menopause Hormone Therapy
Updated: Mar 11
Menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) has gotten a bad reputation through the years. Many women who were previously on hormone therapy to help control their symptoms were taken off of the medication due to concerns of breast cancer.
We now know, that with proper medical history taking and proper dosing at the right time, the risk of breast cancer and other side effects are low. Utilizing this powerful medicine, can be life changing for many women going through perimenopause or menopause.
What is Menopausal Hormone Therapy?
MHT is a treatment that may be recommend to relieve symptoms of perimenopause/menopause and to prevent long-term changes, such as bone loss, that happen due to the decline in estrogen and progesterone post menopausal.
MHT can include both progesterone and estrogen in various forms. They can be prescribed as a cream, patch, vaginal gel or orally. The type of hormone you receive will depend on your symptoms, age, risk factors and whether you have a uterus or not.
What are the common symptoms of perimenopause/menopause?
The symptoms of this time in a woman’s life are wide reaching and sometimes overlapping with other conditions. See the list below for the most common symptoms of perimenopause and menopause:
Vasomotor symptoms (hot flashes, night sweats)
Sleep issues/insomnia/night wakings
Mood disturbances (anxiety/depression)
Vaginal dryness or atrophy
Weight gain (usually around mid section)
Is there a difference between bio-identical hormones and synthetic hormones?
Yes, there is a difference between these two formulations of hormones. Bio-identical hormones are identical to the hormones we produce in our bodies whereas synthetic hormones, such as premarin, are not the same. Much of the clinical research has been done on synthetic hormones but more and more literature reviews the benefits of using bio-identical hormone therapy for menopause.
Are there other options?
Yes! There are many options for treating perimenopause and menopausal symptoms. Naturopathic treatments can involve lifestyle and nutrition modifications, herbal medicine, nutraceuticals, acupuncture as well as pharmaceutical medications as needed. There are many steps we can take prior to initiating menopause hormone therapy.
It’s important to get a full assessment done for your menopausal symptoms not only to treat them but to prevent further biological changes like bone loss, muscle loss and weight gain.