According to the Mayo Clinic, menopause itself is considered part of the natural process of aging for women and, as such, technically requires no treatment.
However, if you are experiencing some of the many well-documented, often unpleasant menopause symptoms many women report, you already know that even if treatment isn’t required, it can often be very helpful and desirable!
Menopause symptoms treatment options include traditional medical hormone replacement therapy (HRT), over-the-counter (OTC) medical treatment products and natural remedies or alternative care therapies.
In this article we look at the pros and cons of over the counter menopause symptoms treatment versus natural remedies menopause symptoms treatment. Which type of treatment is right for you?
“If you are struggling with insomnia, a number of over the counter menopause symptoms treatment options exist to help you maintain your circadian rhythms and restore your regular sleep pattern”
Over the Counter Treatments
Medical News Today states that an estimated 50 percent of women begin experiencing uncomfortable vaginal dryness during perimenopause that persists into post menopause. However, just 20 percent of sufferers are thought to seek treatment for this discomfort.
A variety of over the counter menopause symptoms treatment are available to help ease issues related to drying tissues and lack of natural mucus production. These products can help reduce discomfort during intimacy and urination as needed and replenish lost moisture, sometimes for days at a time.
If you are struggling with insomnia, a number of over the counter menopause symptoms treatment options exist to help you maintain your circadian rhythms and restore your regular sleep pattern.
Advantages and Disadvantages:
“there is always a danger in self-diagnosing your symptoms and choosing your own treatment. If your symptoms do not improve with over the counter remedies, be sure to talk with your doctor right away”
The biggest advantage over the counter remedies can offer is that you can readily obtain these treatments without having to have a doctor’s prescription. This means you don’t have to delay treating your discomfort.
There are three primary disadvantages to over the counter treatments that you should be aware of.
1. The first disadvantage is that over the counter treatments may not work as well as prescription versions of the same. Sometimes prescription versions are stronger or have a different delivery method that will work better for certain people.
2. The second disadvantage is that just because the treatment you choose is over the counter doesn’t mean it won’t have its own side effects. Over the counter treatments may also interact with other medications you are already taking, so always talk with your doctor first before adding a new treatment to your regimen.
3. The third disadvantage is that there is always a danger in self-diagnosing your symptoms and choosing your own treatment. If your symptoms do not improve with over the counter remedies, be sure to talk with your doctor right away.
As health expert Dr. Josh Axe outlines, natural remedies menopause symptoms treatment can present a workable alternative to medical treatments like hormone replacement therapy, which not all women tolerate well.
Natural remedies can include dietary changes and herbal supplements as well as natural (bioidentical) alternatives to traditional hormone replacement therapy.
Essential oils, stress management training (meditation, yoga, breathing), relevant stretching and exercise, support groups and increased sleep are all potentially beneficial natural menopause symptoms treatment options.
Advantages and Disadvantages:
“always start with the lowest possible dose and see how your body responds before increasing your dosage”
The biggest advantage to natural treatments is that they can be safer and gentler than prescription medications for some women.
However, just as with over the counter treatments, be aware that just because a remedy is “natural” doesn’t mean it is necessary safe. Always research potential side effects as well as medication interactions before starting any new natural treatment.
To be safe, always start with the lowest possible dose and see how your body responds before increasing your dosage. If side effects occur or if you are already taking other required medications, be sure to talk with your doctor before taking a new natural supplement, essential oil or herbal remedy.
Which is Better?
There is no single right or wrong answer to whether over the counter or natural remedies menopause symptoms treatment is better.
This is because every woman is different! Your symptoms may be quite different from your friend’s symptoms or even your mother’s or sister’s symptoms.
What is most important when addressing your menopause symptoms is to keep trying different remedies until you find the combination that works the best for you to feel better and find relief.
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