Am I in Menopause?
The milestone of menopause is reached when a woman goes one year without a menstrual period. The average age for menopause is about 51, but it can occur naturally between ages 40 and 55. The decade or so before menopause is now referred to as peri-menopause. During this time hormone levels fluctuate and the menstrual cycle becomes erratic. Some months you may have a period and others you may not. However, during this time you may still be able to get pregnant.
Some women sail through menopause with no symptoms at all, while others struggle for months or even years. The symptoms can be linked to an imbalance of hormones:
- Low estrogen causes vaginal dryness, incontinence, foggy head, and depression.
- Low progesterone causes low libido, depression, fatigue, foggy head, headache, irritability, memory loss, and fluid retention.
- Low testosterone causes low libido, fatigue, and bone loss.
- Estrogen dominance—a drop in progesterone levels and an accumulation in the body of estrogen-like chemicals called xenoestrogens—causes the same symptoms as those of low progesterone.
How Does Menopause Relief Help Reduce Your Menopausal Symptoms?
All 7 ingredients found in femMED Menopause Relief, femMED’s comprehensive formula, uniquely address the most common symptoms and offers the following natural remedies for menopause:
- Black Cohosh helps reduce hot flashes, headaches, nervousness, depression and irritability and improves vaginal dryness and sleep quality.
- Dong Quai has a long history of use in Chinese medicine for alleviating menopausal symptoms.
- Pomegranate contains the richest source of plant estrogens and is a powerful antioxidant.
- All other ingredients in this formulation work together to support relief of Menopausal symptoms.
Other Natural Remedies for Menopause
There are a number of lifestyle measures that can greatly improve health during menopause:
- Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and cabbage contain compounds that help the liver process hormones while reducing the risk of breastcancer.
- Soy foods (tofu, soy milk, soybeans, soy nuts) contain isoflavones (plant-based estrogens) that help to minimize menopausal symptoms, offer protection against breast cancer, and improve bone health.
- Flaxseeds are a rich source of fibre, which promotes bowel regularity, reduces the risk of colon and breast cancer, and lowers cholesterol. Flaxseeds also contains lignan (phytoestrogens) that may help reduce menopausal symptoms.
- Stress can make menopausal symptoms more pronounced. Meditation, yoga, and breathing techniques can help reduce stress.
- Regular exercise can improve physical and emotional well-being. Studies have shown that regular exercise reduces the frequency and severity of hot flashes. It also protects against heart disease.
- Smoking can worsen hot flashes and symptoms of anxiety, irritability and depression.
Why does menopause occur?
At birth women have about one million eggs in their ovaries. At puberty ovulation starts; eggs are released by the ovaries each month for the purpose of conception. As the years go by the amount of eggs gradually decline until menopause, when the ovaries shut down and stop producing estrogen and progesterone— the two main female sex hormones. Menopause usually happens naturally as women age, but it can occur for other reasons, such as the removal of both ovaries, or subsequent to radiation or chemotherapy.
Once a woman reaches menopause and the ovaries are in retirement, the adrenal glands, which supply some sex hormones throughout life, become the primary supplier. Women who have poor adrenal function, which can be caused by chronic stress, poor diet, lack of sleep, or excessive caffeine, are not able to provide adequate hormone amounts, and may have more severe menopausal symptoms. Estrogen can also be produced in the fat cells from angrogens. This is why obese women often experience fewer symptoms of estrogen deficiency than thin women.
My doctor suggested I use Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) but I don’t like the idea of being on a medication with a long list of side effects. What are my options?
HRT does help to control and manage menopausal symptoms but it may also cause an increase in strokes, heart attacks, blood clots, cardio vascular disease, breast cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. Fortunately, there are natural ingredients like black cohosh that can help to alleviate the symptoms of menopause without the potential side effects associated with traditional HRT.
Is there an age post-menopause at which you should stop taking HRT?
Everyone’s situation is different. Generally speaking, we recommend that HRT be used as the lowest dose possible for the shortest period of time to manage menopausal symptoms.
I am 47 years old and my friend recently told me that my migraines, allergies and insomnia could be a sign that I am in menopause. Is that true?
About 70% of women who are in the early stages of menopause are affected by multiple symptoms, even if they still have their period. While the most commonly talked about symptoms of menopause include hot flashes and night sweats, many women experience lesser known symptoms like mood swings, depression, anxiety, loss of libido, vaginal dryness, weight gain, bloating, joint pain and yes…migraines, insomnia and allergies. There are 34 possible symptoms in all!
I have read that women who are in menopause are more susceptible to osteoporosis — should I be concerned?
Yes. Not enough women are aware that a potential consequence of menopause is osteoporosis. Estrogen, a key hormone that aids the process of calcium absorption into the bones, drops off during menopause. This causes a loss of bone density, which leaves women more susceptible to breaks and fractures. For women 45 years of age and over, osteoporosis accounts for more days spent in hospital than many other diseases including diabetes, myocardial infarction and breast cancer.
How soon should I expect to feel relief?
Some women report almost immediate relief from their symptoms. Since every woman’s symptoms, and the severity of those symptoms are different, it’s more common to experience relief within 30 days. femMED products are formulated to gently balance your hormones and for some women this takes time.
If I am currently taking Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) can I also take Menopause Relief?
Menopause Relief is generally not recommended for use with HRT, unless under the recommendation and supervision of your health care provider. Abruptly stopping HRT can cause a worsening of menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes. Some practitioners advise that HRT be weaned off gradually while another therapy is initiated. Again, it is best to work with your health care provider on this.
Can I take Menopause Relief in conjunction with Hormonal Balance?
Yes. Menopause Relief and Hormonal Balance work well in harmony and can be taken together if you are experiencing severe menopause symptoms that have not been sufficiently reduced using Menopause Relief on its own. Menopause Relief helps alleviate the most common symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes, night sweats and mood swings. Hormonal Balance helps with additional symptoms such as cramping and bloating.
Can I take this product with medications?
This product should not be taken with HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy), blood thinners or beta blockers.
How do I take this product?
The recommended dosage for Menopause Relief is one capsule twice daily, on an empty stomach. If you suffer from gastrointestinal difficulties you can take with food.
Can I take this product if my doctor won’t let me take HRT (cancer risk)? Are plant-derived estrogens actually any safer than HRT?
Black Cohosh has been very well studied for its ability to reduce menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, mood swings, irritability and night sweats. Black cohosh does not appear to have estrogenic activity and thus may be safe for women with a personal or family history of breast cancer.
The safety of using black cohosh in women who have had breast cancer has been evaluated in several test tube, animal and recently a human study. A case-control clinical study of 949 breast cancer cases and 1,524 controls found that black cohosh use had significant protective effects against breast cancer development. The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.
Health Canada does not require a warning on femMED’s Menopause Relief for women who have a family history of breast cancer.