All Hot & Bothered?
Often called the ‘change of life’ menopause is the physical and emotional transition that marks the permanent cessation of menstruation. When menopause is reached a woman still produces estrogen but not enough to prepare her womb for pregnancy. Her levels of progesterone fall dramatically and in some cases to zero.
As millions of women across the world head into, or are currently experiencing menopause, many are looking for support to manage the often-unpleasant symptoms that come along during this time.
Estrogen and progesterone, two primary hormones in the female body, need to work in harmony to perform their many and complex regulatory functions. As women age, levels of these hormones become imbalanced as the body produces much less of them. Some of the most common symptoms of menopause include:
- Hot flashes - this is one of the most common symptoms of menopause. It is characterized by a sudden feeling of warmth and sweating, usually in the face, neck, and chest. Hot flashes can last from a few seconds to several minutes and can be mild or severe.
- Night sweats - these are similar to hot flashes, but they occur during the night and can disrupt sleep.
- Vaginal dryness - decreased estrogen production can cause vaginal dryness, itching, and discomfort during sexual intercourse.
- Mood changes - menopause can cause mood swings, irritability, depression, and anxiety.
- Insomnia - many experience sleep disturbances, including difficulty falling asleep, waking up frequently during the night, and waking up too early in the morning.
- Urinary problems - this can also be a problem, including increased frequency of urination, urgency, and incontinence.
- Joint pain - menopause can cause joint pain, stiffness, and swelling.
- Weight gain - many women gain weight during menopause, especially around the abdomen.
- Decreased libido - due to the decrease in estrogen production, it can decrease libido and sex drive.
Many women seek medically prescribed hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to help with these symptoms. For those looking for a natural alternative, you can turn to plants containing compounds known as phytoestrogens, a popular alternative to estrogen / progesterone therapy. We take a look at some popular options below.
Over 20 years ago the research team at Nature’s Sunshine developed a plant based formulation called Flash Ease - this product has been a go to for mature women ever since. It contains two important plants: Dong Quai and Black Cohosh, both widely known and used for menopausal conditions including hot flashes. Nature's Sunshine Flash-Ease provides 10 -12 hours of time-release herb for optimal day and night protection.
Femme Enhance Cream is a powerful blend of organic wild yam and natural oils to support a healthy hormone balance. Wild Yam has been shown to provide support for uncomfortable symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings and hypertension often experienced pre-menstrual, perimenopause and during menopause.
Xcel Health Femplex is a comprehensive and naturopathically formulated herbal supplement designed to balance and support hormone levels during menstruation, PMT, pre-menopause and menopause. It is suitable for women of all ages and cycle stages. Femplex contains a variety of herbs known to nourish and support the body's natural hormone production and balance, leading to increased overall health and wellbeing.
Clinicians Women’s Intimacy Support is natural ORAL support for vaginal health and libido in peri-menopausal, menopausal and post menopausal women. It is a unique combination of herbs to support healthy vaginal tissues and moisture levels at times of hormone change or fluctuation. Formulated to support sexual interest and vaginal comfort for intimacy and can be taken alongside other products used to support menopause and vaginal health.
NuWoman® Menopause + Bone is a scientifically formulated natural dietary supplement designed to support women during menopause. Easing menopausal transition with help for temperature control, sleep, libido, mental clarity, mood, energy & bone health, all of which can be problematic during menopause. Menopause + Bone contains a combination of vitamins and minerals to support the absorption of Calcium for bone health, as bone density can decline as we age.