The search for HRT alternatives
Virtua Health obstetrician/gynecologist, Linda Edwards, MD
, suggests the following for reducing health risks and managing symptoms throughout menopause. Dr. Edwards emphasizes: “All medications have side effects, so be sure to thoroughly discuss the options with your doctor and tell him or her if you are taking any medications, vitamins or herbs.”
Heart disease and stroke:
- Eat a low-fat diet and exercise regularly.
- Quit smoking.
- Talk to your doctor about medications such as "statins" to reduce the amount of cholesterol in the blood.
Hot flashes and night sweats:
- Speak with your doctor about bisphosphonate medications such as Fosamax, which are designed to prevent or treat osteoporosis.
- Engage in regular weight-bearing and strength-training exercises such as walking or light weight lifting.
- Take a calcium supplement to meet the daily calcium requirement for menopausal women.
- Take a vitamin D supplement so the calcium you consume is best absorbed.
Vaginal dryness and pain during intercourse:
- Dress in layers and adjust room temperature if necessary.
- Talk with your physician about other medications that provide relief if symptoms are severe.
- Discuss complementary and alternative medicines with your doctor.
- Speak with your doctor about using a low-dose vaginal cream, tablet or ring to increase lubrication.
- Engage in regular sexual activity to maintain lubrication.
- Use lubricants such as K-Y jelly or Astroglide for temporary relief of dryness.