Whilst it is now widely accepted that HRT is the most appropriate treatment for relieving menopause symptoms and preventing Osteoporosis (NICE 2015), unfortunately there are women who do not take HRT; some because they are medically advised not to do so, others may have tried HRT and not tolerated it because of side effects. There are also women at either the beginning or end of their menopause journey with minor symptoms who may wish to explore other ways of improving their quality of life, and there are women who feel it’s not for them and prefer to take a more “natural” approach to managing the menopause.

For these women, alternatives to HRT can be helpful. There are numerous alternative options that can be considered. Alternatives include prescription or over the counter medications, therapies, CBT and lifestyle changes.

Embracing some lifestyle changes is important advice for all women -

Women who exercise and follow a healthy diet cope better with menopausal changes and also help protect themselves against other diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, breast cancer and osteoporosis.

Being overweight has been shown to worsen flushes and increases the risk of heart disease and diabetes. Losing weight has been shown to reduce the risk of breast cancer.

Excess caffeine and alcohol not only worsen flushes, night sweats and sleep problems, but also increase the risk of osteoporosis.

We should all make exercise a priority and build it into our daily routine. Regular exercise not only helps with weight loss and fatigue but also reduces flushes, whilst weight bearing exercise reduces the risk of osteoporosis.

Women who smoke have an earlier menopause than non-smokers, have worse flushes and often don't respond as well to tablet form of HRT. It’s never too late to stop smoking!

Use the menopause to start living a better healthier life.

Follow the links below to investigate alternatives to HRT