Updated 21 July 2014

Menopause treatment overview

Not all menopausal women need hormone therapy. If therapy is needed, there are 3 options available: lifestyle modification, nonprescription remedies and prescription therapies.

All women who’ve reached menopause have less oestrogen available to their bodies than before menopause. But not all women who are menopausal need to have that oestrogen replaced. In fact only about one in four women really needs hormone therapy (HT) for relief of menopausal symptoms.

Most women approaching menopause now start to consider whether or not they should take any sort of therapy to counteract both the symptoms and the potential long-term effects of lack of oestrogen.

Considering the treatment options

  • Healthy with no problems
  • Healthy, but with significant risk factors for osteoporosis and/or heart disease
  • Medically compromised, for example has had a heart attack, stroke, breast cancer, diabetes etc.

  • lifestyle modification, such as diet to promote loss of excess weight and to enhance bone health
  • nonprescription remedies, including bio-equivalent hormones (plant oestrogens), black cohosh,  and other herbal remedies. Note that there is unfortunately very little evidence for the efficacy and safety of these drugs. 
  • prescription therapies, including hormone therapy.


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