Comparing Promensil, Menolife and Serenity cream: natural ways of alleviating menopause symptoms.
The disadvantages of HRT.
As a complementary therapist I often had female clients who were struggling with the symptoms of menopause.
Usually they had been to their doctors and had been prescribed HRT almost as an accepted matter of course and without any discussion about possible alternatives.
Many of these women came to me worried about the long term health risks of HRT and were very much aware of the increased risks of breast, uterine and ovarian cancers, heart disease, DVT and stroke.
Admittedly, the numbers at risk are very small but despite this they were still concerned because, depending on the hormonal composition of the HRT prescribed and its method of take-up by the body, there seems to be no doubt that HRT can induce health problems in some women.
It is, of course, vital to get these figures into perspective and they must to be viewed in conjunction with other important factors which affect health such as being overweight, smoking, drug and alcohol abuse, high blood pressure and pre-presenting heart disease as these will obviously skew the present statistics.
Even so, despite the small numbers at risk of developing severe or life-threatening health problems with HRT, many of my clients preferred to at least try the natural alternatives first.
So what are the alternatives.
Firstly, I must warn you there is no quick fix, or at least there isn't for most women.
Having said that one client who took Promensil (a red clover extract by Novogen) stopped having hot flushes after taking it for only two days. I warn you that this is not the norm.
Whether you take pills or use a progesterone cream you should assume that your body will take at least three months to feel any benefit.
Whatever you do do not assume that natural remedies do not work after taking them for only a week or two. You must allow for cellular change and for the body to assimilate the beneficial elements in your chosen supplement.
However, it is entirely possible that you may find you do not get any relief from some of the natural remedies sold over the counter. My advice is to try them for three months and if your symptoms do not clear or improve, try another one. You may even have to try a few.
It is also important to realise that there could still be side effects to some of these herbal preparations. Although these are not life-threatening you should, just as you would with prescription drugs, always read the packet and get informed about possible contra-indications.
My personal tried and tested recommendations amongst natural menopause preparations are Promensil, Menolife and Serenity. Promensil and Menolife are pills which makes dosage easy but Serenity is a topical progesterone cream which makes judging how much to use a little tricky at first.
My menopause was late in coming so I was about 57 before it really started to bite; a fact of which I was inordinately, and inexplicably, proud.
However 'Pride cometh before a fall', as the saying has it and six years down the line I often still feel too hot in bed at night (though this does not always cause me to sweat), have frequent bouts of insomnia and occasional mood swings which can leave me extremely depressed.
Although I must admit that for most of my menopausal years I have felt my symptoms were hardly extreme with only the odd hot flush during the day and one or two night sweats every night. The fact that the symptoms seem to be prolonged does perplex me however.
At the beginning I used Promensil and these effects, though not eradicated, were at least minimised to a comfortable level. However, when I tried, experimentally, to do without it the symptoms returned.
Menolife: a herbal mix
As Promensil proved to be too expensive for me for long-term use I turned to Menolife, a complex of well-known herbal extracts such as Agnus Castus, Passiflora, Black Cohosh, Ginseng and Sage, all of which are well-known to have beneficial effects on menopause symptoms.
This worked very well on many of the usual symptoms of menopause such as vaginal dryness and hot flushes and was enough for me until the mood swings started.
To be fair to myself and my menopause I was not entirely sure that these were a menopausal symptom as I had rather a lot of things going on in my life at the time.
However I chose to blame them on the menopause and decided to add another supplement in the form of the appropriately named Serenity cream.
Serenity - on all counts.
Whatever the cause of the mood swings it would appear that Serenity has certainly helped in this area and I am back to my fairly balanced and optimistic self. In fact I have also had a lot of very positive feedback from other women about this preparation.
Applying it is not an exact art as you take a 'dab' and rub it into soft tissue twice a day, changing the area you rub it into each time until you have gone full circle and are back where you started.
This means that a small tub lasts for about three months and works out not only to be beneficial but also to be good value.
Unlike the synthetic progesterone that is manufactured for HRT, Serenity is formulated from naturally occurring plant saponins and its unique formulation makes it easy for the skin to absorb thus delivering more of its beneficial components much more effectively.
Some women even lose a little weight when they first start to use it. Sadly, this has not been my experience, but then that could have something to do with chocolate cake.
You can find Serenity cream here: http://www.wellsprings-health.com/pages/serenity-natural-progesterone-cream/
For Promensil try: http://www.promensil.com
For other herbal mixes such as Menolife: http://www.healthypeach.com/
As we all have a different chemical make-up only experimentation with each product will help you decide which works best for you. Read up on all the products and remember not to be in too much of a hurry to discard one as unsuitable. It is important to trial each one at least three months.
As you might expect natural menopause is a big subject and it pays all women to be informed and ready to make a choice when the time comes. If you would like to know more you might like to read what I consider to be the best book on the subject: What your doctor may not tell you about Menopause is written by the acclaimed American physician Dr John R. Lee, the pioneer of natural progesterone therapy. Happy Menopause!