It can be so confusing to find the “right” way to manage menopausal symptoms. Hot flashes, mood swings, unpredictable menstrual cycles, vaginal dryness, reduced libido, sleep interruption, and weight changes plague many of us throughout the transition—and with women spending one-third to one-half of our lives in the postmenopausal phase, we deserve some relief and answers!
A recent study in the venerable journal Menopause, looked at the differences in symptom relief, side effects, and safety of women using conventional hormonal therapy (all of which are FDA-approved and by prescription only) versus those using pellet hormone therapy (PHT), in which pellets containing estradiol and testosterone are inserted into and absorbed by the body, and last for three to nine months.
The women receiving pellets had more complications, according to the study, such as abnormal bleeding requiring hysterectomies, and other bothersome side effects like hair loss, acne, and weight gain. Another worrisome issue is that once pellets are administered, the amount of time it takes for the medication to disperse and be metabolized by the body varies greatly from woman to woman.
Because the side effects are varied, some people may not want to rely on pharmacological methods, and instead look for natural ways to manage their menopause symptoms. That said, working with your doctor or OB/GYN to find the safest and most effective plan for you is always recommended.