Menopause is not a disease (although it darn sure feels like one to those of us suffering through it.) It’s a normal, albeit intense, transition. It is important for us to keep reminding ourselves of this when searching for relief. Confronted with myriad treatment options, we need to be able to CHOOSE the most effective remedies with the least potential for harm. Here are a few "rules" we Venuses recommend to help guide your choices.
Rules and Guidelines
#1 Try One Remedy at A Time
While this may seem like common sense, I cannot tell you how many knowledgeable, intelligent, and perceptive women avail themselves of several herbs, creams, and treatments at the same time to relieve their discomfort. While we menopausal women understand the desperation of a search for relief, this throw-everything-but-the kitchen-sink-at-it method obscures what really will work. Or won’t.
Try one remedy and give it enough time to work – most menopause preparations are labeled with how long you can expect to wait for symptom relief. If after the appropriate time period nothing happens, you may switch to another remedy or add one that is meant to work with the first. (for example, start with progesterone cream and later add plant estrogens – more about those later.)
#2 What Works for One Venus May Not Work For Another
Although we are strong proponents of learning about relief and modalities from other women who have experienced the wild changes of this time of life, we understand the uniqueness of each woman’s transition. (Transition used in this case is a euphemism for "barely endurable roller coaster ride".) So as you try remedies and attempt solutions recommended to you by your own Venuses or your health care practitioners, continue to refer back to rule # 1.
#3 What Worked Yesterday May Not Work Tomorrow
Just when you’ve found the perfect balance of creams, supplements, or HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) to quiet the hormonal ebbs and flows causing such disruption and discomfort, they stop working. Without warning, you are plunged back to ground zero, searching for an elusive combination of remedies that will ease your suffering. Alas, this will likely happen more than once. Get used to it. We are hoping that if you are prepared for it, it will be easier to take. Maybe not.
Take heart, though. Eventually each Venus found a remedy or combination that worked for us and our symptoms diminished. We found a new balance and health. There was even a little bonus in that we don’t have those pre-menopausal monthly ups and downs anymore. And we don’t miss them one little bit. Stay tuned. We’ll have more guidelines for our sister goddesses in the next blog entry.
(Material partially adapted from our upcoming book "Venus Comes of Age: The Wit and Wisdom of Menopausal Goddesses"