Women's Health Supplements

Written by Serena Berger
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One of the important health concerns with which women must deal is how to react to physiological changes that result from menopause. With the onset of menopause, many women turn to hormone replacement therapy to minimize their symptoms. With lower levels of estrogen and progestin, effects include hot flashes and night sweats. Taking supplements to replace your hormones can reduce--and possibly even eliminate--these symptoms.

One of the effects of a low level of estrogen is decreased bone density. If left untreated, it can lead to osteoporosis. Much of the loss in bone density occurs in the first five to ten years after the onset of menopause, and is not reversible with supplements such as hormone replacement therapy. For this reason, it is important to begin taking replacement hormones as soon as possible to prevent it from happening at all.

Risks Associated with Hormone Replacement Therapy

There are tradeoffs, however, in taking supplements to replace your hormones. If you use estrogen replacement supplements without progestin supplements, you are more susceptible to developing endometrial cancer. There is also an increased risk of developing breast cancer if you take estrogen for several years. If your family has a history of breast cancer, these supplements may put you in serious risk.

Hormones can be taken like most supplements in oral form. You can also use topical patches. For the most part, both methods are equally effective. Oral estrogen, however, can lower cholesterol levels while estrogen taken through patches has not been found to have this effect. If you choose not to use hormone replacement therapy, you should take a nutritional supplement that contains calcium so that you can combat the onset osteoporosis.


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