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 Homeopathy: Womenopause 
 
While I was trying to decide whether to write this article on menopause or miscarriage, I found myself surrounded by women asking me about their hot flashes, even at a potluck brunch last week. When I mentioned the upcoming article, one of the women exclaimed, "Be sure to say that it should never have been called 'menopause'! After all, it's we women who experience it, not men." I told her I never thought of it that way, but that I could see her point.I began to feel that this article on meno- pause somehow wanted to be written. Then, yesterday, I received a call from a free-lance writer on the East coast who asked me if I could give her information on the homeopathic treatment of menopause because she felt it was a topic so many women were thirsting to know about. So, here's the article the universe seems to be asking me to write. Please forgive me if it seems hypocritical to keep using the word "menopause" despite what I've already mentioned but, whether we like it or not, it's the term we're most familiar with. The term menopause refers specifically to the final stopping of the menstrual flow in a woman's life; perimenopausal to the time around this last period; and post-menopausal to after the last period. Climacteric is another term which may encompass the entire time period.

Menopausal Myths: Let me begin by sharing some of our common myths about the menopausal experience. l) Menopause is inevitable. There's not much I can do to delay it. You're right that you can't avoid menopause (that's not to say every woman even wants to!) but certain lifestyle factors such as smoking, drinking too much alcohol or coffee, or significant emotional stress can bring on menopause earlier. 2) Doesn't every body have to go through hot flashes? Most women, about four out of five, do experience hot flashes, to a greater or lesser degree, but the frequency, intensity, and duration varies tremendously. For some women it's terribly uncomfortable and embarrassing; for others only a minor irritation.3) I had my ovaries removed in my twenties because of cancer and have been on hormones ever since, so I don't have to go through hot flashes. Women who have had their ovaries removed and taken supplementary estrogen for a number of years can still get hot flashes once they stop taking the hormones. 4)The only way to get rid of hot flashes and vaginal dryness is to take estrogen. Homeopathy, herbs, diet, nutritional supplements, and other natural thrapies can be very effective in treating these symptoms, and a growing number of women are thinking twice about automatically taking hormones once they reach menopause. 5) All I have to do to prevent osteoporosis is to take plenty of calcium. Taking calcium supplementation, however large the amount, is not sufficient to prevent osteoporosis, as you'll understand more later in this article. 6) So much for my sex drive! Menopause does not necessarily mean a plunge in sexual energy. Many women find sex quite pleasureable, and more liberated, after the menopausal years.

These are only a few of the many misconceptions about menopause and new information is surfacing all the time to separate menopausal facts from fallacies. Three books which I found helpful in sorting out current information are Menopause Naturally by Sadja Greenwood (which provides lots of good medical information and support but actually not much in the way of natural therapies), The Calcium Plus Workbook by Evelyn Whitlock and McDougall's Medi-cine: A Challenging Second Opinion by John McDougall. I'd like to share with you what I feel is most important about menopause, answer questions I hear many women ask about the experi-ence, and give you some ideas about natural treatment which you can consider for yourself.

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 About The Author
Judyth Reichenberg-Ullman ND, MSWJudyth Reichenberg-Ullman, ND, DHANP, MSW is a licensed naturopathic physician board certified in homeopathic medicine. She graduated with a degree in ...more
 
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