Whether your menopause is natural, or a result of surgery and hysterectomy, no woman wants to think her hot flushes and menopausal symptoms can continue beyond menopause. However, I do hear from more and more women for whom this is the case: whether they are still suffering from oestrogen dominance or the other factors that make a real difference such as stress and anxiety – both common at menopause.
However there is some good news from Vancouver where the The Centre for Menstrual Cycle and Ovulation Research published their results of a trial of progesterone for hot flushes and night sweats in healthy postmenopausal women.
They were using an oral form in a very high dose, as the majority of the progesterone is lost when processed by the liver, but their research found that micronized progesterone (the same found in progesterone cream) offers an additional and effective therapeutic option for the treatment of hot flushes and night sweats in healthy women early in postmenopause.
After 12 weeks of progesterone treatment, women who began the study with a daily average of seven hot flushes or night sweats reported having three fewer episodes each day. This Canadian study is the first to show that progesterone may reduce frequency and severity of hot flushes and night sweats, says co-author Dr Jerilynn Prior, an endocrinologist at the University of British Columbia. This also backs up anecdotal evidence that post-menopausal women who take progesterone can have fewer hot flushes and night sweats.
The progesterone study is published in the journal Menopause and did not compare estrogen and progesterone treatments directly but Dr. Prior says progesterone is “as effective as estrogen but better at helping with sleep.” She theorizes that progesterone offers relief by raising core temperature and driving up the body’s comfortable temperature zone.
Women Suffering In Silence
Alarm about estrogen therapy has left many postmenopausal women “suffering in silence,” according to a statement from the US Endocrine Society. A recent poll commissioned by the society found that 72 per cent of women aged 45 to 60 experiencing hot flushes, interrupted sleep and vaginal dryness had not received treatment for their symptoms.
There are options available to help with hot flushes from dietary support, exercise and stress reduction and certainly the experience of many women is that supplementing with progesterone is the key to getting their flushes under control.