Many women who enter the menopause, do so without any symptoms at all. However some women will suffer with mild symptoms post-menopause and others with very severe symptoms. Post menopausal symptoms usually include hot flushes, night sweats, memory loss, anxiety, depression, mood swings and loss of libido. Women may experience one or more of these symptoms which may have a significant impact on their quality of life.
Certain factors will indeed trigger symptoms particularly caffeine and alcohol and many women learn very quickly what triggers their symptoms so that they can exclude that from their lifestyle.
Alternatives to taking HRT mainly include plant phyto-oestrogens such as Red Clover which can help to alleviate some symptoms. There are alternative treatments for hot flushes but alleviation of all symptoms usually only occurs following hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
HRT is of course associated with some risks and it is important that women are seen, a full history taken, examination performed and any necessary tests carried out prior to commencing HRT. Women who have had hysterectomy will need a different type of HRT to women who have a uterus. If women are troubled by severe symptoms I think it is important for them to seek further help and advice from their GP or consultant specialising in the treatment of Post Menopausal women.