Want to know what menopause treatments are available and the differences between them? We’ve got you covered! There are a variety of treatments available for menopause, so we decided to look into supplements vs topical creams. What are they and how can they help to treat menopause? Continue reading this blog post to learn more!
Menopause Treatments: Topical Creams
What are topical creams?
A topical cream is a type of cream that is applied to the surface of the body, therefore it is not ingested into the body through the mouth. Most often, topical creams are applied to a particular area of the skin. As the cream is applied to the skin, the active ingredients in the topical cream must be absorbed through the skin and travel through the layers of the skin to reach the inside of the body. When these ingredients cross the skin barrier, this route is called transdermal.
How can they treat menopause?
There are a number and variety of topical creams available for treating menopause symptoms. Some topical creams may contain the female sex hormone progesterone, which can help to relieve symptoms such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness, fatigue, poor sleep, bone density loss, decreased libido and weight gain. They can also be available in a number of hormone compositions, to deliver different hormones transdermally into your body. During menopause, the hormones estrogen and progesterone decline to very low levels, while the levels of testosterone are also declining. Therefore, to improve the symptoms of menopause, finding a way to replace the rapidly decreasing levels of sex hormones can help.
Topical creams can also contain all-natural ingredients that can help to alleviate certain symptoms of menopause, therefore they do not have to replace hormones in order to be effective. Natural ingredients, such as wild yam root or primrose oil, can relieve hot flashes, night sweats and balance your hormone levels.
In a study carried out in 2008, the benefits of using hormone creams to treat menopause were revealed. In the study, ½ of the women who were in the stages of menopause were given either a pill with both estrogen and progesterone or a pill with just estrogen. The other ½ of women were given a cream with a customized blend of progesterone, estrogen, testosterone and DHEA. After 1 year, the women who received the cream reported lower levels of depression, anxiety and pain. They also reported less hot flashes and night sweats. Along with alleviating the symptoms of menopause, the topical creams reduced blood pressure and harmful markers of inflammation in the arteries.
Menopause Treatments: Supplements
What are supplements?
A supplement is a substance that is manufactured to supplement someone’s diet. Normally in the form of pills, capsules or a liquid, a supplement will replace or add a certain nutrient or vitamin into your body that you might be missing or have low levels of. A supplement may contain specific nutrients, vitamins or plant extracts that are needed to treat a particular health concern.
What supplements are useful for treating menopause?
For menopause, you can supplement your diet through eating different types of food that contain essential vitamins and minerals. This is a way that you can use natural supplements. Such foods that are beneficial for menopause include soy and flax seeds.
Supplements that are available for menopause that normally come in the form of a pill can contain particular vitamins, such as vitamin C or vitamin D, that help to support your body through menopause. They can also contain other extracts from plants and herbs that may have properties that can help to relieve some of the symptoms of menopause.
Supplements can be useful to help manage menopause symptoms, however there is the risk that you might not be addressing all of the issues that might arise from menopause. For example, if you are taking a supplement for alleviating hot flashes, this may not simultaneously protect your bones from density loss.
Benefits of Transdermal
There are a number of different ways that we can take medication – as pills, liquids, capsules or as creams. What does it mean when a medication is transdermal and what are the benefits of transdermal for treating menopause symptoms? Keep reading this blog post to find out more!
What Does Transdermal Mean?
Transdermal refers to a mode of administering drugs or other forms of care and medication into the body. It means that the medication is applied to the skin and the route that the ingredients take to enter the body is through the layers of the skin. This type of care usually comes in the form of a cream, ointment or patch
How can Transdermal Care Treat Menopause?
A cream, ointment or patch can contain a number of ingredients that can help to alleviate the symptoms of menopause, similarly to how a pill or injection can contain ingredients to relieve menopause symptoms. Some studies have worked with topical creams that have contained a mixture of hormones.
Transdermal medication can be in the form of creams or as a patch that releases the active ingredients. Due to it being very easily administered through the skin, it is a non-invasive approach to treating menopause, as opposed to receiving injections. Transdermal creams can contain active ingredients that can help to alleviate certain symptoms associated with menopause, such as night sweats and hot flashes.
Intake can be stopped at any time
As opposed to a pill or capsule, if you feel that you want to stop the ingredients in transdermal care, you can simply remove the cream or patch from your body. This means that you can have control over the administration of the substances into your body by applying and removing them at any time.
Pain-free and can be self-administered
Applying a topical cream to your body, or a patch, is pain-free and you can also do this by yourself. Therefore, using the transdermal route is quite easy and convenient as it can be done in any place.
No first pass effect
When you take a pill orally, it must first be absorbed by the body and also interact with the digestive system. When this happens, part of the concentration of the drug is lost during this process of absorption, which is related to the liver and gut wall. This is known as the first pass effect, which means some concentration of the drug is lost before it reaches circulation. When ingredients are given via the transdermal route, this first pass effect is avoided.
Lower amounts of drug administered as compared to oral medication
Given the avoidance of the first pass effect with transdermal care, there can be a less concentrated amount of the active ingredients in the medication as compared to oral medication. This is because much less of the amount/concentration of the ingredients is lost throughout the process of absorption, so less is required to be applied.