I am 52 and just recently experienced menstrual cessation (within the past 6 months approx.) and am now consistently experiencing sleeplessness, lowered libido (and dryness); no hotflashes. My GP prescribed low dose, natural estrogen and progesterone (to hopefully be taken on a short term basis (try and take me off in a year and see if symptoms have waned)).
I have not taken the hormones yet, because of all the negative information out there about HRT. I am concerned about getting breast cancer and about the hormones affecting my overall health. I am in good health otherwise (excluding this hormanal issue). I exercise regulary and eat healthy (organic).
I have tried a few natural sleep aids (including melatonin, valerian root and chamomile tea) that have really not helped much and don't address my other symptoms.
I've already turned in my prescription for the hormones and will be picking them up tomorrow. In the meamtime, I was wondering about the effectiveness and safety of using black cohosh. I have read studies that are not conclusive and there doesn't seem to be any data on long term use.
Do you have any personal experience or knowledge about the efficacy of using black cohosh for the symptoms I am talking about?
I appreciate your help.
Black Cohosh can be used safely for menopause related symptoms, but it's not the best choice for every woman, likewise with some of the herbals you mentioned and even hormone therapy itself. For some women, HRT is a reasonable option, but it does not sound like you've exhausted all the natural options possible, for instance acupuncture and homeopathics I have found to be very helpful in menopause. And you likely have a different experience with a practitioner who can guide you individually. I would suggest you work with a ND or holistic doc near you for best results; there is no one single best therapy during menopause but ones chosen for your history, your concerns, and health status will be more helpful. You can find a ND at www. naturopathic.org. In addition, working with a holistic practitioner can be helpful to look at how menopause may be affecting other aspects of your health also, to do some prevention in other areas like cardio and bone health.