Which menopause treatment’s best for me?

Ellie Cox


Dr Marion Gluck, Hormone Expert, and Founder of The Marion Gluck Clinic explores the different treatment options available for anyone experiencing menopause or perimenopause symptoms.

With October being Menopause Awareness Month, and many women experiencing debilitating symptoms that make carrying out everyday tasks difficult, it’s important that women know there are treatment options available, and they needn’t suffer in silence.

Synthetic HRTs made from estrogens derived from horse urine, or synthetic oral estrogens are still available on the NHS but are not the optimal choices. The British Menopause Society recognises that bioidentical HRT is the gold standard form of HRT, which is derived from plant sterols such as beta-sitosterol and diosgenin from Mexican yams. Bioidentical and body identical hormones are exactly the same but body identical refers to the regulated standard dose treatments available on the NHS, and bioidentical refers to the personalised HRT from a compounding pharmacy. 

As a menopause doctor, I prefer to prescribe compounded Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) and regulated body identical HRT where appropriate, depending on each individual client. BHRT differs from synthetic HRT as bioidentical hormones have an identical molecular structure to the naturally occurring hormones which are produced in the body. Whereas synthetic hormones are structurally different and do not have the same physiological reaction. 

Comparing body identical and bioidentical hormones

Although body identical and bioidentical hormones are made with similar ‘ingredients’ there are differences between the two. Including the manufacturing process, dosage, delivery, and which hormones are available in terms of estradiol, progesterone, DHEA, and testosterone. For example, body identical progesterone is only available as utrogestan which is an oral capsule rather than a cream. The availability of suitable testosterone preparations for women is also limited. 

Body identical hormones are produced by large pharmaceutical companies in regulated, set doses and application methods, and while this one-size-fits-all approach works for some patients, the dosage and application of body identical hormones cannot be altered to cater to those with more specific needs. 

On the other hand, BHRT can be compounded into a personalised dosage and in different application methods, creating a better solution, with fewer side effects, for many women. Women can choose to have their medication as a cream, sublingual drop, or lozenge, making the treatment fit with their lifestyle and preferences. BHRT is also usually prescribed in much lower dosages than regulated hormones, meaning women experience fewer side effects and can enjoy feeling themselves again in a much shorter timeframe. With BHRT, shortages are rarely faced as individual prescriptions are made in the compounding pharmacy. 

BHRT is prescribed in personalised dosages, based on thorough testing, and produced to order. This means that the pharmacy (which must meet industry standards for purity of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients and Good Manufacturing Practice) is able to prepare custom doses and application methods to address the individual needs of a patient.  

“Women around the world face an ongoing needless struggle with hormonal issues. I have made it my life’s work to raise awareness about the treatment and holistic changes that can help them feel themselves again”

As we’re living longer and working later in life, menopause is something that needs to be discussed and women need to feel they have choices in their treatment plans and control of their wellbeing. For too long we have suffered in silence, and it doesn’t need to be this way. There are effective and safe treatments available to women who are experiencing debilitating symptoms such as brain fog, palpitations, anxiety, and sleep deprivation. Whether a woman chooses HRT, body identical HRT or my pioneering method of BHRT, I am on a mission to raise awareness, champion getting life-changing treatment, and offering women choice.

Menopause and hair loss

Liz Nicholls


Menopause and hair loss – what’s the link? Experiencing hair loss at any age can be upsetting. It may not be talked about as much as hot flushes and night sweats, but hair loss is extremely common during menopause and often occurs as a result of plummeting oestrogen levels and an increase in testosterone.

Every person naturally loses between 50 and 100 hairs a day, which hardly seems possible but this is considered normal shedding. Any more than this and you may notice areas of baldness on your scalp, clumps of hair coming out when you wash or brush your hair, or thinning of hair around the front and sides of your scalp.

Although you wouldn’t necessarily think of hair loss as a being a symptom of menopause, the hormonal havoc that menopause can wreak, can have all sorts of unexpected effects on the body.

The hormones oestrogen and testosterone have the most important influence on hair growth. During the menopause, levels of oestrogen decrease. This hormone is important for promoting hair growth. While oestrogen levels drop, testosterone levels increase disproportionately. This causes the hair that does grow to be thinner than before, and can also cause facial hair.


Dietary and lifestyle changes can help to some extent. Protein and iron rich foods are good for strengthening your hair. Vitamin C is also beneficial, not least for helping you to absorb iron into your bloodstream.


Try to keep stress to a minimum. This will also help you sleep well at night, reducing another factor which might cause you to lose your hair. Exercise will help to reduce stress, improve sleep and circulation of blood to the scalp to help you keep your hair on.

Be nice!

Be nice to your hair. Use gentle shampoo when you wash it and try to avoid tugging and tangling it. Dying it regularly can cause hair to become unhealthy and more likely to fall out. A scalp massage can stimulate extra blood flow to the scalp, which may prevent further hair loss.

If hair loss is the result of hormonal changes caused by the menopause, a soy based supplement such as A.Vogel’s Menopause Support supplement may help. It tackles all stages of the menopause, and contains soy isoflavones which naturally mimic the effect of oestrogen in the body. The inclusion of magnesium helps to support the nervous system in times of need; it also contributes to a reduction of tiredness and fatigue.

For further information on menopause, visit Anita and her team at Nature’s Corner, 73 Northbrook St, Newbury.

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