Estrogen Replacement Therapy and Its Alternatives

Estrogen is a hormone that is produced by the women’s ovaries. But with the onset of menopause, the production of hormones slows down. In some women, the process happens much before the age at which it should happen. Some doctors suggest estrogen replacement therapy. The treatment is done to combat loss of natural estrogen and to treat other symptoms of menopause such as sleep disturbances, hot flashes and more.

Several studies have suggested that ERT can cause different side effects like insomnia, nausea, blood clots, breast cancer, loss of bone, stroke and risk of endometrial. Because of this, people prefer natural alternatives to ERT.


In this therapy, plants are used for medicinal purposes. When this therapy is performed in conjunction with healthy lifestyle choices, it can easily restore hormonal balance. Different parts of plants like root, leaves or sometimes entire plant can be used to make herbal medicines. Examples of plants that are used as alternatives to ERT are ginseng for weakness and fatigue, cohosh for fatigue and hot flashes, and valerian root or St. John’s wort for depression and anxiety.


Acupuncture is basically an ancient Chinese medical treatment. The treatment involves insertion of thin needles into the skin at different acupuncture points that are present on the body. This is an excellent natural alternative to ERT. The therapy may cause a little discomfort because the needles are inserted in skin but according to Western medical practitioners also, acupuncture is very effective as it stimulates natural painkillers in body and also increase the blood flow. According to Chinese, Acupuncture is a therapy that can affect hormonal imbalance and also increase the body’s energy. Acupuncture can effectively fight against different symptoms like insomnia, fatigue, depression, hot flashes and pain. The therapy also helps in increasing appetite.


Food that is intended to address the physical changes in body that accompany menopause can be a great alternative to ERT. Foods such as miso soup, raw soybeans, tofu or tempeh pans contains phytoestrogen. Flaxseed also help in treating menopause symptoms as it contains active phytoestrogen and also helps in lowering cholesterol level and risk of breast cancer. Food such as eggs, canola oil, walnuts and Seafood that has Omega-3 fatty acids is also helpful in reducing symptoms of menopause.