Tahlequah Daily Press


February 6, 2013

HRT is a last resort for menopause

TAHLEQUAH — Menopause might begin with the occasional hot flash, night sweats or an errant hair sprouting from the chin. And it might mean misery for many women.

One thing most pre- and menopausal women will agree on is that the symptoms, which increase with frequency and severity over time, can be more than just a passing distraction.

According to Dr. Jena Rogers, M.D., of Tahlequah Medical Group, women often suffer symptoms in their 40s.

“Perimenopausal symptoms occur during the stage of a woman’s reproductive life that begins several years before menopause,” said Rogers. “These symptoms may start in a woman’s 40s, but can start in her 30s or earlier [if early ovarian failure occurs]. This stage in a woman’s life may last from a few months to 10 years.”

Symptoms include hot flashes, night sweats, breast tenderness, decreased libido, fatigue, irregular periods, vaginal dryness, urine leakage, urinary urgency with incontinence, mood swings and difficulty sleeping.

Rogers said treatment options to relieve symptoms varies.

“[Options] that enhance one’s sense of well being [can include] exercise, smoking cessation, improving sleep habits, reducing alcohol consumption, and getting to a healthy weight and maintaining it,” said Rogers. “And for bone health, get enough calcium in your diet.”

Those who suffer mood swings may find relief in having an antidepressant prescribed, and lubricants are available to remedy vaginal dryness.

Another option is hormone replacement therapy.

“Last, but not least, HRT is considered for the treatment of hot flashes, night sweats, decreased libido and vaginal dryness,” said Rogers. “But with HRT, there comes an increased risk for endometrial cancer, blood clots and breast cancer. All these things should be discussed with your physician to determine the appropriate therapy for you.”

According to an article by the Mayo Clinic staff, long-term systemic hormone therapy to treat symptoms is no longer routinely recommended, but some data suggest estrogen can decrease the risk of heart disease.

Dr. Paul Plowman, OB/GYN at Tahlequah City Hospital, said a woman can be considered as a candidate for HRT when symptoms become moderate to severe.

“Various types of hormone replacement are available: pills, patches, gels, intravaginal rings and even pellets which are placed under the skin,” said Plowman. “The amount an type of hormone replacement should be tailored by a qualified health care provider to the patient’s specific needs.”

According to Plowman, all medications have side effects, which can be both good and bad, and patients should have a thorough discussion of the risks and benefits of HRT prior to beginning treatment.

Some women are reluctant to supplement Mother Nature’s natural course of aging with chemicals, and instead rely on natural, homeopathic remedies to alleviate symptoms.

Deana Franke, owner of Oasis Health Foods, has found success in a combination of natural alternatives.

“What I’ve ended up doing is combining several different natural alternative to make my own mixture to deal with my symptoms,” said Franke. “There are a lot of things that work well, including black cohosh, passion flower and plant-based phytoestrogen. I change combinations every six months or so, and have never had any big problems [with menopausal symptoms] that way.”

Franke chose the natural route, as she believes it reduces her risks of developing cancer.

“My best friend was told outright she got breast cancer because she took HRT for 20 years,” said Franke. “Of course, I’m sure the medications have improved since then.”


To see the complete version of this article, subscribe to the Daily Press e-edition by following the link below.

Click here to get the entire Tahlequah Daily Press delivered every day to your home or office.

Click here to get a free trial or to subscribe to the Tahlequah Daily Press electronic edition. It's the ENTIRE newspaper (without the paper) for your computer, iPad or e-reader.

Text Only
  • RF-award-dogs-2.jpg Red Fern Festival offers family fun

    Tahlequah’s Red Fern Festival offers attendees a stroll back in time to old-fashioned family fun.
    It’s a way to show children how their great-grandparents and great-great-grandparents lived and played, and tell stories about, “the good ol’ days.” And it’s a way to enjoy what is best about life in Tahlequah, for many folks, including spending quality time as a family, enjoying sunshine, and chatting with old friends and perhaps meeting new ones.
    The event, slated for the last weekend in April since 2007, has brought the best of the novel, “Where The Red Fern Grows,” by Wilson Rawls, to downtown, since the movie was filmed here.

    April 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • wherearethey.jpg Padilla enjoys reconnecting with childhood

    As a child spending time at her grandparents’ house, with all her aunts, uncles, and cousins around her, Kerrie (Bosley) Padilla spent endless hours outside playing chase, catching fireflies, or writing and acting out plays.
    In 1987, after her dad got out of the Navy, the family moved here from Georgia to be closer to that family: matriarch Dorothy Monzingo, and maternal grandparents Dorothy and Dwight Allen. Her parents, DeAnna and Steve Edwards – as well as a couple of siblings and some aunts, uncles and cousins – still live here.
    Eventually, Padilla graduated from Northeastern State University, and then its College of Optometry.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • rf-Dream1.jpg Dream Theatre spotlights songwriters

    Dreams can come true for local aspiring songwriters who seek to gain performance experience.
    For one young musician, Thursday night was an unexpected dream of discovery, as well.
    Two opportunities are available to musicians at the Dream Theatre each month, the new Songwriters’ Showcase which opened Thursday night and Premier Night for musicians who have a few songs or a set, but not a whole show.
    In search of the groove that works for The Dream, Manager Larry Clark is partnering with Blake Turner, Lakes Country operation manager.
    The Songwriters’ Showcase, which will continue the third Thursday of the month in conjunction with Tahlequah Main Street Association’s Third Thursday Art Walk downtown, features seasoned performers who can share some of their personal insights into the how, when and why of their songwriting experiences.

    April 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • Dream, Brewdog’s to host music festivals

    One sign of spring’s arrival is the scheduling of music festivals, and 10 bands will visit a Tahlequah venue May 24, the Saturday before Memorial Day.

    April 17, 2014

  • rf-Zoe-thing.jpg Conference attendees get words of encouragement

    Words of encouragement and door prizes were bountiful Saturday morning at the annual Zoë Institute’s Women’s Conference.
    Ten women shared words of wisdom in areas from happiness to health, and 100 gifts were given out, including the grand prize of gasoline for a year.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • sp-symposium-art-panel.jpg Panelists discuss impact of Southeastern art

    Until recently, most people had a certain expectation of American Indian art – and it didn’t include images familiar to people in and around Cherokee County.
    “A lot of times, when people think about Native art, they immediately think of Plains art or Southwestern art,” said Roy Boney (Cherokee), Tahlequah artist and moderator of the panel discussion “Southeastern Indian Art: Building Community and Raising Awareness,” held Friday, April 11, at the NSU Symposium on the American Indian.
    Boney and the other panelists are frustrated by the divide between mainstream expectations of Native American art and their need for genuine self-expression.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • rf-Teacher.jpg Dickerson believes in putting the student first

    As a child growing up in Elk City, Cherokee Elementary teacher Debra Dickerson lined up the neighborhood children and animals to play school.
    “I’ve been a teacher ever since I could talk. My mother always said she knew where I was because she could hear me bossing everyone,” she said.
    The classroom then was a blanket tossed over limbs of her big cherry tree on Eisenhower Street. Recess was spent tree-climbing, running, riding in the bus (her red wagon) and being creative.
    “Those were the days before video games and TV,” she said.
    Dickerson, 2013-’14 Cherokee Elementary Teacher of the Year, believes a classroom should be a safe haven for children, because school is often the best part of their day.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • kh-trash-pickup.jpg Cleaning things up

    Lowrey was part of the Cherokee Nation’s Career Service Center contingency of 11 volunteers. Other volunteers cleaned up trash along the roadway from the Cherokee Casino to the NSU campus.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • SR-NinthAmendment.jpg Right to privacy leans partly on Article 9

    While the other articles of the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights are straightforward – at least, enough for Americans to bicker over in court – the Ninth Amendment might cause a bit of confusion.
    It reads: “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”
    There are no rights enumerated, and it might be difficult to argue one’s Ninth Amendment rights in court, though it has been done successfully.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • stickball-2.jpg Stickball

    The American Indian Science and Engineering Society and Native American Student Associationat Northeastern State University hosted a traditional stickball game as part of closing cultural activities during the 42nd annual Symposium on the American Indian Friday. Participants included, from left: Nathan Wolf, Disosdi Elk and Chris Smith.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo


How confident are you that the immunizations for infants and children are reasonably safe?

Not at all confident.
Somewhat confident.
Relatively confident.
Extremely confident.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
US Proposes Pay-for-priority Internet Standards Wife Mourns Chicago Doctor Killed in Afghanistan FDA Proposes Regulations on E-cigarettes Kerry Warns Russia of Expensive New Sanctions Mideast Peace Talks Stall on Hamas Deal Cody Walker Remembers His Late Brother Paul Grieving South Korea Puts Up Yellow Ribbons Raw: Kerry Brings His Dog to Work Raw: Girls Survive Car Crash Into Their Bedroom Three U.S. Doctors Killed by Afghan Security Yankees' Pineda Suspended 10 Games for Pine Tar Colleagues Mourn Death of Doctors in Afghanistan Ukraine Launches Operation Against Insurgents Obama Reassures Japan on China Raw: Car Crashes Into San Antonio Pool Time Magazine Announces Top Influencers List Raw: Angry Relatives Confront SKorea Officials Bigger Riders Means Bigger Horses Out West Yankees Pineda Ejected for Pine Tar Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US