< < Back

Menopausal Symptoms

Hot flashes and Night Sweats


85% of women have hot flashes during menopause and even peri-menopause
They can best be described as a wave of heat passing through the body causing much discomfort and ‘flushing’ of the face, neck and chest. One woman succinctly described it as “a feeling like a blow torch being held to my face. Another called them “my own private summers” as she tried to put a positive spin on the experience.

What do they feel like?

You do not have to wonder whether or not you have had a hot flash – when you have one, you’ll know what it is! First you might get a feeling that something unusual is happening to your body. That is because your internal temperature is dropping abruptly. In response to this, your skin begins to sweat to give off heat and you will experience a tremendous flash of heat which usually starts at the top of the head and extends throughout the body. You will feel like you are “on fire” and you may have one flash after another.

What are night sweats?

When you have hot flashes at night, they are called “night sweats”. They will wake you up abruptly and you may bolt upright in bed, hot and sweaty and, “on fire.” Then you may get so chilled that you will feel like you need a down comforter to get warm. In the meantime, your bed clothes and sheets and hair may be soaked with perspiration. Some flashes last 15-30 seconds and others can last about 5 minutes.

What causes hot flashes & night sweats?

The most prevalent theory is that as hormone levels drop significantly at menopause our thermostat (the hypothalamus) begins firing repeatedly, trying to tell the pituitary to tell the ovaries to ovulate. The ovaries cannot respond because its supply of eggs is depleted. The inability of the ovaries to respond is most likely due to a final depletion of eggs and their surrounding follicle cells. This over activity of the hypothalamus and pituitary signal begins to affect the vasomotor area of the brain which controls capillary dilation and sweating mechanisms. You now experience a hot flash. Most are due to low progesterone in relation to estrogen levels which is why they can begin in perimenopause when progesterone levels drop. They may also be due to low serotonin levels as women age. Progesterone
can also help this condition or you can use 5-HTP, a natural supplement that raises serotonin levels.


Use progesterone crème (either ProHELP or Menopause Moisture Crème)

Menopausal women:
¼ tsp twice daily for 25 days of the month.
Menstruating women:
1/4 tsp. Day 12-26 of menstrual cycle

Women with severe hot flashes/night sweats have increased their dose as needed and then down-regulated it after they became more comfortable.

If you have access to your crème during a flash or sweat, you can rub some crème on every 15 minutes until the flashing subsides. Because the palms of the hands are a good absorption spot, you can rub the crème there, acting like it is a hand crème if you are in a workplace or other venue where you do not wish to advertise the fact that you are having hot flashes.

A study found that 83% of women had a decrease in frequency and/or severity of their hot Flashes/night sweats while using natural progesterone crème. Other studies have indicated that progesterone can eliminate up to 75% of all flashing in women.


Typically, this flashing covers about a 2 year span, but for a small percentage of women, they come and go over a 5-10 year period. For other women, they last only about 2 months and some women say they have never had one. Thinner women seem to have more hot flashes since in heavier women, their fat cells convert hormones secreted by the adrenals into estrogen.


You will get through this! Hot flashes / night sweats are not life-threatening, but synthetic estrogens, often given to treat them, are. See the compilation of tips for other ways to deal with hot flashes and night sweats; these tips come from hormone experts and your fellow “flashers.”

Did you know that many mainstream medical doctors are now prescribing antidepressants to control hot flashes? Yes. They now know that synthetic hormones have many health risks, so they are looking for an alternative drugs….because doctors seem to love drugs. Don’t go there!


1. Use progesterone crème. Use ¼ teaspoon twice daily. For severe episodes, you may increase your dosage to ½ teaspoon twice daily.

2. When actually having a flushing episode, apply 1/8 to 1/4 tsp of crème every 15 minutes for 1 hour during and following the episode. If you use progesterone directly following  the first flash, you may prevent a wave of flashing.

3. Take Vitamin E.
Vitamin E has a long history of reported benefit in women experiencing hot flashes & night sweats.
The dose that has the most effect for women is 800 IU per day, tapering to 400 IU when flashes subside. I find that about 60% of women find Vitamin E very helpful. It may take about 2 weeks to notice improvement.

4. Magnesium Studies show that women who received 400 mg of magnesium for 4 weeks reduced their hot flashes from 52 to 28 per week. That’s a HUGE reduction! (You can increase it to 800 mg per day if needed)

5. Evening Primrose Oil or Borage Oil. Look for an oil that contains Gamma-linolenic Acid from Borage Oil in the amount of 240 mg.

6. Black Cohash: This herb has been heralded as being effective for hot flashes and many women have used it successfully. Others see no benefit. If you try it, take a break from it about every 6 weeks.

7. TOFU: Phytoestrogens in this unfermented soy product (the only kind you want to use) can reduce flashing by 26%.

8. Decrease your consumption of caffeine, spicy foods, hot drinks, alcohol, sugar, and large meals during periods of increased hot flashes.

9. Keep a thermos of ice water on your night stand or in your refrigerator and sip it during flashing episodes.

10. Sage Tea: Sage has been found to have anti-hidrotic properties, meaning that it can stop sweating. It has a long history of being used for hot flashes and night sweats and also is found to calm the nerves. Drink several cups daily. Use 1 tablespoon of sage for 1 cup of water. Infuse for 20 minutes. OR simply drink a sage extract mixed with juice “shot” twice daily or at least at night.

11. Wear cotton night clothes and use cotton sheets.

12. Keep your room temperature at home at 65 degrees, especially at night.

13. Use deep breathing techniques-slow abdominal breathing, 6-8 breaths per minute. Do this when you feel a flash coming on and also 15 minutes twice daily.

14. Do some slight exercises, as exercise has been shown to increase the amount of estrogen circulating in the blood. It also raises endorphin levels which drop during a hot flash. As little as 20 minutes 3 times per week can lower the frequency and severity of hot flashes.

15. Ladies have told me that sucking on a piece of hard candy during a hot flash can either make it less intense or head it off entirely. Worth a try!

16. Decrease consumption of beef and fatty foods.

17. The more vegetables you eat the less hot flashes you will have.

IMPORTANT TIP: During severe episodes of hot flashes, apply ¼ teaspoon of progesterone crème every 15 minutes for one hour following the episode.

Please Remember: Although hot flashes /night sweats can be extremely annoying and uncomfortable, no one has ever died from one. Synthetic hormones can be helpful in this area of eliminating hot flashing, but can lead to breast or uterine cancer, which are life threatening.

Ladies, take care of your health! Go as Natural as you can!

Barbara A. Hoffman
Better Health Naturally
877 880-0170


Do You Feel Like an Alien in Your Own Body


Most Likely It’s Your Hormones!

I’m Barbara Hoffman, N.D. author of Hope For Your Hormones and I have spoken with over 100,000 women about Hormone Balance since 1992. And I want to help YOU!

Ladies, I have heard this feeling described repeatedly over these past many years. Women are saying “I just don’t feel like myself anymore and it’s debilitating.” You say “I’m cranky, depressed, bloated, have no energy, cannot focus, can’t sleep and my hair is falling out”. Some of you say, “I’ve been told I’m going crazy” by my husband/children/even doctor! You are at your wit’s end. What is going on? Guess, what? These symptoms are related to a condition called Estrogen dominance. A woman can have deficient, normal, or excessive estrogen but has little or no progesterone to balance it. This can make you feel like you are literally losing your mind! I have been consulting on natural hormone balance for almost 20 years and I know I can help you!

But. you say, “I’ve always learned that we need estrogen as we get older because our estrogen disappears. Not the problem! It’s progesterone that becomes overwhelmed or diminished, NOT estrogen.


  • Weight gain
  • Insomnia, restless sleep
  • Fatigue
  • Memory loss
  • Thyroid Problems
  • Acne
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Irregular menstrual flow
  • Depression
  • Anxiety / Panic attacks
  • Osteoporosis, osteopenia
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Breast tenderness
  • Hair loss
  • Mood swings
  • Headache, including migraines
  • Heavy periods
  • Fibrocystic breast disease
  • Uterine fibroids
  • Loss of sexual desire
  • Infertility
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Urinary frequency
  • Dry eyes
  • Bloating / Fluid retention
  • Decreased mental sharpness
  • Polycystic ovaries
  • Inability to concentrate

These symptoms may sound common to some of you, but they are not normal! If you have any of them, it is essential to get your hormones back in balance as soon as you can. The symptoms will only get worse especially the weight gain. And who wants that? Natural progesterone crème has helped many women lose weight!

I hear you saying “What Has Happened to Me?” As your ovaries age, their function begins to decline. The progesterone hormone production falls dramatically between the ages of 35 and 50. Progesterone is the “feel good hormone” and you will definitely begin to not feel good! Your estrogen hormones now have undue influence on your body and you are Estrogen Dominant. Sadly, many women have experienced this state since puberty causing them to experience PMS symptoms which they took as “normal”. Things are not hopeless! Estrogen Dominance can be stopped and reversed.

When Can Estrogen Dominance Take Over YOUR Life?

  • During peri-menopause or premenopause
  • When you are exposed to xenoestrogens, those environmental toxins and chemicals in the air and food which have an estrogenic effect on the body.
  • When you are taking estrogen replacement therapy or birth control pills that are high in
  • When you have a hysterectomy and either your ovaries are removed or are no longer
    functioning properly. Did you know that even when the ovaries remain, they function suboptimally
    after a hysterectomy?
  • When you have had a tubal ligation that affects the function of your ovaries.
  • When stress is a factor in a woman’s life. Ha, ha, is there someone who does NOT have
    stress as a factor?


It’s not that difficult! Start now, before things get worse!

  • NUMBER 1 REMEDY: Use natural progesterone crème will usually restore
    hormonal balance and help a woman “feel like myself” again. Use just 25 days of
    the month for non-menstruating women and 12 days per month for menstruating
  • Avoid external sources of estrogen (xenoestrogens from meats, dairy, plastic,
    petrochemicals, pesticides and herbicides
  • Use a supplement called DIM (diindolyl methane) or Indole-3-Carbinol which encourages your body to excrete excess estrogens. Good for men, too!

You can get back to normal! As I say, “Balance Your Hormones, Balance Your Life”
Has your doctor placed you on synthetic hormones? Is your spouse, mate, child ready to move out? Are your friends worried about you?
Do you have a hormone nightmare story? Let’s share & get thru this together!



Wow! I wish I had the exact count of how many women have asked this question – probably 50,000 over the years, if not more. So, even if this is something you don’t talk about to your friends, now you know you are not alone!

My favorite conversation was with a woman who described it thusly: “My sex drive drove off”. I think men would be surprised to see how sad women are over this condition. All the men see is the result of their wife not having desire; they do not see the pain involved. Libido is not something that can easily be summoned on command and it is not easy to talk yourself into having desire. You can totally adore your husband and think he is an absolute gift from God and still not be able to “get in the mood.” What can you do?

Low libido has usually been associated with menopause, but it is very common among relatively young women. Many women have a normal menstrual period indicating the presence of sufficient estrogen, yet still have low libido. This is because it is not due to low estrogen, but rather to low progesterone levels. If the woman is not ovulating, she is not producing progesterone.

What does progesterone have to do with libido? At ovulation, progesterone levels rise and sexual drive is heightened. This is meant to ensure that a woman will be receptive to procreation. It is an intricate balance of estrogen and progesterone levels at the exact right time of the month. Women who are taking birth control pills often have terrible problems with low libido. This is because the substance in their birth control pill is NOT natural progesterone, but synthetic progestin which is not natural to the body and does not have the same effect.

Dr. John R. Lee, over his many years of practice, noted that many of his younger patients were less interested in sex than those approaching menopause. The difference had to do with estrogen dominance; the result of monthly periods without progesterone to balance their estrogen.

Women with estrogen dominance symptoms had a loss of sex drive due to progesterone deficiency, not to mention the uncomfortable symptoms of water  retention, fibrocystic breasts, depression, and vaginal dryness. Who would be in the mood when you feel depressed, bloated and irritable?

Doctor Lee, in his book What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause, observed that his patients reported that their sex life, totally improved with  Progesterone therapy. Remember, progesterone is called “the feel good hormone.”

As I talked to women who have been on progesterone crème, I learned that their low libido had been restored in about 3 months of use, sometimes less. The woman who told me “My sex drive drove off” called and said “It drove back!” There are so many wonderful testimonials from very happy women. The men often call, too. One man brought his wife a year’s supply of crème, saying “I’m never going to let her run out of this stuff”. Others are just so grateful that they can enjoy this loving relationship with their wives again.

One very interesting comment for those of you who are not interested in a rise in libido:
Progesterone crème does not seem to bring on an increase in women who desire to be celibate, so you do not need to worry about using the crème and having an undesirable increase in libido.


Until recently, doctors were very willing to prescribe testosterone to improve libido. This treatment has been discredited recently not only because of the  masculinizing effects of testosterone, but because testosterone has been shown to contribute to liver damage if used at too high a strength or for too long a period.

A safe treatment for you is natural progesterone, used as directed according to whether you are a menstruating or non-menstruating woman.

Libido & Birth Control Pills

Oral Contraception (OC) causes an increase in the production of sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) which inhibits libido. Not only does it affect libido while women are on the pill, but the levels often do not return to normal when the birth control pills are stopped.

A study published in Journal of Sexual Medicine, measured the levels of pre-menopausal women with sexual health complaints, including women who had been taking OC for longer than 6 months and women who had taken it for longer than 6 months and then had stopped their use.

The results showed that the continued OC users had SHBF values four times higher than individuals who have never used birth control pills. The former users experienced a drop in SHBG levels after the OC was stopped, but the value remained elevated several months later relative to the non users.

Chronic SHBG elevations may be associated with long-term effects on sexual, metabolic, and mental status of women.

This is something important to consider as this study shows there are both short-term and longterm affects on libido when using birth control pills.

PeriMeno and Meno


What is the difference between permenopaus and menopause? Which one are you?


Unfortunately, peri-menopause is beginning earlier and earlier due to all of the stress we undergo and the environmental toxins, our menstrual cycles get  interrupted and we do not manufacture the wonderful progesterone we need to stay balanced. Progesterone is made only when we ovulate. Peri-menopause can start as early as the mid 30’s.

Well, what exactly causes the symptoms of peri-menopause? The ability of our follicles to make a mature egg, which usually causes the production of progesterone, sputter and you become anovulatory. Being anovulatory means that you are not releasing an egg each month. If you don’t release an egg, you are not producing progesterone but you are still producing estrogen in your fat cells. This is described as estrogen dominance, which will cause you to become symptomatic.

There are 35 symptoms of hormone imbalance:

  • Weight gain
  • Insomnia, restless sleep
  • Fatigue
  • Memory loss
  • Thyroid Problems
  • Acne
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Irregular menstrual flow
  • Depression
  • Anxiety / Panic attacks
  • Osteoporosis, osteopenia
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Breast tenderness
  • Hair loss
  • Mood Swings
  • Headache, including migraines
  • Heavy periods
  • Fibrocystic breast disease
  • Uterine fibroids
  • Loss of sexual desire
  • Infertility
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Urinary frequency
  • Dry eyes
  • Bloating / Fluid retention
  • Decreased mental sharpness
  • Polycystic ovaries
  • Inability to concentrate

For more information on these symptoms, I invite you to watch my video on Youtube.

Because estrogen dominance can start as early as age 30, you can experience 20+ years of these symptoms! Often times, your doctor will check your estrogen  levels, but not your progesterone levels. This is a bad thing! While you are in peri-menopause, your estrogen levels are fluctuating. If your estrogen levels are up, your doctor will say that you are normal in estrogen and give you sleeping pills, anti-anxiety pills, or anti-depressants for your symptoms instead of some wonderful bio-identical progesterone. If you are low in estrogen on that particular day, your doctor will probably prescribe you estrogen supplements, which will make you feel worse as it will contribute to your estrogen dominance. It can cause endometriosis, fibroids, fibroid cystic breast syndrome, and ovarian cysts. Twenty years of that is a long time…but the good news is, you don’t have to experience those symptoms! There is help!

Now what about Menopause?

Have you gone one year without a menstrual cycle? One solid year? If you have, then it’s official…you are in menopause. Which means cessation of menstruation. Although I have heard it called Men On Pause and Mean Pause. Not what I want for you! We were not meant to become cranky as we age, but rather meant to become wise and wonderful!

Now that you know the difference, you can begin to help yourself. Get a bio-identical progesterone cream. Bio-identical progesterone brings in the progesterone that you don’t have in your anovulatory cycles or after menopause. You don’t need a doctor to get progesterone creams. They can be obtained over-the-counter!

You were not designed to suffer..our good God did not intend for you to suffer every month! There is hope for your hormones! Visit my webpage for more information and find me on Facebook for questions, giveaways, and free samples. I want you to have Better Health Naturally!

Love, B

Vaginal Dryness

Are You Suffering From Vaginal Dryness?

(atrophic vaginitis)


Vaginal dryness, vaginal thinning, and what is called “atrophy” are very common problems for menopausal women. When estrogen levels decline, the vulva loses its collagen, fat and water retaining ability. As a result, it becomes flattened, thin, dry, and loses tone. Lack of vaginal lubrication means hormone levels are dropping. Classic symptoms of vaginal atrophy are dryness, irritation, burning, and a feeling of pressure. The vagina gets progressively shorter and narrower and its tissue thins.

The vagina also becomes susceptible to infection because the thin walls lack the normal secretions that normally cleanse vaginal tissues. The vaginal pH rises and it becomes more alkaline. This allows undesirable bacteria to replace friendly bacteria. This can result in urinary tract infections.

ALSO, When the body is deficient in progesterone, the estrogen receptors become less sensitive to estrogen. Therefore, even a woman with sufficient estrogen can have vaginal dryness. When progesterone levels are restored in these cases, estrogen receptors become more sensitive and vaginal lubrication returns.


ProHelp A 3 month trial of ProHELP (Natural Progesterone) is found to help many women eliminate vaginal dryness. This is especially helpful news to women with a history of breast cancer who cannot take any form of estrogen. If, after 3 months, you still experience the dryness, OR if it is acute and you also have lots of hot flashes and night sweats, you may need to add some estrogen if you have no history of cancer.
If you are no longer having periods, our Menopause Crème with natural progesterone & red clover extract (a phyto-estrogen) has helped many women. A study done in Australia linked an oral
supplement containing Red Clover with relief from vaginal dryness. (I believe that the crème form is much better absorbed and utilized by the body).
Ostaderm V For women with severe vaginal dryness or who want more immediate relief, there is a wonderful product called Ostaderm V which is a plant based estrogen-progesterone crème that is applied to the vulva area. It contains estriol and I have seen it restore vaginal tissue health very rapidly.

Estriol is the major estrogen component in Ostaderm V. Its creator, David Shefrin, N.D. says: “It has always amazed me how easily the vaginal problems can be reversed. Women whose vaginas bled with just the introduction of a small speculum or from taking a Pap smear return after six weeks with a moist, pink, youthful vagina.” He goes on to say that some women take longer if the atrophy is profound. In these cases it may take a few months.

Use Ostaderm V, ¼ tsp applied to the vulva or to the labials (major/minor) not inside the vaginal canal. It will take on average, 8 weeks to regenerate the vaginal tissues. After 8 weeks, if some treatment is needed use 2-4 doses of Ostaderm V per week. You may wish to use a general lubricant for sexual relations. Two good ones are Replens and O’lea which lubricate and are very soothing to the tissues.

For women with severe vaginal dryness who want immediate relief. Estriol can be useful in reducing vaginal dryness and also thickening skin and mucosa in a matter of a few days or weeks. Insert one suppository nightly for 1 week. The second week, use every other night.
After that, use 1 – 2 times weekly if needed.
Contains: Coco butter, USP Estriol, vitamin E, and beeswax.
Non-Estrogenic Relief for Vaginal Dryness – The most common relief for vaginal dryness and atrophy is estrogen suppositories;  however, many women seek to avoid estrogen or cannot use it. These suppositories contain DHEA, an all-natural hormone that has the same healing effects as estrogen but without raising hormone levels throughout the rest of the body.
Ingredients: DHEA 12 mg, beeswax.


For over-the-counter use, there is a product called Replens that is long-lasting; a single application lasts up to 72 hours. Studies have shown that Replens can increase vaginal secretions.

NOTE: Many women have told us that they have used their progesterone crème intra-vaginally a couple of times per week in addition to their regular dose. Natural progesterone can be a nice vaginal lubricant, but it only takes a peasized dap to be effective. This would amount to about ¼ tsp of progesterone cream put on the tip of a finger and inserted vaginally (The vaginal tissue will distribute the progesterone). Be sure to try a little test. Most women have no problem, but some will report a little burning sensation.

Vaginal Dryness Products

Item # PH
Menopause Crème
Item # MRC
NOT listed online
Ostaderm V
Item # 103
NOT listed online
Hydration Cubes
Item # 115
DHEA Cubes
Item # 116

Ostaderm-V & Hydration Cubes are NOT listed online
TO ORDER, CALL 877-880-0170
Better Health Naturally