Understanding Menopause

Menopause happens. Even with the best of health habits, menopause still happens.

It is a natural process, but has the potential to adversely affect all of the hormonal systems of the body. The hormonal changes that occur with the natural cessation of reproductive function often throw a monkey wrench into the body’s entire hormonal balance.

Though hot flashes and night sweats are classic, almost any symptom that occurs at this point in a woman’s life can be attributed to menopause.

Though these hormonal imbalances gradually equilibrate over time, natural herbal therapies, sometimes coupled with properly dosed bioidentical hormone therapy, can help to smoothen the transition.

Common symptoms
  • Hot flashes, night sweats

  • Mood swings

  • Feelings of anxiety

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Aching joints or muscles

  • Weight gain

  • Poor sleep

  • Bone loss

  • Headaches

  • Vaginal dryness

  • Loss of libido

Print Friendly

What Causes Menopause?

Dr. Rawls explains what causes menopause, and how to relieve symptoms:

In a nut shell, menopause occurs because the ovaries run out of eggs.

Prior to menopause, each normal menstrual cycle starts with recruitment of a cluster of eggs in the ovaries (at that point called follicles). These follicles produce estrogen. Estrogen production steadily increases until it reaches a peak mid-cycle. The peak in estrogen initiates a hormonal cascade, with the result of the largest follicle rupturing and releasing an egg.

Once the egg is released, estrogen production declines and the place in the ovary from where the egg was released (called a corpus luteum) begins producing progesterone. Progesterone prepares the body for pregnancy. If pregnancy does not occur (most of the time) progesterone declines, initiating a period. And then the cycle starts over.

In general, estrogen is stimulating, and progesterone is calming and relaxing.

Leading up to menopause (perimenopause), there are fewer follicles left, so estrogen production in the initial phase is erratic. Erratic production of estrogen, a very stimulating hormone, is what causes hot flashes, poor sleep, and many other symptoms. It is also the reason for irregular periods.

All this leads to poor development of a corpus luteum and inadequate progesterone production. Inadequate progesterone and abrupt progesterone withdrawal are responsible for moodiness and depression.

As menopause sets in, not enough follicles are present to cause ovulation and periods stop (though a period can show up out of the blue many months after the perceived final period). Decline of all hormones intensifies symptoms. This can go on for awhile until the body equilibrates into a new normal state.

The Three Stages of Menopause:

Perimenopause typically starts several years before the onset of menopause. As the ovaries run out of eggs, hormone fluctuations become more intense. Typical symptoms including mood changes, hot flashes, poor sleep, and highly variable menstrual cycles are associated with estrogen dominance and progesterone deficiency. The natural ingredients found in Cycle Soothe® restore balance between estrogen and progesterone and makes the transition much smoother. The patented grade extracts in HPA Balance® calm mood changes, improve sleep, help with focus and concentration, reduce hot flashes, and support central hormone pathways.

After periods have been absent for at least 6 months, it is defined as menopause. Estrogen is still being produced by the ovaries, but will gradually wane over several years. Classically, menopause is associated with hot flashes, night sweats, poor sleep, decreased mental focus, and feeling out of balance. Sometimes these symptoms intensify. Vaginal dryness is a key symptom indicating significant estrogen decline. HPA Balance® continues to be a valuable supplement for maintaining balance.

Another option is to talk to your healthcare provider about hormone replacement therapy (HRT).

In the phase after menopause, symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats usually begin to ease up for most women. HPA Balance® can be continued as long as symptoms are present. However, postmenopausal women are at a higher risk of bone loss than the general public and should be proactive about slowing bone loss.

See Products: Cycle Soothe, HPA Balance

Tips from Dr. Rawls

Take herbal supplements for balancing hormones
The herbal ingredients carefully chosen for Cycle Soothe and HPA Balance supports the body’s normal state of function, despite the hormonal upheaval going on with the transition through menopause. Herbal therapy is a safe and effective option by itself or in conjunction with hormone replacement therapy.

Practice a healthful lifestyle
In general, women who practice good health habits have a smoother transition through menopause. During menopause, it is recommended that you consume a diet high in fruits and vegetables and low in meat, processed foods, and sugar.

Do your best to exercise regularly, avoid toxins and manage stress levels. The focus and concentration required to practice yoga is excellent for focusing your mind and relieving symptoms.

Add progesterone
Progesterone is soothing and calming. In addition to Cycle Soothe® and HPA Balance® to ease symptoms, progesterone cream can be added for further symptom reduction. Most over-the-counter progesterone products provide 20 mg of natural progesterone per pump. Take 1-2 doses (pumps) of progesterone cream daily for two weeks prior to the expected time of the menstrual period.

As periods decrease, progesterone cream can also be used throughout the cycle. Progesterone cream is safe and can be continued indefinitely in individuals choosing not to use estrogen. Progesterone does offer some bone protection. Avoid use of yam creams, which do not actually contain progesterone.

Natural Supplements for Menopause

Vital Plan HPA BalanceHPA Balance® Menopause
For peri-menopause and menopause | Natural herbal therapy that reduces hot flashes, improves sleep, and stabilizes mood swings by supporting hormonal balance in the body.

vital plan's cycle sootheCycle Soothe™
For peri-menopause | Helps support menstrual cycles and soothe discomfort associated with menstrual imbalance. Contains Vitex (Chaste Tree Berry extract).

*Statements on this page have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. For medical concerns, please consult a qualified healthcare provider.


Vital Plan Products
eases the transition to menopause
120 capsules
add to cart
natural support to promote regular menstrual cycles
120 capsules
add to cart
Have a question?
Call us at (800) 951-2414
or click the form below: Ask Now

Header Goes Here Make it effective and short

  • List Item #1
  • List Item #2
  • List Item #3

Sub- Heading Text Goes here Tease them