Alternative and Natural Treatments for Menopause

Dietary Supplements, Phytoestrogens, and Vitamin E

Written by Daniel J. Toft MD, PhD
Reviewed by Brigid Gregg MD

Alternative or natural medicine may help reduce menopause symptoms. Despite the lack of the scientific foundation of conventional medicine, many people are strong proponents of alternative medicine—and for a variety of reasons. One of the common reasons women opt for alternative therapies is that they experience mild symptoms that they don't feel warrant mainstream medicine.

If you're considering these treatments, you should consult your regular doctor and possibly a complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) practitioner. This title can be confusing—even though alternative medicine and complementary medicine follow the same methods, they are different in that alternative forms are used in place of conventional medicine, whereas complementary treatments are used in conjunction with conventional medicine.

Below are common alternative treatments for menopause:

Using Caution with Alternative Medicine
Every medication, whether conventional or alternative, carries risks. Many alternative treatments boast natural ingredients, but that doesn't guarantee safety. The FDA does not monitor natural, alternative treatments as closely as they do conventional drugs and medications. This is because conventional drugs have a higher risk-to-benefit ratio than herbal supplements do, and therefore, they have stricter FDA regulation standards.2

Remember, alternative treatments for menopause do not have the scientific evidence to prove their long-term effectiveness. Similarly, alternative supplements can interact with any other medication, so discuss all medications and supplements with your doctor before you start taking them.



  1. Vitamin E. Yale-New Haven Hospital website. Available at: Accessed September 1, 2009.
  2. Dietary Supplements. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration website. Available at: Accessed January 14, 2009.

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