Feeling the symptoms of menopause? You are not alone. But you are unique. While menopause affects every woman at some point, no two experiences are exactly the same.

Menopause occurs naturally when your ovaries stop producing estrogen and progesterone. It can also occur when a woman has her ovaries surgically removed.

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Hot Flashes & Night Sweats

Hot flashes are sudden, brief feelings of warmth, which are strongest over the face, neck, and chest. You may have an increase in your heart rate and sudden perspiration. Your face may turn red, as if you’re blushing. Night sweats are hot flashes that occur at night. You may wake up drenched in sweat and have to change your nightclothes, or even your sheets.

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Why Hot Flashes Occur

As your body makes less estrogen, your endocrine glands release higher amounts of other hormones that affect your brain’s thermostat. This causes your body temperature to move up and down.

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You’re Not Alone

About 75% of women experience hot flashes.1 Hot flashes and night sweats can happen anywhere from a few times a week to many times a day, and can last from six months to several years. You don’t have to suffer with them. Talk to your doctor to learn whether an estrogen therapy such as Divigel® could help relieve your symptoms. For more helpful tips on getting the most out of Divigel® and saving, sign up here.

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Hysterectomy

All women go through menopause eventually. But some of us get a head start after undergoing a hysterectomy. Hysterectomy is surgical removal of all or parts of the uterus. This may also include oophorectomy, surgical removal of the ovaries. When the ovaries are removed you may begin to experience hot flashes and night sweats. If so, ask your doctor if an estrogen therapy such as Divigel® may help. Your doctor will be able to help you decide if it’s the right choice for you.

If you are experiencing hot flashes or night sweats, ask your doctor if Divigel® is right for you.

There are many myths about menopause. Read on to get the facts.

Hormone therapies that are FDA-approved have been clinically tested for safety and have been demonstrated to work. However, as with all drugs, there are benefits and risks to hormone therapy. These will be different for each person.

All hormone therapies, whether a pill, patch or topical, carry FDA warnings about potential serious risks.

  • Increases your chance of getting cancer of the uterus (womb) if not used with progestin
  • Should not be used to prevent heart disease, heart attacks, strokes, or dementia (decline of brain function)
  • May increase your chances of getting strokes or blood clots
  • May increase your chance of getting dementia, based on a study of women 65 years of age or older
  • Should not be used to prevent heart disease, heart attacks, strokes, or dementia
  • May increase your chances of getting heart attacks, strokes, breast cancer, or blood clots
  • May increase your chance of getting dementia, based on a study of women 65 years of age or older

Both transdermal and low-dose oral estrogen have been associated with lower risks of blood clots and stroke than standard doses of oral estrogen, but randomized clinical trial evidence is not yet available.2

If you have a uterus, you should take progestin when using estrogen to reduce your risk of endometrial cancer. If you do not have a uterus, you may be able to use estrogen alone. Talk to your doctor to find out what’s right for you.

These warnings are not meant to cause fear or alarm. They are meant to underscore the importance of weighing the benefits and risks of hormone therapy. Together with your doctor, you can decide if hormone therapy is right for you.

Hormone therapy is the most effective treatment for hot flashes and night sweats associated with menopause at any age. But the benefits are more likely to outweigh risks for women who have symptoms before the age of 60 years, or within 10 years after menopause.3

To learn more about the potential risks of hormone therapy, please read the Patient Information leaflet or the Full Prescribing Information including Boxed Warning for Divigel®.

There are many, many alternative treatments for hot flashes on the market. These include supplements or remedies purchased over the counter and claim to relieve symptoms naturally and safely. Some may seem to reduce mild hot flashes to some degree. If you do get relief, however, many experts believe it may be due in part to a placebo effect. A placebo effect is when a product containing no active medications (a placebo) produces a beneficial effect, often due to the patient’s belief in the treatment.

Experts agree that hormone therapy is the most effective treatment for hot flashes and night sweats.1

In the United States, supplements are not held to the same FDA standards that are applied to prescription medications. Only FDA-approved therapies, like Divigel®, are required to demonstrate effectiveness and safety.

Be aware that supplements may cause side effects. They may also negatively interact with other medications you are taking. Before you decide to use supplements, please talk with your nurse or doctor.

Although they both often contain estradiol, there are significant differences between custom-compounded therapies and FDA-approved therapies such as Divigel®.

Compounded hormone therapy may be appropriate for some women. These may include women who have specific allergies. However, compounded products are NOT FDA-approved. They are not tested for safety or effectiveness nor are they closely monitored. They are not safer or more effective than FDA-approved bioidentical hormones, such as Divigel®. Although the “active ingredients” are government approved, the mixtures are not. There is less oversight for quality, purity and consistency. In fact, they may not even contain the prescribed amounts of hormones, and that can be dangerous.1

For these reasons, many associations including the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), the American Medical Association (AMA), The Endocrine Society, and The North American Menopause Society (NAMS), warn against using compounded hormone therapy.4

The bottom line is that before seeking custom-compounded hormones, you should talk with your doctor. Discuss your treatment goals, your personal and family medical history, and the potential risks of any and all medications you are currently taking or thinking about taking.

Menopause is indeed a natural part of life, and some women have no symptoms or mild symptoms that do not interfere with their day-to-day activities. However, many women experience moderate to severe hot flashes or night sweats. These disrupt activities and interrupt sleep. You don’t have to put up with hot flashes and night sweats. Talk to your doctor about treating your symptoms with Divigel®.
There are no “natural” estrogen products that are FDA-approved. However, some estrogen therapies such as Divigel® contain 17β-estradiol, which is identical to the estrogen produced naturally in a woman’s body. The estradiol in Divigel® is made from plants. It has been proven to provide effective relief of moderate to severe hot flashes, which include night sweats.
Divigel® has broad insurance coverage. In fact, Divigel® one of the lowest costs non-patch topical estrogen therapy.5 And with the Divigel® Patient Savings Coupon, you may be eligible to save even more on your prescription.

REFERENCES
1. The North American Menopause Society. The Menopause Guidebook. 8th ed. Mayfield Heights, OH: The North American Menopause Society; 2015. 2. The North American Menopause Society. The 2012 Hormone Therapy Position Statement of The North American Menopause Society. http://www.menopause.org/docs/default-document-library/psht12.pdf Updated 2012. Accessed May 4, 2017. 3. T. J. de Villiers , M. L. S. Gass, C. J. Haines, J. E. Hall, R. A. Lobo , D. D. Pierroz and M. Rees. Global Consensus Statement on Menopausal Hormone Therapy. CLIMACTERIC 2013;16:203–204. 4. Use of compounded hormone therapy in the United States: report of The North American Menopause Society Survey. Menopause, Vol. 22, No. 12, 2015. 5. Data on File, Vertical Pharmaceuticals, LLC. Bridgewater, NJ; 2017.

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