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  • Writer's pictureSimone Grove

Chemotherapy Induced Menopause – A Holistic Guide

Updated: May 8


Facing chemotherapy can be daunting for lots of reasons. Although it is highly effective and offers a great deal of hope, especially for those dealing with a cancer diagnosis, chemotherapy is also an intensive and aggressive treatment which unfortunately comes with some significant side effects.


One of the lesser known (and often, not talked about enough) consequences of chemotherapy is the onset of early menopause as a result of treatment.


Why does chemotherapy trigger the menopause?


Chemotherapy works by destroying cancer cells, which divide very quickly. But this also means that chemotherapy can be potentially harmful to other non-cancer cells including the ovaries, as they also contain rapidly dividing cells that produce eggs.


Known as ‘medical menopause’ or medically induced menopause, periods may stop temporarily during chemotherapy or stop for good. This change depends on many factors such as age and health status prior to treatment. Different types of chemotherapy drugs are more known for causing medical menopause than others – so the effects will also depend on what type of cancer treatment you are receiving.


Medical menopause may also be related to hormone therapies. Many ladies in particular following breast cancer may take hormone therapies as part of their cancer treatment or as a prevention of cancer recurrence.


How early menopause can affect health and wellbeing


Normally, your body has time to adjust to this transitional period over a number of years (and even then, without an integrative approach many women struggle). Often when chemotherapy induced menopause occurs you may experience more intense or sudden onset of common menopause symptoms, such as:


  • Weight gain

  • Mood swings

  • Low libido

  • Difficulty sleeping

  • Hot flushes and night sweats

  • Vaginal dryness

  • Aches and pains

  • And many more.....


The impact of chemotherapy induced menopause can be hard to come to terms with emotionally, too. Every woman will go through the menopause, but experiencing menopause sooner than expected can be challenging and upsetting.


Holistic support for chemotherapy induced menopause


There are several treatment options for menopause focusing on specific symptoms and general overall health and wellbeing – which include HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy), something that many women undergoing cancer treatment feel is not an option to them. Hopefully this will become more of an informed choice sooner rather than later as menopause health professionals look at this from a different perspective.


Alongside clinical treatment, there are many different holistic methods which can support you through this time, including:


Aromatherapy: Using the power of natural essential oils we can help body and mind to better cope with the early onset of menopause. Essential oils contain organic chemical compounds which work with the body in different ways. Aromatherapy is incredibly versatile and can be used as part of a massage or incorporated into your day via roller balls, diffusers and sprays. Different essential oils have different properties – so the treatment can be tailored depending on your specific concerns.


Reflexology: Reflexology is a non-invasive and deeply relaxing treatment which works with different organs in the body to bring balance and wellbeing. It is wonderful for hormone balance and can help with many of the symptoms of menopause.

NLP Coaching: NLP coaching helps us to use the unconscious mind to remove beliefs that are holding us back, and replace them with new, more positive empowering beliefs that influence our daily lives. NLP can support you with coming to terms emotionally with what’s happening in the present, and helps you to achieve a more positive perspective and outlook, enabling you to come to terms with what is happening now and be able to look forward to the future from a different perspective.


What’s wonderful about holistic treatments is that they have little to no side effects and can work alongside clinical interventions to reduce symptoms and side effects of both the condition and any medical treatments you may be receiving.


Working with ladies in many different ways, blending my specialist clinical oncology knowledge, with expert holistic healthcare is my passion. The power of the mind-body connection is so powerful and I have many tools to work with menopause symptoms from a holistic and positive perspective.


For personalised holistic support with cancer treatment, or advice and guidance on which treatments may work best for you, get in touch today or visit my website: www.physiocareholistics.co.uk






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