Safe, Effective and Non-Hormonal Options for Dealing with PMS & Menopause: Dr. Melanie Bone

How to deal with hot flashes during menopause

Menopause is a time of life few women are excited to experience. Most women dread the big “M.” It signals the end of our reproductive life, and it doesn’t help that magazines, movies, and mainstream media portray this transition as a time of suffering. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) reports that three out of four women experience hot flashes during menopause. Many women start having these “vasomotor symptoms,” or “VMS,” in perimenopause, a term used for the years leading up to your final menstrual period, when the amount of estrogen produced by your ovaries begins to decline. A recent study showed that women who begin to have VMS in perimenopause tend to have them for almost twelve years, while those women who start getting VMS at the time of menopause can have them for over seven years. Either way, that is a long time to be “hot and bothered” by them!

What options exist to treat vasomotor symptoms? Hormone therapy with estrogen can be effective, but it has risks and potential side effects. Additionally, ACOG recommends no more than two to five years of hormone therapy for menopausal symptoms.

There are options for women who do not want to use hormones or who cannot use them because of medical contraindications, such as breast cancer or a history of blood clots. Some healthcare professionals prescribe antidepressants that are approved by the FDA to treat VMS. These drugs can have side effects and can interfere with other medications. Some alternative treatments for VMS include acupuncture and herbs. There is no one-size-fits-all answer where menopause is concerned.

Another option for women who do not want or cannot take hormone therapy is Relizen. Introduced to the United States in 2014, yet available in Europe for over fifteen years, where it has been used by over one million women, Relizen is for women who want to or need to avoid hormones. Relizen is a safe, effective, and non-hormonal dietary supplement made from a proprietary blend of Swedish flower pollen extract. In a well-controlled study, Relizen showed a significant reduction in frequency of hot flashes, with side effects no different from a sugar pill and no observed drug interactions or contraindications.* In a separate open-label study with over 400 women, Relizen showed reductions in intensity of hot flashes and night sweats, and improvements in fatigue, irritability, quality of sleep, and overall quality of life.*

How to deal with symptoms of PMS

For those of you who are still in the midst of your reproductive years, the struggle with Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) may be all too familiar. Many women struggle with irritability, mood swings, and a general feeling of unease called dysphoria in the days leading up to their menstrual period. When these symptoms happen month after month and are bothersome or disruptive, the condition is called PMS. Millions of women from teenagers to women in their early forties suffer from PMS.

What treatment options exist for PMS? Some healthcare professionals prescribe birth control pills, antidepressants, or anti-anxiety medications, but these have side effects and can be habit-forming. Similar to treatments for menopausal symptoms, there is no one-size-fits-all answer for those suffering from PMS symptoms.

Introduced in August 2015 to the United States, Serenol is a clinically effective dietary supplement that has been shown to be safe. Serenol consists of a flower pollen extract, Chromax® chromium picolinate and a low dose of Royal Jelly. In several well-designed studies, the ingredients in Serenol have been shown to help with irritability, mood fluctuations, water retention, sleep disturbances, food cravings, and premenstrual weight gain, with side effects no different from a sugar pill and no observed drug interactions.* Royal Jelly is a bee product, however, and those that are allergic to bees should avoid taking Serenol.

Speak to your AOA healthcare professional today to learn more about Relizen & Serenol, or go online, to either or If you use the discount code 5002962 when ordering†, you can save significantly on your first three months of therapy. For best results with both Relizen and Serenol, it is advised that you stay on active therapy for at least three full months, taking two tablets once per day.

† For use towards patient purchase of Relizen or Serenol. Valid for one use per customer. If coupon code is applied to purchase Relizen Together Program or Serenol Simplicity Program, discount will be $15 off each of the first three months’ supply (total of $45 discount). If coupon code is applied to a single box (1-month supply), discount will be $15 off one-time only.

Dr. Melanie Bone is a board-certified OBGYN with the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. She received her medical degree from Albany Medical College, and completed her residency at George Washington University Hospital. Dr. Bone resides in south Florida, where she actively practices gynecology, frequently speaks on gynecological issues around the nation, and writes a column for the Palm Beach Post Heath.

Dr. Bone was compensated for her time in preparing this article.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

6 Ways to Create a Family Fitness Environment in a World of Technology

Fall Family Fitness

Experts agree that health benefits result from moderate physical activity on a regular basis. However, the U.S. Surgeon General’s Report on Physical Activity and Health reveals that the majority of Americans are not getting enough exercise. This is especially true of children between the ages of 12 and 21.

To encourage family fitness, the Health Information Resource Center has designated September 24, 2016, as Family Health & Fitness Day USA. At locations around the country, families will participate in fitness events and activities, including exercise demonstrations and health fairs, at community sites such as hospitals, health clubs, YMCAs and schools.

To get a head start, here are some tips for getting fit with your family this fall:

  1. Make the most of weekends. Pick at least one fitness activity to do per weekend as a family. Make this a priority so other social engagements don’t crowd out family fitness time.
  2. Try outdoor activities. With the weather cooling down, fall is a great time to get outside and enjoy nature. Try hiking in the woods, biking in the park or walking the family dog. Younger children may also enjoy playing in corn mazes and building leaf piles. Involving kids in yard work and gardening projects is a good way to burn calories and get things done outside. Remember to provide enough water and healthy snacks to keep everyone happy.
  3. Minimize screen time. Set limits on time spent watching TV and playing video games, encouraging a good balance between sedentary and physical activities. Keeping televisions and personal electronic devices out of your child’s room will make it easier for you to monitor screen time and encourage healthy technology usage.
  4. Turn TV commercials into fitness breaks. During commercials, encourage kids to do squats, push-ups or jumping jacks until the show comes back on. Create silly names for these simple exercises to make them sound fun and appealing. Younger children may enjoy activities such as wiggling, clapping and marching.
  5. Take fitness classes together. Some gyms and community centers offer aerobics or yoga classes designed to include parents and their children.
  6. Skip shortcuts in everyday life. When running errands, choose physical activity over convenience. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park farther away from the store entrance instead of trying to find the closest parking spot. If possible, walk or bike to your destination rather than driving.

Remember, it’s important that kids get at least 60 minutes of daily activity to maintain a healthy weight. By setting the example, active parents can encourage children to develop good health and fitness habits that will last a lifetime.

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To learn more about family health and wellness support, call Arizona OB/GYN Affiliates (AOA) at 602-343-6174 or visit