Where To Buy Supplements For Menopause
Hot flashes, fatigue, headaches, night sweats, mood swings … menopause sure is a lot of fun, isn’t it? When you have had enough of these bothersome symptoms, you might decide to try taking supplements to balance your hormone levels and treat your symptoms.
But where can you get high-quality supplements for menopause? And how can you evaluate the products you are buying to make sure that what you are getting is really what you need?
Since there is so little regulation in the supplements market, you are quite right to be cautious about the products you purchase. You should always be very careful about what you are putting in your body. But you also want to make sure that you get the best price, and that shopping for your supplements with the easy and convenient.
In this article, I will share some ideas with you for where you can buy your supplements for menopause. But first, let’s talk a little bit more about the types of supplements you need and what to look for in terms of quality.
What Types of Supplements Are Best for Menopause?
Before you can shop for supplements for menopause, you need to know what you are looking for. Some herbs which can help you mitigate your symptoms include:
- Black cohosh
- Red clover
- Red ginseng
- Licorice root
- Magnolia bark
- St. John’s Wort
You can read about how these supplements can help in detail here.
Keep in mind that your hormonal profile is unique to you, and may be slightly different from that of another woman of the same age going through menopause. For that reason, it might take a bit of trial and error to identify which herbs are most helpful to you.
You can either shop for these herbs separately, or you can buy a combined menopause supplement which includes multiple herbs in its formula along with healthy vitamins and minerals which you need during this phase of life.
There are pros and cons to both approaches. Testing out different herbs separately can provide you with more specific input on which ones are most effective for you. It is however more expensive and inconvenient. Purchasing a blend may provide you with faster and more affordable results. But it also means that you will not necessarily be sure which components of the blend are helping you out.
Neither approach is really better or worse than the other. Over the long term, however, it would be best if you could find a formula which contains a number of different beneficial herbs at an affordable price. That will simplify your shopping and your supplement regimen over the years ahead.
What Should You Look For in a High-Quality Supplement?
Now you have some ideas for which types of supplements to look for to treat the symptoms of menopause. But how do you know that you have identified a high-quality product that you can trust?
The reason it is hard to shop for supplements and know what you are getting is because the FDA puts the responsibility for product safety on the manufacturer, but does not require that the manufacturer prove that information on its product labels is correct.
Nonetheless, the FDA has at least put together some guidelines for supplements, known as “good manufacturing practices,” or GMPs. Certain facilities where supplements are manufactured conform to good manufacturing practices. While the FDA may not directly check on the quality of supplements, it does routinely check on operations in these facilities.
That means that one thing you can do to protect yourself as a consumer is to purchase supplements which are manufactured in facilities which conform to GMPs standards.
Something else you can do is look for third-party testing certifications. These are offered by organizations such as ConsumerLab.com, NSF International, and US Pharmacopeia.
Keep in mind that these are independent organizations, and are not connected with the government. They have developed strong reputations, but cannot provide any official guarantee on the contents of a supplement or its effectiveness.
Here is a quick rundown of what you want to see in a supplement for menopause:
- Manufactured in facilities which conform to GMP standards.
- Third-party tested for purity and potency.
- Contains the right amount of the correct herbs, vitamins, and minerals for your needs.
- 100% natural with no artificial additives or fillers.
- Does not contain wheat, gluten, common allergens, and so forth.
- Ingredients are harvested sustainably and processed using safe methods which do not destroy their potency.
- The price is reasonable.
- Transparency from the brand.
- Reliable customer service.
Should you shop for the cheapest menopause supplements? Not necessarily. Doing so might seem like it is saving you money, but there are couple of reasons why it may not actually be the best value.
First of all, in a lot of cases, it is a challenge to calculate exactly how much you are paying for each dose of a supplement. One product may look cheaper than another at checkout, but might actually contain less of the supplement than you need, and therefore actually not be cheaper in reality.
For another thing, super-cheap supplements are often priced so low because their manufacturers have cut corners. So you may find that they are less pure and effective overall.
So look for supplements for menopause which are affordable, but not necessarily cheap. What is most important is value.
Now you know what you should look for in a high-quality supplement for menopause. But what do you need to avoid? Here are a few red flags that you do not want to see:
- Artificial additives and unnecessary fillers. There is no reason to introduce these substances to your body, and certainly no reason to pay for them. You should be purchasing a pure, potent supplement that delivers only what your body needs.
- Supplements from brands that provide no information about manufacturing or harvesting processes. You should be especially suspicious if you call or write the company, and still receive no good information.
- Unrealistic claims. Another red flag to watch out for when shopping for supplements is when a company tries to claim that their product can treat or cure a disease. While certain claims are allowed, the FDA requires that they be followed with, “This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.”
- Unclear ingredients. If you have any uncertainty as to what is contained in a supplement, you should not buy it. You should be able to view a full list of ingredients (active and inactive).
- Poor customer service. If you contact a supplement manufacturer with a question and they do not help you out quickly by providing a knowledgeable answer, you may want to shop somewhere else.
I recommend that when you shop for supplements for menopause, you do research both on the specific supplements you are looking into and their manufacturers. Go with brands you recognize and trust where possible. If you are testing out a brand which is not as well known, look up what you can on the company’s background to make sure that they are legit.
Where Can You Shop for Menopause Supplements Offline?
You now know what you need to look for in a high-quality supplement for menopause. But where can you actually purchase one?
There are options both online and offline. First, let’s talk about where you can buy menopause supplements offline. There really are only a couple of possibilities:
- Your local pharmacy. This could be a Rite Aid or CVS or some other chain store, or it could be the pharmacy section of your local grocery store. It might also be a locally owned pharmacy.
- Your local supplement or health food store. Sometimes you will have more luck shopping at health food stores or shops which are specifically focused on selling supplements. They may carry a wider selection, especially in the herbal department.
Pros of Shopping for Menopause Supplements Offline:
- It can be convenient to buy supplements from brick-and-mortar shops that you already frequent. You trust these stores as well as the integrity of the products which they stock.
- There is no need to pay for shipping and handling.
- You can go to the store today and pick up a supplement and start taking it right away.
- Sometimes you can find some good deals on menopause supplements at brick-and-mortar shops which you may not find online.
- You may be able to ask questions and get advice from a customer service representative. This is more likely if you are shopping at a health food or supplement store than if you are just looking at the supplements in your grocery mart.
Cons of Shopping for Menopause Supplements Offline:
- The product selection in offline stores is limited—sometimes severely so. You may simply not be able to find what you are looking for. There will probably be fewer types of supplements to choose from, and certainly fewer brands.
- Some menopause supplements are only available online. Quite a few brands only sell their products through their websites or through online outlets like Amazon.
- Sometimes supplements will be marked up significantly in stores. You may not be paying for shipping directly, but you may be paying for it indirectly through the mark-up.
- Going to the store can be inconvenient. You may have other things you want to do with your time. If you are feeling poorly, you might also prefer to get some rest.
- If you rely on local stores to stock your supplements, you might sometimes find yourself in a predicament because the stores have failed to order their inventory on time, and there are no supplements available for you to buy.
Keep Reading: How To Use Probiotics to Combat Miserable UTIs
Where Can You Shop for Menopause Supplements Online?
Let’s say that you cannot find what you are looking for at a brick-and-mortar store—or you simply prefer to shop online. Where should you shop for your supplements?
- Online vitamin stores. There are quite a few vitamin shops online—including some familiar names like GNC. When you buy from vitamin stores online, you get the advantage of a larger selection along with the convenience of shopping at home.
- Amazon. Oftentimes you can find an even larger selection of supplements for menopause by going through a major online retailer like Amazon. Amazon’s Marketplace means that third-party sellers can also put up their merchandise. So you can either buy supplements directly through Amazon, or you can have your orders fulfilled by those third parties. Many sellers offer a “subscribe and save” plan you can sign up for where you will get a continuous discount for automatic refills.
- Manufacturer websites. Finally, one more option is to see if the manufacturer you are shopping from offers supplements for sale directly through their websites. This has become a common practice. If you shop from the site directly, there may be additional discounts and benefits.
Pros of Shopping for Menopause Supplements Online:
- You have the widest possible selection available. When you shop for supplements online, you will be able to browse through a much wider range of products from more manufacturers. There are limits to what a store offline can stock. Online however, you should be able to find just about anything.
- There is the opportunity to buy products which are only sold online. As mentioned before, there are some supplements which are exclusively available through the internet and which are not stocked in regular brick-and-mortar shops. This may be a decision by the shops or by the supplements’ manufacturers. Either way, shopping online is the only way you can obtain these products.
- You do not need to leave the house to shop. Another great thing about shopping online is that it is easy and convenient. You do not need to get into your car and drive to a store or wait in line to check out. When you are fatigued from your menopause symptoms, this can be a welcome reprieve.
- There may be better deals available. Sometimes you will find some exciting deals offline, but other times you will discover that the biggest discounts are available when you shop online.
- You can set up auto refills. Using subscribe and save is a great way to save on both time and money. Chances are good that you’ll need an ongoing supply of your menopause supplements for some time, so you may as well take advantage of these kinds of deals.
Cons of Shopping for Menopause Supplements Online:
- Some people are uncomfortable making online purchases, especially through unfamiliar websites. While there are risks involved with online shopping, this should not deter you. Nowadays, there are also risks to checking out at a cash register in a brick-and-mortar shop.
- You have to pay for shipping (sometimes). Another drawback of shopping online is that you may have to pay shipping costs. On some sites, this may be prohibitive. Others however may not charge you shipping, especially if you are ordering in bulk.
- You need to wait for your supplements to arrive. Another hassle of online ordering is that you may have to wait a few days or weeks for your supplements to get to you. You should have the option in most cases of paying more for faster shipping. In the future, if you plan your orders in advance, you can make sure that there will be no break in your supplement supply.
All in all, unless there is a shop in your area which offers a particularly good deal on menopause supplements, it is probably most logical to order them online.
It is easy to fall into analysis paralysis when you are shopping for menopause supplements. With so many choices, it can be hard to know where to shop and what to buy.
You should have a pretty good starting point now, though. Amazon is a great choice if you are looking for a huge selection and want to shop through a familiar site—but you will also find some great deals on manufacturer sites.