A few months back, during a routine check-up with my healthcare provider, I was shocked to learn that I was showing signs of early menopause. I am 41 years old, and the thought of entering menopause never crossed my mind. Was this perimenopause? Full-blown menopause? I wasn’t sure and neither was my Dr.
To say that this diagnosis took me by surprise would be a complete understatement. I was chalking my ever-more noticeable symptoms up to other life factors. From mood swings and hot flashes to the 10 or so pounds that seemed to attach itself to my midsection overnight, I was struggling but had no idea why. Nor did I really take the time to try to figure out what these strange new symptoms could be attributed to other than the normal stressors of life as a busy mom and writer.
My doctor recommended that I seriously consider HRT, or hormone replacement therapy to help quell my symptoms and prevent them from worsening. I needed time to think and do my research. I left the office that day feeling both defeated and hopeful. I was bummed about my diagnosis, but also excited to know that the symptoms (which were worsening by the month it seemed) were potentially treatable.
This article will be based on my experience with HRT for menopause. Specifically, I’m going to focus on sharing my review of the company Winona, which I ultimately decided to seek treatment from.
How I Found Winona
I discovered Winona (By Winona) via an online search shortly after I visited with my primary care physician. I wanted to find an easy, discreet, and trustworthy source that would help me get the right information and medications to treat my symptoms. I had used telemedicine platforms before and had nothing but great things to say, so this felt like a very natural fit.
Winona jumped out at me as a simple, straightforward, and reliable brand. Doing a bit of digging, everything checked out as far as legitimacy was concerned. According to its website, they used real doctors to make sure that you get the right treatment for your unique situation, and they would ship all applicable medications right to your door. Count me in!
How I Got Started
I got started with Winona’s menopause treatments by first taking their online quiz. It was pretty vague, but it gave Winona enough information about who I was and what my symptoms were to qualify me for an initial consultation via a free visit. Honestly, I thought they might turn me in another direction because of my age, but they assured me that I was eligible for treatment, so I continued on.
I was then prompted to share more information so that I could go ahead and get an appointment set up. This process took 10-15 minutes and included pretty standard questions that you would expect as far as personal information, contact information, etc. go.
With my account created, I was then able to get more into my particular symptoms and answer some more health-related questions. There were a series of questions to go through, in total, I might have spent 5 minutes on this portion of the intake process.
Next, I was shown a screen of recommended bioidentical treatment options based on my symptoms and current health status. Winona offers your choice of pills, patches, or creams. You can choose your preference, but if you don’t have one, you can skip it.
If you have any questions or concerns before starting treatment, you’ll be given a space to express them so that your Winona Dr can review them and address them with you. I had a couple of questions about the different options (pills, patches, and creams), so I left my concerns there with the hopes that a human would address them for me.
Next, I was asked to complete an identification verification by adding a photo of myself along with a scan of my ID. The last step is to add your payment method to the portal so they can bill you for your selected treatment option. I was a little skeptical of this step because I still had some questions before committing to a treatment and thus far I hadn’t actually connected with a Dr. yet, however, they did not charge me for anything at that time.
The next step took me into the patient portal where I had the option to chat with a Winona Dr. via live chat, which I did because I still had my unanswered questions. The Dr. I chatted with was very helpful and thorough, ultimately making me feel really at ease with my decision to move forward.
My Prescription Medication
I’m not going to go into any personal details about which medications I was prescribed, but I do want to talk about how I felt after I started taking them. Keep in mind that I was still somewhat in disbelief that I needed hormone replacement therapy at such a young age, but I was so tired of dealing with the low energy, non-existent libido, and stubborn weight gain that I was willing to try just about anything to get relief.
While I had my fears about using HRT, I pressed forward with the treatment. Honestly, the support from the Winona professionals really helped to put my mind at ease and to assure me that the treatment was going to be productive. And I am so glad I trusted Winona because I began noticing symptom relief almost immediately.
Results and Relief
Within a week or so of using my Winona-prescribed treatments, I started to notice things like more even moods, fewer feelings of being overwhelmed, and more peace before bedtime which allowed me to get to sleep faster. I knew the issues of weight gain and low libido would take some time to improve, but the initial results had me feeling very positive.
At the time of this article, I’ve been using my HRT prescription for about 6 weeks. I’ve definitely noticed an improvement in my libido and while the scale hasn’t budged much yet, I’m feeling more comfortable and confident with myself. The weight loss is something that I plan to continue to work on through my diet and exercise routine.
Similar Solutions: What Else is Out There For Menopause Relief?
If after learning about Winona you’re still on the fence, I highly recommend taking a look at some other options and alternatives to see if there’s a treatment that’s better in alignment with your needs. Here are a couple of recommendations:
If you’d rather not go the prescription route, we recently wrote an article that outlines the best over-the-counter menopause relief supplements. In there, we talk about some of our favorite OTC menopause supplements like OPositiv MENO and Fan Club by HUM Nutrition. The options presented on this list are hormone-free, so if you’re still a little skeptical of HRT, this might be a good place to start.
Alloy Women’s Health and Evernow are other similar brands to Winona in that they offer hormone therapy for menopausal women. One thing that makes Alloy unique is that they offer a synbiotic (prebiotics and postbiotics) designed to help menopausal women in addition to their hormone therapy treatments, all of which are prescribed 100% online.
Would I Recommend Winona to a Friend?
Yes, I would recommend Winona to a friend. In fact, I already have. I was speaking with a friend over lunch the other day and mentioned that I had decided to start HRT for early menopause symptoms and she was very interested in learning more about it. I shared Winona’s website with her and she said she’d give it a go. I’m excited to hear if she decides to go through with it and what her experience is.
Overall, I have had a very positive experience with Winona thus far. I’m grateful for the ease with which I was able to get the prescription medication while still feeling supported and educated. I liked being able to chat discreetly with a provider as some of the symptoms I was experiencing felt embarrassing to me. Plus, the fact that I never had to leave my home to get my medication was a major bonus for this homebody.
I plan to keep up with the treatments, checking in with the team around the 3-month mark to assess my progress and see if any adjustments are needed. I’ll be sure to update you as time goes on so you can follow my journey.
Are you considering trying Winona? I hope my experience with the company helps you to decide if it’s a good fit for you. If you do try Winona, or HRT in general, I’d love to hear your feedback. Plus, it’s helpful for other women who might be in the same situation to hear from others. Take care!