We all know that women go through their life changes, menopause, at some point. Menopause begins as something called peri-menopause. Peri-menopause is the start of these changes in womens bodies. They may begin with extra heavy flow during that time of the month, an extra long period or they may miss their periods all together for months at a time. A simple blood test can determine if these symptoms are in fact the start of menopause. During peri-menopause, many things may occur throughout a womens body that may seem strange and even annoying. Such as hot flashes, lack of interest in sex, sleepiness, weight gain and mood swings just to name a few. Many women look to hormone replacement drugs for help in dealing with these natural bodily occurrences. Before beginning any type of “drug” therapy one should consider risk factors associated with those drugs. There is an alternative skin patch for hormone replacement that has fewer side effects then other commonly prescribed medications. The skin patch has a lower risk of blood clotting then taking a more traditional hormone replacement pill. If you are high risk for cardiovascular problems, then do yourself a favor and ask about the skin patch for hormone replacement therapy.