Hormone replacement therapy is aimed to help women whose estrogen levels fall during menopause. This can lead to uncomfortable symptoms that women don’t have to deal with.
Hormonal replacement therapy (HRT) can be effective in dealing with these bothersome menopausal symptoms. Statistics show that in the United States, about 38% of postmenopausal women take hormone replacement therapy.
We’re going to take a look at how HRT can help to treat bothersome menopause symptoms, the different options out there, as well as the benefits and potential side effects. This can help you decide what type of hormone therapy may be right for you.
What are the Signs that You May Need Hormone Replacement Therapy?
Different symptoms occur that can signal that you’re a good candidate for hormone replacement therapy. These signs include:
- Night sweats
- Vaginal dryness
- Problems sleeping
- Bone loss
As mentioned above, hormone replacement therapy typically coincides with the start of menopause. For many women, the transition to menopause can start anytime between the ages of 45-55. But some women experience premature menopause symptoms, which is when the final menstrual period happens before a woman turns 40. So there are many reasons beginning menopausal hormone therapy may be exactly what you need to really feel yourself again.
Menopause Symptoms that Hormone Therapy Can Help
If you are not totally sure if you have officially entered the stage of menopause or if menopausal hormone therapy is going to be a good fit for you. Below is a list of menopausal symptoms HRT can treat:
- Vaginal symptoms such as the thinning of vaginal walls and vaginal dryness
- Bladder infections
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Memory loss
- Reduced sex drive
- Hair loss or abnormal hair growth
- Dry and itchy eyes
If you are making the menopause transition and begin to experience any of these symptoms, or fear there may be health risks of early menopause talk to your healthcare provider to determine whether hormone replacement therapy HRT is right for you.
What are The Different Types of Hormone Replacement Therapy?
Menopausal women can benefit the most from two different types of hormone therapy ht, which include:
- Bio-Identical Therapy: Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) restores and helps to maintain hormone balance with plant-derived hormones that have similar chemical structures to those naturally occurring in the human body.
- Estrogen Therapy: Estrogen-only HRT is one option. Doctors may prescribe a low dose of estrogen in the form of estrogen pills or an estrogen patch. It’s often recommended to take the lowest dose of estrogen to relieve menopausal symptoms and help to prevent osteoporosis.
- Estrogen Progesterone/Progestin Hormone Therapy (EPT): There is also combined hormone therapy. This combination hormone therapy includes doses of estrogen and progesterone (or progestin, a synthetic form of progesterone).
What Forms Does HRT come in?
Hormone replacement therapy HRT comes in different menopause treatment forms. Some women have to experiment with the different forms to find the right combined hormone therapy to treat menopausal symptoms. These include:
Estrogen pills are the most common menopausal hormone therapy. There are many forms available that are conjugated estrogens. Most are taken once a day without food while others have more complicated dosages.
Estrogen patches can be replaced every few days, while others can be worm for a week. They are placed on the skin of your abdomen. Some patches only help to reduce the risk of osteoporosis and do not treat other menopause symptoms. It’s important to consult with your doctor to determine what patch may be best for you.
Estrogen therapy can also come in creams, gels, and sprays. This type of hormone replacement therapy is absorbed through the skin directly into the bloodstream. They are typically used daily.
Vaginal Estrogen Therapy
Vaginal estrogen comes in a cream, tablets, or ring. These are typically best for women dealing with vaginal dryness, burning or pain during intercourse, and itchiness. Dosage will vary depending on the type of product being used.
If you’re unsure what type of estrogen therapy is right for your unique menopause treatment, discuss your symptoms with your healthcare provider who can recommend which hormone therapy will be best for you.
Benefits of Taking Hormone Replacement Therapy
Besides relieving menopausal symptoms, hormone therapy ht can also include other health benefits such as:
- Reduced risk of osteoporosis
- Improved mood
- Lower colorectal cancer risk
- Lower risk of diabetes
- Lower risk of cardiovascular disease
- Improved joint movement
- Lessened hot flashes
How Long Should I Take Hormone Therapy (HT)?
There is no set time limit for hormone therapy. It’s often recommended to take the lowest dose that works for you. If you develop a new medical condition while taking hormone therapy, it’s best to talk to your healthcare provider to discuss the next course of action.
Are There Any Side Effects of Hormone Replacement Therapy?
As with any type of drug, some people do experience side effects. The most common side effects of HRT include:
- Increased risk of blood clots
- Breast tenderness
- Irregular spotting or monthly bleeding
- Mood swings
Some women may also experience skin irritation if wearing an estrogen patch as well as headaches, and fluid retention.
Does HRT Increase the Risk of Breast Cancer?
Many women are concerned about the side effects of hormone replacement therapy such as an increased risk of breast cancer. One study has shown that the increase in breast cancer incidence among women taking hormone therapy was dependent on the type of therapy and the age they started, among other factors. It’s best to discuss concerns about breast cancer risk with your doctor to determine if hormone replacement therapy is right for you.
Who Should Not Take Hormone Replacement Therapy?
While some hormone replacement therapy works well for many women, it is usually not recommended for women who:
- Have or had breast cancer or endometrial cancer
- Experience abnormal vaginal bleeding
- Have an increased risk of blood clots
- Have a personal medical history of stroke, heart attack, or vascular disease
- Are pregnant
- Have liver disease
If you fall into any of these categories, you’ll want to look for different types of hormone therapy.
Are There Alternatives for Women Who Choose Not to Take Menopausal Hormone Therapy?
If hormone therapy is not for you, there are some alternatives you may want to look into. These include:
- Changes in diet
- Dietary supplements
- Herbal supplements
- Lifestyle changes
- Medical Weight Loss Programs
Be sure to discuss dietary and herbal supplements with your healthcare provider before starting anything new.
Sound Like What You Need? Let’s Get Started!
If you believe you can benefit from hormone replacement therapy, All About You Health and Wellness is here for you. It is our goal to provide the best hormone therapy services in Gilbert, AZ to promote the happiness of healthy postmenopausal women. We offer Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy, IV Therapy, Medical Weight Loss, and more to help you deal with all of the results of hormone level fluctuations.
Call us today at (602) 834-0505 or reach out to us below to get started.