Menopause is the time of life when a women’s ovaries stop releasing eggs and her estrogen levels drop. Menstruation also ceases. The average age for menopause in the United States is 51.
Are you between 40 and 58? Have you gone a full 12 months without a period (not caused by another health condition)? It’s probable you’re now in menopause.
If you’re suffering from annoying or even debilitating symptoms, hormone replacement therapy is a possible solution.
What is hormone replacement therapy for menopause? Keep reading for more information.
Some Symptoms of Menopause
Each woman’s body reacts differently to menopause. While some women breeze through the body changes without noticing, others have a hard time getting through the day.
Some of the most common symptoms of menopause include:
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Mood changes and irritability
- Vaginal dryness
- Painful intercourse
- Poor concentration
- Dry skin
- Dry mouth
- Dry eyes
- Frequent urinary tract infections
You may have none or all of these symptoms. If you find that menopausal symptoms are more than a nuisance, there are options for finding relief. One of the most common treatments is hormone replacement therapy.
Types of Hormone Replacement Therapy for Menopause
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) seeks to replace the hormones your body no longer makes. Your body still makes some estrogen and progesterone but not as much as when you were menstruating.
There are a couple of different types of hormone replacement therapy:
- Combined HRT
- Estrogen-only HRT
Combined HRT uses both estrogen and progestin and is used for women who still have a uterus. This is because estrogen alone increases the risk of uterine cancer. The progestin works to balance the estrogen, protecting the uterine lining.
Estrogen-only HRT uses estrogen without the added progestin. If you’ve had a hysterectomy, it’s safe to use estrogen-only HRT. These medications can go directly into the vagina.
Methods of Taking HRT
You can take whole-body estrogen or vaginal estrogen. Whole-body estrogen is given by shot, implant, by mouth, or via lotion on the skin. This type of estrogen helps reduce menopausal symptoms while also protecting you from osteoporosis.
Vaginal estrogen goes into the vagina or via a body cream. Most of the vaginal estrogen remains in the vagina so it doesn’t carry the same risks as whole-body estrogen.
Progesterone is an add-on to some whole-body estrogen treatments. If you still have your uterus and you’re taking whole-body estrogen, your doctor may prescribe progesterone as well.
Bio-Identical hormones are custom-made compounds that mimic your body’s own hormones. The doctor performs lab tests first and then formulates a plan for your specific body.
Hormone Replacement Therapy for Symptom Relief
Hormone replacement therapy works wonders in reducing some of the unwanted and even debilitating symptoms of menopause. If you’re suffering from severe menopause symptoms, consider talking to a doctor about HRT to see if you’re a candidate.
If you’re struggling with difficult or even embarrassing symptoms of menopause, don’t suffer in silence. Make an appointment now to see if HRT is right for you.