Menopause is a time every woman looks forward to, although it comes with its baggage. Perhaps you’ve heard about the symptoms of menopause and are worried about how you’ll cope. Or maybe you’re already experiencing the signs and aren’t liking it at all.
Well, not to worry; hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can help to reduce the symptoms of menopause and make you feel great again.
But how and why does HRT work for menopause?
To answer that, we have to understand what causes menopause.
The cause of menopause
A woman goes into menopause when her reproductive hormones — estrogen and progesterone — begin to decline. Estrogen is known to prompt ovulation, while progesterone supports pregnancies.
When these hormones are no longer sufficient in the body, the menstrual cycle takes a hit, and you begin to experience the symptoms of menopause, including:
- Unusually light or heavy periods
- Late periods
- Hot flashes
- Loss of libido
- Pain during intercourse
- Dryness in the vagina
- Thinning or loss of hair
- And lots more.
Hormone replacement therapy works by giving the woman a dose of the depleted reproductive hormones. It’s like countering or replenishing the low hormonal levels.
However, how near you are to menopause will determine how effective the procedure will be for you. If you’re unsure, you can get a free consultation to decide whether or not you’re a suitable candidate and what type of HRT will be used for you.
Types of hormonal replacement therapy
There are mainly two types of hormonal replacement therapy for menopause:
- Estrogen replacement therapy
- Estrogen/progesterone/progestin hormone therapy (also known as combination therapy)
Estrogen replacement therapy can be used to treat menopausal symptoms by giving the woman a low dose of estrogen.
Given that it replenishes the estrogen levels, the treatment also works for women who have had their ovaries, Fallopian tubes, or uterus removed.
Your physician may infuse estrogen into your system as pills, patches, topically, or into the vagina.
Pills: Estrogen pills are the most common way to treat symptoms of menopause. It comes in different names and brands, and your doctor will likely recommend taking them daily without food.
Patches: You wear an estrogen patch on your abdomen. You can wear it for a few days or a week after which you must replace it. There are different brands, including Mostar and Estraderm.
Topical estrogen: Estrogen can be applied topically in the form of creams, gels, and even sprays. EstroGel and Estrasorb are a few examples. Just like estrogen patches, the creams and gels are absorbed through the skin into the bloodstream, where they go to perform their work.
Vaginal estrogen: As the name suggests, it comes in the form of creams and tablets inserted into the vagina. This therapy is primarily for women experiencing vaginal dryness and painful sex. While some are replaced weekly, some go on for weeks.
After the consultation, your physician will prescribe what’s best suited for your condition.
Estrogen/progesterone/progestin hormone therapy
Also known as a combination therapy because it contains estrogen and progesterone, this treatment is for women who still have their uterus.
Of course, you probably already know that progesterone supports implantation and pregnancy in the uterus. During perimenopause, a woman can still get pregnant. Elevating progesterone levels alongside estrogen will help lower your risks of endometrial cancer.
Progesterone can also help to combat menopausal symptoms like hot flashes.
Progesterone can be used orally as a pill or as an intrauterine device (IUD).
Why should you go for hormonal replacement therapy?
HRT offers several benefits, including the following:
- The treatment helps against insomnia, therefore allowing you to sleep better
- It eases vaginal dryness and itching
- HRT fights of hot flashes and night sweats
- It will enable you to enjoy sex again without pain
- Reduces your chance of developing cancer and breast or ovarian cysts after menopause
- Lowers your risks of dementia
When are you not a good candidate for HRT?
As with most medical procedures, not everyone can be a good candidate. If you have any of the following, you might want to steer clear of HRT:
- Heart disease
- Liver disease
- Vaginal bleeding
- Blood clots
- Gallbladder disease
If you smoke, your physician may suggest you stop before having an HRT.
Knowing which type of HRT to go for will depend on your symptoms and general health. You’ll get to discuss all of that when you schedule a consultation.
No matter the stage of life you’re in, living a high quality of life is essential to your physical and mental health. If you’re battling the signs of menopause, HRT might just be what you need to feel great again.
- Menopause & Insomnia: Practice These 7 Tricks to Deal with It
- 6 Warning Health Signs That Every Woman Shouldn’t Ignore
- Top Tips For Maintaining Your Health as a Woman
- Breast Cancer Awareness: Early Detection And Diagnosis
- What Are The Main Differences Between Overactive And Underactive Thyroid? Find Out Here