Menopause and Hormone Replacement
May 3, 2022 2:01 pm
What Is Menopausal Hormone Therapy?
You’re experiencing hot flashes, sleep disturbances, irritability and vaginal dryness. These telltale symptoms alert you that your estrogen levels are dropping, and menopause is on the way.
Menopause occurs during three distinct stages:
- Perimenopause is the stage between the start of symptoms and one year after the final menstrual period.
- Menopause is the stage that begins one year after the final menstrual period.
- Post-menopause includes all the years after menopause.
Don’t think that you have to live with the symptoms that occur during this change in your life. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT), which can be administered via patches, pills, injections, gels, vaginal creams, vaginal inserts, vaginal rings and vaginal tablets, supplements your estrogen or progestin or a combination of the two. HRT is designed to relieve symptoms and help you feel more like yourself.
What Are the Signs You Need Hormone Replacement Therapy?
If your symptoms are persistent, it may be time to speak with your doctor about HRT. While many women’s menopausal symptoms eventually resolve, some may experience them for five or more years. When symptoms are severe and interfere with your quality of life, HRT can be a good option.
Is Hormone Replacement Therapy Safe?
Many women worry about the risks of hormone replacement therapy, especially concerning cancer.
According to the National Cancer Institute, women who took estrogen alone had a lower risk of breast cancer than women who took a placebo, but women who took estrogen with progestin were more likely to develop the disease than women who took a placebo alone.
Currently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends that women take the lowest possible doses of HRT and for the shortest possible time that effectively controls their symptoms of menopause, as this can help reduce the risks of breast cancer.
In addition, it recommends that women with vaginal bleeding problems, certain kinds of cancers, previous stroke or heart attack, or those with liver disease should avoid HRT.
What Are the Side Effects of Hormone Replacement Therapy for Menopause?
The FDA says these side effects can occur in women who take menopausal hormone therapy:
- An increased risk of blood clots, heart attacks, and strokes
- An increased risk of dementia in women ages 65 and older
- An increased risk of developing uterine lining or endometrial cancer when taking estrogen-only therapy. Taking progestin can help prevent endometrial cancer.
Because women who take certain types of HRT can face an increased risk of breast cancer, they should be familiar with their breasts so they can discuss any changes with their physicians and undergo screenings such as mammograms.
We Offer Hormone Replacement Therapy
Menopausal hormone therapy can make a big difference in many women’s lives, but it should be administered and monitored carefully to reduce potential risks. At Magnolia Regional Health Center, our women’s health clinic has the expertise to help women get the most out of life before, during and after menopause.
Schedule an appointment with an MRHC women’s health provider today.
Tags: hormone replacement therapy, menopausal hormone therapy, menopause, women's health
NewsCategorized in: Women's Health
This post was written by Magnolia Regional Health Center