Doing Hormone Therapy, the Right Way
If your perimenopause or menopause symptoms leave you struggling just to make it through every day, then Hormone Therapy (HT) may be the solution you seek. As you consider this type of treatment, it’s important that you base your decision on the facts to determine if HT is right for you.
Are Your Symptoms Robbing You of Joy?
After the age of 40, a woman’s ovaries produce less estrogen and she is considered perimenopausal. At this stage, a woman can exhibit symptoms that have a great impact on her life, including:
- Worsening PMS
- Irregular periods
- Mood swings
- Trouble sleeping
While the severity of symptoms will vary from woman to woman, symptoms like these can bring about extreme disruption in your life. Perimenopause can last between four and ten years. That’s a lot of time to live with discomfort.
After perimenopause, when a woman’s ovaries no longer release an egg every month and menstruation ceases to occur, a woman is in menopause. Symptoms of menopause can include:
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Sleep difficulties
Menopause can last anywhere from ten months to four years. Again, that’s a big chunk of your life to spend struggling to find relief.
What Is HT & What Can It Do for You?
Hormone Therapy (HT), or hormone replacement therapy (HRT), is used to help balance the levels of estrogen and progesterone in menopausal women. HT has been proven to provide women relief from the sometimes-debilitating symptoms associated with perimenopause and menopause. In fact, many women who have chosen HT report:
- Clearer thinking
- Decreased bone loss
- Decreased menopause symptoms
- Diminished early menopause symptoms after hysterectomy
- Improved libido
- Improved vaginal health
- Increased energy
Additionally, recent studies of HT benefits report:
- Improved muscle function
- Reduced risk of heart failure
- Lower mortality rates in postmenopausal women
- Improved prevention of skin aging
- Lowered risk of osteoporosis
Of course, there are risks to HT, just as there are for any medical procedure. Those include:
- Blood clots
- Birth defects
- Dense breast tissue
Different Types of HT
Working with a medical professional, you can decide what form of HT would work best for you and your lifestyle:
- Pills: This is the most common type of HT and is an easy form to integrate into your daily routine.
- Patches: Patches are convenient and only require replacement once or twice a week. These are especially effective for people with liver problems, as the hormones bypass the liver and are delivered directly to the bloodstream.
- Creams, gels and sprays: As with patches, these work well for someone experiencing liver problems because the hormone is absorbed through the skin directly into the bloodstream.
- Vaginal suppositories, rings and creams: These are typically prescribed for women who suffer from vaginal dryness or pain during intercourse.
Do’s & Don’ts of HT
Like any other decision that involves your health and quality of life, choosing HT to alleviate your menopause symptoms is one that should be made carefully. Some things to consider as you weigh your options:
- DO be as informed as possible. Talk to a medical professional about your options and your symptoms. Ask them for their professional opinion based on recent studies and proven outcomes. They are specialists whose job it is to stay abreast of the most recent research and clinical outcomes.
- DO talk to your friends and family if they have considered undergoing or have undergone HT. Ask for their opinions and experiences. Find out about their side effects and benefits.
- DO research. Make sure the information you’re receiving is from credible sources, such as medical journals.
- DO avoid homeopathic remedies and supplements. While these items may claim to bring relief, the FDA does not regulate them, and thus they lack clinical trial proof to back up their claims.
- DON’T rely on strictly anecdotal information. While your cousin may have had a horrendous experience with HT, you may not be getting the whole picture. There may be factors that altered her results of which you are unaware.
- DON’T put all your faith in the Internet. “Dr. Google” may not be the most reliable source of information on HT.
- DON’T base your decision on myths. Urban legends and on-line myths could sidetrack you and keep you from finding real relief from your symptoms.
Is HT Right for You?
We cannot stress enough how important it is to discuss your symptoms and potential HT treatments with a medical professional. For many women, living with the pain, discomfort, and debilitating physical and emotional consequences of perimenopause and menopause is simply unbearable. For those women, HT may be the solution they’ve been searching for.
There are, of course, some women for whom HT is not a good option:
- Women with mild menopausal symptoms
- Women at risk for osteoporosis
- Women with a family history of breast cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, liver disease, blood clots, or stroke
These women should speak with their physicians regarding treatments other than HT.
Don’t Suffer Any Longer. Get Hormone Therapy Help Today.
Whatever course of treatment you decide to pursue, it’s important to remember that you don’t have to suffer needlessly for decades on end. There are options available to bring you relief.
Take the time to explore your options with one of our medical professionals at Balance Hormone Center. We understand exactly what you’re going through and we know how to do hormone therapy the right way. Call 480-718-9960 or contact us online to schedule your appointment today.