Most menopausal women have heard about hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for menopause, which may help them. Some people praise HRT as being the cure-all for menopause. Still, there are many things you should understand about HRT and menopause itself before you consider consulting a bioidentical hormone specialist. Keep reading to learn more about the different kinds of HRT and how to replace hormones after menopause.
What is Menopause?
Menopause is an important step in women’s sexual health. Menopause refers to the time in a woman’s life when they stop having periods and can no longer get pregnant. The early warning signs of menopause include infrequent periods. Women can go for several months without having a period and then stop having them altogether. For some women, periods will stop happening suddenly without warning.
The menopause is a natural part of the aging process. Women typically go through menopause between the ages of 45 and 55 as their natural estrogen levels drop.
What are the Symptoms of Menopause?
There are around 34 symptoms of menopause in all. Our menopause symptoms list will focus on the most obvious ones to watch for;
- Hair loss
- Aching joints
- Sore breasts
- Frequent urination
- Dizzy spells
- Hot flashes/night sweats
- Varicose veins
- Depression and mood swings
- Vaginal dryness
If you’re wondering, “what are the signs that you need hormone replacement therapy?” these symptoms can be an indication.
What is Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)?
Hormone replacement therapy is a treatment used to replace hormones women lose to menopause. The treatment restores optimal hormone levels to keep you happy and healthy. The benefits of hormone replacement therapy in menopause include relief from the symptoms associated with the hormonal imbalance caused by menopause. If all goes well, you’ll have fewer mood swings, hot flashes, irritability, low libido, and vaginal dryness symptoms.
However, there’s more to HRT than preventing menopause symptoms. Many doctors and women have praised the treatment for preventing bone loss and reducing fracture risk for postmenopausal women. Hormones are an essential part of bone health for men and women.
What are the Types of HRT?
Most people think of tablets or injections when wondering how to replace hormones after menopause. They may be among the most popular options, but they aren’t the only choice for HRT. There are several forms of HRT available, depending on the individual needs and preferences of the patient. HRT generally comes in five formats, including;
- Pills are taken once a day
- Patches changed once or twice a week
- Implants changed every few months
- Creams and sprays applied daily
- Vaginal rings, creams, and suppositories are taken as needed
The hormones used in HRT are estrogen and progesterone, depending on whether or not a woman has undergone a hysterectomy. It is rare for doctors to prescribe women testosterone, but it can happen.
How to Take HRT
How you should take your HRT treatment depends on which treatment option you receive. There are no standardized routines or methods of taking HRT. Please be sure to follow the directions given by your healthcare provider.
There are two main treatment regimens used as part of HRT; continuous combined and cyclical combined. Continuous combined HRT involves taking two or more hormones without any breaks. For cyclical regimens, women take hormones at different times of the month according to their prescription.
Every bioidentical hormone specialist recommends you start with the lowest possible dose on a short cycle. Although, please note it can take a week or two for the effects to kick in and reduce symptoms. While your women’s hormone specialist in Los Angeles will conduct a check-up every three-to-six months, women taking HRT should see their healthcare provider once a year to monitor how the treatment is progressing.
Who Shouldn’t Use HRT
Like most medical treatments, HRT carries some risks and isn’t for everyone. Women who haven’t undergone a hysterectomy to remove their uterus should not take estrogen replacement therapy alone. Estrogen stimulates growth in the uterus lining, which increases the risk of cancer for these women. Doctors will often prescribe a progesterone or progestin along with the estrogen to help with this.
Women with a medical history of certain health conditions should also avoid using HRT. In general, women with breast, endometrial, and ovarian cancer are at-risk with hormone replacement therapy. Women with blood clots, unexplained vaginal bleeding, liver disease, and a history of strokes and heart attacks should also avoid HRT.
Please keep in mind that HRT increases the risk of these health conditions, particularly cancer, stroke, and heart attack. HRT can also cause gallbladder disease. Talk to your doctor or healthcare specialist about the risks and benefits of HRT and check your medical history to see if the risk is worth it for you or not.
Are There Alternatives to HRT?
Menopause symptom relief begins with lifestyle changes to promote endocrine system health. We recommend getting regular exercise, eating a healthy diet, and adopting wholesome habits such as cutting alcohol and caffeine consumption and getting enough sleep.
There are also herbal medications to help with hormone imbalances. These plant-based estrogens work similarly to natural hormones in your body. Hormone-regulating supplements stimulate the production of hormones to keep estrogen levels regular.
Hormone Replacement Therapy for Menopause
In conclusion, hormone replacement therapy is an excellent option for women going through menopause. The benefits of hormone replacement therapy in menopause include better quality of life, fewer aches and pains, and stronger bones. With that said, HRT isn’t for everyone dealing with menopause. Some women would be better off seeking an alternative treatment.
Talk to your doctor or search online for “bioidentical hormone replacement therapy near me” to learn more about HRT and if it is the right choice for you. Women’s sexual health experts understand all the ins and outs of HRT and whether you would be a suitable candidate for treatment. We know how uncomfortable it can be to live with menopause and want you to know there are options out there if the symptoms become too much.