The most common reason women are prescribed hormone replacement therapy is to deal with a drop in estrogen and other hormones during and after menopause. This is because the menopause changes hormone levels and production in the body. Hormone replacement therapy helps women get through this change. It also reduces the risk of developing health problems such as bone loss and osteoporosis.
The Difference Between Sexual Health and Reproductive Health
Hormone replacement therapy is more about female sexual health rather than female reproductive health. The WHO definition of sexual health is “a state of physical, mental, and social well-being in relation to sexuality.” The sexual wellness meaning suggests that sexual health requires a respectful and positive approach to sexuality and sexual relationships. It has less to do with reproductive health.
Reproductive health, on the other hand, addresses the “reproductive processes, functions, and systems at all stages of life.” Though often interchanged, the difference can be important.
A hormone imbalance has a significant impact on sexual health and wellbeing – and that’s what hormone replacement therapy for women is all about.
Who Should Consider Hormone Replacement Therapy?
Not everyone who has a hormone imbalance can be considered a good candidate for hormone replacement therapy. You should talk to your doctor about your symptoms. Always be honest with them so they can plot the best course of action. Here are some of the signs you are a good candidate for this treatment option:
Your Menopause Symptoms are More Severe Than Average
Women going through menopause are the best candidates for hormone replacement, especially women with severe menopause symptoms. If your health is suffering because of hot flashes, mood fluctuations, increased fatigue, and the other menopause symptoms, you should talk to your doctor.
Hormone replacement is considered the best and most effective treatment for severe menopause symptoms. When these hormones are administered at the right dose at the right time, you’ll get the relief you need as you advance through this natural stage of life.
You Have An Unusual Reduced Sex Drive
There’s nothing wrong with having a low sex drive. However, having an abnormally low sex drive can be an issue – and your hormones could be the cause. Changes to hormone levels play havoc on a sexual life. There’s a general reduction in libido and lack of natural lubrication for women. Other symptoms include trouble achieving and maintaining an erection for men and discomfort or pain during sexual intercourse.
Hormone therapy helps to correct all those problems and ensure your sexual health in the long-term. Being menopausal is no reason to not enjoy an active, healthy, and safe sex life.
You Have Intense PMS
As you get closer to the menopause, you might start experiencing more intense PMS symptoms. The condition is known as premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). It affects roughly 8% of all women. The condition can cause severe emotional and mental distress, not to mention physical pain. If you feel you are suffering, you should ask your doctor about hormone replacement therapy.
You Have Weak Bone Density
While you might not see the connection between hormones and strong bones, make no doubt that hormones are integral for bone density. Your hormones send signals to trigger more cell renewal in bones, keeping them strong and healthy and promoting proper bone density.
If you have a hormone imbalance, it can cause issues with your bone strength. This can lead to problems including osteoporosis, which increases the risk of bone fracture. Hormone replacement therapy can slow down, if not prevent, bone loss by ensuring your body has the hormones it needs.
There’s a Family History of Osteoporosis
As mentioned before, osteoporosis is a condition that increases the risk of bone fractures. Estrogen, the female sex hormone, is an important asset to protecting bones. Given that the menopause causes a sharp reduction in natural estrogen levels, postmenopausal women are more likely to suffer from osteoporosis.
Therefore, hormone replacement therapy is recommended to women who have a family history of osteoporosis or other health conditions that may worsen with reduced estrogen levels. The more likely you are to develop osteoporosis, the more HRT can help.
You Have an Early Menopause
The average woman goes through her menopause at around 50-51 years’ old. If you go through the menopause before you reach forty, it’s considered a premature/early menopause. Roughly five percent of all women naturally go through early menopause.
No matter the reason for the early menopause, it can have consequences. Not replacing those lost hormones can lead to heart disease, depression and anxiety, and Parkinson’s-like symptoms. Doctors recommended hormone replacement therapy when early menopause is caused by chemotherapy or surgical menopause.
Consult Your Doctor
If your doctor believes you are a good candidate for hormone replacement therapy, they commonly recommend that you start with a lower dose. There could be some trial and error involved in finding the perfect dosage for your needs.
Your doctor might also recommend some lifestyle changes. The right diet and some moderate exercise can help with bone health and hormone production. Stick to any recommendations as best as you can for the best results.