Hormone Therapy for Menopause Relief
Recently, experts have agreed that hormone therapy is a safe and effective treatment option for women who are experiencing symptoms of menopause. Hormones are chemical messengers that travel through the bloodstream to start, stop, speed up, or slow down your metabolism and the many chemical functions and processes throughout the body. Your ovaries are the source of estrogen and progesterone, the two key hormones that control the reproductive system, including the menstrual cycle and fertility in women. During menopause, the total number of ovarian follicles begins to decline, causing the ovaries to become less responsive to the other hormones involved in reproduction—Luteinizing Hormone (LH) and Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH). As your ovaries age and release fewer hormones, FSH and LH can no longer regulate your estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. These inevitable changes in your hormones and natural decline of estrogen levels during menopause can significantly affect your health for years to come.
Symptoms of Menopause
Menopause is a natural occurrence in women that results in, among other things, a reduction in estrogen levels. This reduction of the vital female hormones results in:
- Hot flashes
- Vaginal dryness
- Itchy skin
- Mood swings
All of these symptoms are a result of the hormonal metabolism being altered when a woman’s reproductive and fertility cycle has ended. Menopause causes the ovaries to stop producing key hormones such as estrogen and progesterone, resulting in aging and the side effects mentioned above. In order to combat these effects, experts recommend hormone replacement therapy.
Hormone Replacement Therapy for Menopause Relief
Doctors will most likely suggest a regimen of small doses of estrogen for women who have experienced menopause or have had a hysterectomy, as both of these events result in similar symptoms. Estrogen comes in many different forms. A daily pill regimen and patch are the most popular, but the hormone also is available in a vaginal ring, gel, or spray.
Most doctors instruct patients to take estrogen pills once a day without food. Some have more complicated dosing schedules, and this depends on your medical history and your doctor’s discretion. As noted above, estradiol is the same estrogen that the ovary makes before menopause. There are also combination pills available that include both estrogen and progestin. By supplementing with these precursors, you can help to improve your body’s natural hormonal metabolism and improve its ability to heal and maintain health skin, circulation, and healing properties.
Progesterone/Estrogen/Progestin Hormone Therapy
Often called combination therapy, this form of therapy combines doses of estrogen and progestin, the synthetic form of progesterone. It’s meant for women who have not undergone a hysterectomy, as this treatment is targeting the overall hormonal metabolism and kick starting the uterus hormonal activity. Taking estrogen with progesterone also lowers your risk of developing cancer of the endometrium, the lining of the uterus.
While generally used as a form of birth control, progesterone can help treat many menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness. Combination therapy is a very effective way to provide the body with the hormones women lack after experiencing menopause. Multiple studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of combination hormone therapy in helping women reduce the symptoms associated with this life changing event.
While Menopause can be life altering and result in some uncomfortable symptoms, there is hope for treatment. Experience and trusted professionals can help you reduce symptoms and balance your hormonal metabolism after experiencing menopause by introducing the natural hormones the women’s body no longer produces. If your physician determines that you have a need and are hormone deficient after menopause, you may be eligible for a life changing hormone replacement therapy regimen.