Just because menopause is a natural part of a woman's cycle of life doesn't mean it’s always an easy transition. From hot flashes and sleep problems to irritability and mood swings, it can be a challenge both physically and emotionally. Often hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can help.
Here at OB/GYN Specialists in Denton, Texas, Dr. Daniel McDonald, Dr. Marc Wilson, and family nurse practitioner Lindsey Council offer high-quality pro-life women's health care in a warm supportive environment. Whether you’re pregnant, seeking well-woman care, or suffering from an issue like infertility or pelvic pain, we’re here to provide personalized care without rushing through the appointment or pressuring you into medications or procedures you're not comfortable with.
Perimenopause and menopause
Menopause occurs when a woman has not had a period in 12 months. The average age for this transition in the United States is 51, but natural transformations in the body can begin years earlier in the phase known as perimenopause.
Levels of estrogen and progesterone change during perimenopause and menopause, which can result in a number of symptoms, including hot flashes, night sweats, disturbed sleep, mood issues, vaginal dryness, and pain during sex. The decrease in hormones during menopause can also lead to other health issues, such as osteoporosis, weight gain, and higher cholesterol levels.
Hormone replacement therapy
To compensate for decreased levels of estrogen and progesterone, many women employ hormone replacement therapy for relief. HRT involves using medically manufactured hormones from plants to replace the missing natural hormones in women who have undergone menopause.
There are several types of hormone replacement therapy. One is estrogen-only therapy (ET) for women who’ve had a hysterectomies, while estrogen plus progestin therapy (EPT) is typically prescribed for women who still have their uteruses.
HRT comes in several forms. Systemic hormone therapy circulates throughout the body in the blood and is typically the most effective at controlling many symptoms. This type is available as a pill taken orally, a patch, gel, spray, emulsion, or injection.
A low-dose vaginal cream, tablet, or ring can be used locally and can help with vaginal issues and some urinary symptoms. This treatment does not help with hot flashes, night sweats, sleep disturbances, and other problems.
Hormone replacement therapy can aid many women in managing difficult symptoms while also helping guard their overall health from problems like bone loss and fractures. However, HRT is not for everyone, and benefits should be weighed against possible risks. It’s important to find a healthcare provider you trust to help determine if HRT is right for you. Additional areas to explore include which type of product, what dose, and how long treatment is likely to last.
If you're tired of suffering from menopausal symptoms, call our office in Denton, Texas, at 940-202-0566 to book an appointment and explore the benefits of hormone replacement therapy.