Menopause marks the end of a woman’s reproductive years. It occurs the moment you stop ovulating monthly, and your ovaries no longer produce estrogen.
Many women experience uncomfortable body changes and menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and vaginal dryness. Fortunately, there are many ways to manage these changes, such as maintaining a healthy lifestyle and getting hormone replacement therapy.
Menopausal hormone therapy is a medication that contains estrogen, a type of female hormone. It replaces the estrogen that your body stops producing before menopause and treats the unwanted body discomforts.
Estrogen influences the body’s calcium usage and helps in maintaining healthy levels of cholesterol in the blood. That is why hormone replacement therapy for menopause is important.
Read on to find out more about menopausal hormone therapy and its benefits and risk to women’s health.
2 Types of Hormone Therapy (HT)
There are two main types of hormone therapy:
- Estrogen Therapy (ET). A therapy wherein estrogen is taken alone in a low dose as a pill, cream, vaginal ring, gel, or patch daily. This method is ideal if you have had a hysterectomy (surgical removal of the uterus).
- Estrogen Progesterone Therapy (EPT). This HT combines doses of estrogen and progestin (the synthetic form of progesterone). You can get this therapy if you still have your uterus.
The Benefits of Hormone Replacement Therapy for Menopause
Hormone replacement therapy can relieve the following symptoms:
- Moderate to severe hot flashes
- Vaginal dryness, itching, and discomfort with intercourse
- Night sweats and dry, itchy skin
- Recurring urinary tract infections
- Poor sleep, irritability
Other benefits of taking menopausal hormone therapy for postmenopausal women include the following:
- Protect your bones from the risk of osteoporosis and bone breakage
- Lower the risk of heart disease, heart attack, and heart failure (IF you start the therapy within 10 years of menopause)
- Improve your mood and well-being
- Lower the risk of colon cancer and diabetes
- Lower your death rate (if you take the therapy in your 50s)
The Risks of Hormone Replacement Therapy
According to the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI), taking the HT may also expose you to various risks and side effects. These include the following:
- Breast cancer. The risk of breast cancer increases when EPT is used beyond 3-5 years. On the contrary, the WHI’s study revealed that women who take estrogen alone had no increased risk of breast cancer. The risk is also minimal to those undergoing HT in their 50s since, generally, women at this age have a low risk for breast cancer.
- Increased risk of endometrial cancer (for women with a uterus who didn’t take progestin with estrogen)
- Possible blood clots and stroke
- Increased chances of gallbladder problems
Who shouldn’t take the HT?
In addition to the mentioned disadvantages, women with the following conditions aren’t recommended to take the therapy:
- Active or past breast cancer
- Active or recurrent endometrial cancer and blood clots
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding
- Stroke history
Take the Hormone Replacement Therapy Now!
Menopausal hormone replacement therapy may have complex benefits and risks, but it’s still a method recommended for many menopausal women.
Make sure to consult your trusted menopausal specialist to know your full body condition and if you can take the hormone therapy.
Finding the right specialist and treatment plan will help you live a happy and healthy life, even in your menopausal stage.
North Valley Women’s Care is here to give you the highest quality menopausal treatments. Contact us today to find out about our services and book an appointment!
Got any questions or insights about hormone therapy? Share it through the comments section below!