FAQ: Hormone Therapy for Menopause Relief
Women who are experiencing symptoms of menopause, including hot flashes, dry skin, vaginal dryness, irritable bladder and sleeplessness, may wonder where they can find relief. You may have tried more traditional approaches, and now are interested in seeing how hormone therapy with a hormone doctor Chicago, IL trusts works for you. When trying a new treatment plan, it is normal for patients to be nervous and unsure. You may be worried there could be negative effects caused as a result of your attempt to find relief. Here in this article we have answered basic questions regarding hormone therapy for menopause relief, in hopes your worries can be put at ease.
How and why should I take estrogen for menopause treatment?
Research shows that patients who take estrogen replacements may have an increase in her life span. It can also help alleviate many of the very uncomfortable and agonizing symptoms that come along with menopause. Estrogen can be taken orally, with skin patches, rings, vaginal tablets or creams. Progesterone may be used in hormone therapy as well, which is most often taking by the patient in a pill form, but is available in vagina cream or skin patches too.
What is progesterone and estrogen?
There are two hormones females naturally produce in their bodies, called progesterone and estrogen. These two hormones assist in helping control the menstrual cycle. As menopause approaches, the ovaries halt creating progesterone and estrogen, significantly decreasing these levels within the body. When these levels lessen, symptoms related to menopause can intensify. Through hormone therapy, these two hormones are replenished, easing the severity of menopausal symptoms.
What are the benefits of hormone therapy?
Estrogen can aid in maintaining healthy amounts of cholesterol in the blood and improving blood flow to the heart. A female patient who is enduring premature menopause but does not take estrogen replacement, may be up to three times more likely to be diagnosed with heart disease, compared to a female patient who uses hormone therapy. Some studies have shown that the use of estrogen can have long-term positive effects:
- Reduction of osteoporosis risk (bones become thin, weak and more likely to fracture).
- Reduction of risk for developing other conditions (such as colon cancer).
- Estrogen (with or without progesterone) can help lessen the intensity of hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness and bone loss.
- Improved sleep patterns and sexual health.
Why is progesterone taken too during hormone therapy?
Estrogen can increase a female patient’s risk of endometrial cancer if not taken with progesterone. Estrogen helps create cell growth in the woman’s tissue lining of the uterus. During a period, these tissue lining cells are shed. When a woman is not longer in her reproductive years, estrogen can cause these cells to overgrow in the uterus, thus increasing the risk of endometrial cancer. When taking progesterone, it helps reduce the chances of this uterine cancer by causing the tissue lining to shed every month. So, women who take progesterone can have bleeding each month. If the female patient underwent a hysterectomy, they typically do not have to take progesterone replenishments.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at WholeHealth Chicago for their insight into hormone therapy.