Beyond Menopause: Uncovering the Time Limits of Hormone Therapy
What Is Menopause?
Menopause is a normal, but challenging time in a woman’s life. She sees changes in the frequency and duration of her period as her body starts producing less of the hormones, estrogen and progesterone. The search for help as a woman’s body changes can often be confusing and frustrating.
What are the symptoms?
The symptoms can vary both in type and intensity, with some women experiencing no symptoms at all. Low libido, dryness, hot flashes, and wet bedding are just a few of the symptoms many women live with daily.
- Hot flashes-getting warm or hot in the face, neck, or shoulders, with or without sweating.
- Night sweats-which causes lack of sleep and feelings of stress, tension, and fatigue.
- Vaginal changes-which leads to thinning and drying of the vaginal tissues and painful intercourse.
- Thinning of the bones-which leads to osteoporosis, weakened bones, and loss of height.
Some women’s symptoms may just simply go away; however, most women will suffer the effects of menopause. Many who suffer will choose to start hormone therapy to alleviate their symptoms and many symptom-less women will also use hormone replacement therapy (HRT) as a way to slow down bone loss and reap other health benefits. Unfortunately, finding help isn’t always easy as the information and literature about hormonal studies varies and has changed over time due to new research and studies. At Androgenix, we pride ourselves on staying up to date with current studies and research.
What is hormonal replacement therapy?
Our HRT consists of bioidentical estrogen and progesterone, as well as, DHEA, Dehydroepiandrosterone, to help manage declining hormone levels. DHEA helps fight the results of aging, improve sex drive, regain or maintain muscle tone, increase energy, decrease depression, and enhance the metabolism. Bioidentical hormones are made from a chemical extracted from yams and are often called “natural hormone therapy” because in the body these bioidentical hormones perform like the hormones the body used to produce.
Who needs hormonal therapy?
Any woman who is going through or has gone through the “change of life “ should feel comfortable speaking with a trained professional about her concerns. Women who are suffering from hot flashes, night sweats, decreased libido, vaginal dryness, or painful intercourse can improve the quality of their lives with hormone therapy. Trained professionals, such as our team of medical professionals at Androgenix, can help women facing these changes improve their futures and their lives. With all of the advancements in modern medicine, there is no reason for a woman to spend the last third of her life either tired, depressed, or unhealthy. Women who go through early menopause before the age of 45, or have lost the use of their ovaries before age 40, or have had their ovaries surgically removed before the age of 45 will not have had the same exposure to estrogen as other women their age. These women will benefit from hormone replacement. Hormone therapy can reduce the risk of health conditions, such as heart disease, stroke, depression, dementia, mood swings, and osteoporosis.
When is the best time to start HRT?
Studies seem to indicate that the best long-term benefits of HRT occur when women start hormone therapy before the age 60 or before they have been in menopause for ten years. The best results are shown in women who choose to start hormone therapy early Estrogen DHEA levels peak in women between 20-25 years of age and fall as much as 80% by age. DHEA has been found to slow age-related bone loss resulting in less fractures. Studies seem to show that it also increases arterial wall flexibility, resulting in less cardiovascular incidents. Studies also support the idea that hormone replacement users, even long-time users have a lower mortality rate.
What are the risks of hormone therapy?
Women who begin hormone therapy at age 60 or older or more than 10 years from the onset of menopause are at greater risk of certain serious conditions, such as breast cancer, stroke, blood clots, or heart disease. These risk factors must be assessed individually, because risk factors are affected by the age a woman starts hormone therapy, her family history, the type of hormone therapy used, her current and past health history, and any existing medical conditions she currently has. Hormone therapy should only be started after consulting with a well-trained medical group. All of these risks must be considered by a woman and her doctor before starting hormone therapy.
How can a woman reduce the risks associated with HRT?
Women can reduce the risks associated with HRT by leading a healthy lifestyle. Avoid smoking, limit alcohol, eat a healthy diet, and get plenty of exercise. Maintaining a healthy weight and learning to manage stress are two other factors that will lessen negative outcomes associated with hormone therapy,
Discuss with your doctor the best delivery method for you which will depend on your symptoms. Estrogen can come in the form of a pill, a vaginal crème, a patch, a gel, or a vaginal ring. Seeing your doctor regularly to assess your treatment is essential to your health and to reaching your goals. Regular visits are needed to make sure that the benefits of HRT outweigh the risks. Regular visits which include physical examinations and blood draws may be required by your physician. Mammograms and pelvic exams should also be routinely scheduled.
How can Androgenix help?
If you wonder whether hormone replacement therapy might be right for you, talk with our staff and doctor about your body issues and the risks and benefits of HRT. If you are suffering from any of the above symptoms or have any other concerns about your health, please contact our office and make an appointment with our staff and visit our office to get complete blood work and a physical examination. Our staff of caring healthcare practitioners are here to answer your questions, to see if HRT is right for you and to diagnose and develop an appropriate treatment plan for you. You will be monitored by our team for treatment effectiveness and side effects on a regular basis. Our team at Androgenix are always here to support your journey to a better, healthier you. Every person who enters our doors is treated as an individual deserving of care and respect. We can help you feel and look better. Give us a call today.
*Unless otherwise stated, individual results may vary depending on many factors not all patients “feel” or achieve the same results.