The passage through menopause brings both good news and some not-so-great news. While saying goodbye to your menstrual cycles releases you from the monthly hassle of managing your periods, you may be left struggling with hot flashes, sexual health issues, and other problems.
At Tahoe Women’s Care, Dr. Gary Willen and our team understand the frustration that often comes with the sudden dip in reproductive hormones, leaving you with side effects that can have a significant impact on your quality of life. To counter these unwelcome changes, we offer hormone replacement therapy.
Here’s a look at what hormone replacement therapy can and cannot do to ease your journey into your nonreproductive years.
The effects of menopause
The passage through menopause is marked when your ovaries shut down, which means they’ll no longer release any eggs. While this seems like a simple enough event, your ovaries are also responsible for producing your reproductive hormones, namely estrogen and progesterone. And these hormones cast a wider net over your health than you might think.
To illustrate this point, many women struggle with the following problems thanks to reduced hormones:
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Vaginal dryness
- Loss of libido
- Bone loss
- Weight gain
No two women experience menopause alike. Some sail through without experiencing any of these side effects while others are plagued by severe symptoms that last for years, posing serious quality-of-life issues.
Depending upon where you fall on this scale, you may benefit from a hormone replacement therapy that will help ease your symptoms and your transition into menopause and beyond.
What hormone replacement therapy is designed to accomplish
If you’re struggling with menopausal symptoms, we first measure your hormone levels, review your symptoms, and determine whether hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is right for you. It’s important to note that HRT isn’t a magic bullet, but it is very effective in certain areas.
For example, the North American Menopause Society reports that HRT is extremely beneficial for women who experience hot flashes and vaginal dryness. The Society goes on to point out that HRT is most effective during the first 10 years of menopause — usually up to the age of 59.
There’s also some evidence that points towards a reduction in risk for colon cancer when you undergo systemic hormone replacement therapy. This type of therapy may also help with bone loss.
Another key point to consider is that if your symptoms are confined to vaginal health, you may not need a systemic approach to the problem, but rather a targeted vaginal hormone therapy. There are any number of creams, suppositories, or rings that we can provide you with, which work to improve the health of your vaginal tissue.
What hormone therapy cannot accomplish
While HRT can be highly effective for many women, there are instances in which you should steer clear of this type of treatment, especially if you’ve had any of the following:
- Breast cancer
- Endometrial cancer
- Ovarian cancer
- Blood clots in your legs
- A history of heart disease or stroke
- Unexplained vaginal bleeding
As well, if your menopausal symptoms are tolerable, we recommend that you let nature take its course and forego HRT.
The best way to find out whether you may benefit from hormone replacement therapy is to contact our office in Carson City, Nevada, for a full evaluation.