The period leading up to menopause can last for several years and cause many symptoms and physical discomfort. As menopause approaches, the body produces less estrogen and progesterone. Hormone replacement therapy is designed to help keep hormone levels steady and manage menopause symptoms associated with estrogen loss.
How Can Hormone Replacement Therapy Help My Menopause Symptoms?
Menopause describes the end of the menstrual and reproductive stages. It usually occurs in the early 50s. The process that leads up to menopause (known as perimenopause) usually begins years earlier and affects every woman differently. Perimenopause generally begins in the early to mid-40s, but it can start earlier or later. It varies from person to person.
As the body produces less estrogen, many women experience symptoms that can range from irregular periods and hot flashes to weight gain, vaginal dryness, and mood swings. In addition to the typical symptoms associated with the onset of menopause, lower estrogen levels and hormonal fluctuations can also lead to secondary health problems in some cases.
Some of the potential health risks connected to menopause include:
- Slower metabolism
- Stroke and heart disease
- Thyroid disease
Additionally, lifestyle factors like smoking, eating a poor diet, and not getting enough exercise can also increase your risk of developing health problems as you get older.
Hormone replacement therapy can increase your estrogen and progesterone levels to help alleviate severe menopause symptoms that are disrupting your quality of life. Your menopause treatment plan is designed specifically for you, depending on your symptoms and overall health and lifestyle.
In addition to hormone replacement therapy, our team may also recommend healthy lifestyle adjustments, like diet and exercise, to help you maintain a healthy weight and improve the quality of your sleep.
Hormone replacement treatments are available in pill form, suppository, patches, and topical gels and creams.
When should I see a doctor for my menopause symptoms?
Your well woman exam is a great place to ask questions and get more information regarding available treatment options for your menopause symptoms. However, schedule an appointment if you notice symptoms, such as missed or irregular periods, unexplained weight gain, bleeding between periods, hot flashes, vaginal dryness, or any symptoms that make you uncomfortable or give you cause for concern.
A blood test can determine your hormone levels and help to determine whether hormone replacement therapy is right for you. While fertility levels begin to decline with age, keep in mind that you can still become pregnant during perimenopause.
For more information regarding hormone replacement therapy and other menopause services, contact us today to schedule an appointment at our office in Houston.