Menopause may be a natural process, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. While some women leave their fertile years without any issue, others experience a wide range of uncomfortable symptoms. And, even if you don’t have any symptoms, your declining estrogen levels still put you at risk of other health complications, like weight gain, heart disease, and osteoporosis.

Whether you want to protect your health or find relief from hot flashes, night sweats, or sexual changes like vaginal dryness, we can help. Our team of caring physicians at Memorial Women’s Specialists provides women in the Houston metro area an opportunity to navigate menopause more smoothly with hormone replacement therapy.

Understanding menopause

For many women, menopause begins in your 40s with perimenopause. This period often triggers symptoms like irregular periods and hot flashes. As your body starts transitioning to menopause, you still get a menstrual cycle (though sometimes intermittently), so there is still a small chance you can get pregnant.

When you officially reach menopause, you’ve had 12 consecutive months without a menstrual cycle. At this point, you can no longer become pregnant, and you enter your postmenopausal years.

The challenges you may face during this time have to do with your fluctuating hormone levels. Through every stage of menopause, your estrogen levels and progesterone levels decline. Each of these hormones plays a role in a variety of bodily functions. So, when they decrease, you can experience significant changes in your overall health and how you feel.

How hormone replacement therapy works

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all hormone therapy treatment. Instead, our team considers your symptoms, reviews your health history, and discusses the changes you face as you move through menopause. 

Based on this information, we can recommend systemic or vaginal therapy. Each of these therapies addresses a variety of bodily functions and symptoms in different ways – including difficulty sleeping, night sweats, low libido, vaginal dryness, depression, irritability, and osteoporosis. 

Systemic hormone therapy

These treatments work through oral tablets, patches, gels, or injections. The hormones delivered through all of these methods are absorbed and sent throughout your entire body, so they help your entire system. We offer FDA approved and bioidentical hormones. 

Vaginal hormone therapy 

You can also apply low-dose hormone therapy locally in cream or ring forms to help specifically with vaginal symptoms. For example, we recommend estradiol vaginal cream to prevent atrophic vaginitis, thinning and drying of the vaginal lining. This condition can lead to uncomfortable symptoms like:

  • Vaginitis
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Dyspareunia (painful sex)

Applying estrogen vaginally can also help with urinary incontinence.

What to expect from hormone therapy

Hormone therapy is used to bring your hormones back into balance. Research shows this therapy relieves conditions like night sweats, hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and bone loss. Plus, you can also experience improved sexual vitality, better health, and greater well-being.

You can enjoy the benefits of hormone therapy for as long as you and your physician feel it’s both appropriate and necessary for your overall health and wellness. In some cases, you could choose hormone therapy for a short period of time while going through menopause. In other cases, our team may recommend longer-term usage based on your symptoms, health, and needs.

No matter how long you use hormone therapy, our team works closely with you to make sure it’s still meeting your goals.

Are you approaching menopause or having perimenopausal symptoms? Do you have other questions about your reproductive health? Don’t hesitate to call our office or request an appointment online today. Hormone therapy is just one of many ways we help women maximize their reproductive and gynecological health.

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