Although both men and women can benefit from hormone balancing, hormone replacement therapy usually refers to a therapeutic approach that’s sometimes appropriate for women in perimenopause or after menopause. This post discusses five reasons you may want to consider hormone replacement therapy.
At Northeast Florida Internal Medicine, Elyssa Blissenbach, MD, and Lea-Anne Griffis, APRN, and their dedicated staff want to help you live your life to the fullest. When you don’t feel quite right, or you’re dealing with symptoms associated with menopause, you may struggle to enjoy important aspects of a healthy life — you may have low energy, a decreased sex drive, or you may be experiencing disruptions to your sleep or even mood swings. Hormone replacement therapy could be a good solution to help you begin loving your life again.
Here are five common reasons women choose to try hormone replacement therapy. It’s always important to discuss your symptoms with us so that we can help you find the treatment that’s most likely to resolve your issues.
Vasomotor symptoms, like hot flashes and night sweats, are among the most common complaints about menopause. Hot flashes happen at inconvenient times, making work and social interactions difficult. Night sweats disrupt your sleep, and that can lead to a cascade of other problems.
Hormone replacement therapy can help stop vasomotor symptoms. If you find that you’re avoiding events, struggling to get through your day, or waking often due to hot flashes and night sweats, come in and talk to us.
Hormone replacement therapy can improve your bone health. When your body produces less estrogen, your bones become more brittle. If you have a family history of osteoporosis, low bone density, or other risk factors for weak bones, you may want to consider hormone replacement therapy.
Sometimes, a decreased sex drive is directly related to experiencing pain during sex. As your levels of estrogen and progesterone drop as you near menopause, you may experience something called genitourinary syndrome. This term describes a group of symptoms, including vaginal dryness, itching, burning, and other discomforts due to a lack of lubrication and tissue changes.
Hormone replacement therapy can help restore collagen production, giving you back some of the tissue elasticity, as well as helping your body produce vaginal fluid. Experts estimate that some 60-70% of women experience genitourinary syndrome, but many fewer seek medical care for the problem.
If you’ve had your ovaries removed or you reach menopause before the age of 40, hormone replacement therapy could help with any symptoms you experience. Naturally produced estrogen protects your heart health, and women who experience early menopause due to removing their ovaries have a higher risk of heart disease, as well as Parkinson’s disease and dementia.
Additionally, no matter what age you are or the reason you experience menopause, the fact is the lack of estrogen can lead to uncomfortable symptoms like hot flashes or vaginal dryness. Taking hormone replacement therapy can help with those symptoms.
Recent research suggests that hormone replacement therapy is safest for women who are approaching or not far past menopause. There are some risks to using hormone replacement therapy for too long, though the risk profile for every patient should be determined individually.
Menopause is a natural transition, but that doesn’t mean that you just have to live with uncomfortable symptoms. Schedule your appointment today to find out if hormone replacement therapy is appropriate for you.