Each woman’s experience with menopause is unique, and the symptoms and side effects of this hormonal change
What is menopause?
Menopause is a natural phase of the aging process for women that happens when their body reaches the end of their fertile years. Natural menopause begins after a year without a menstrual cycle and usually happens between age 40–60. Menopause can also happen for reasons such as ovarian failures before age 40 or surgery requiring the removal of an ovary or radiation of your pelvis.
Hormone replacement therapy – taking medication that contains hormones replacing the ones the body is no longer producing – has been widely used to ease menopausal symptoms for decades. Its goal is to alleviate the discomfort caused by diminished circulating estrogens and
Symptoms of menopause
During menopause, your body’s reproductive hormone production fluctuates and declines — which causes symptoms that affect each woman differently. Some symptoms occur during perimenopause — a period before menopause when your body begins slowing its estrogen production. Common menopause symptoms include:
· Dry skin
· Hot flashes
· Irregular periods
· Loss of breast fullness
· Mood changes
· Night sweats
· Sleep problems
· Slowed metabolism
· Thinning hair
· Vaginal dryness
· Weight gain
Hormone replacement therapy
The most effective treatment for menopause symptoms for most women is hormone replacement therapy. This involves replacing the hormones progestin and estrogen (in combination or estrogen alone) through a pill, gel, cream, skin patch, or spray form. Hormone replacement therapies are also used to treat osteoporosis.
What are the signs that you need hormone replacement therapy?
Symptoms of menopause can affect your quality of life, which makes hormone replacement therapy a significant benefit for most women who:
· Experience hot flashes or other symptoms of menopause
· Lost bone mass and are not benefitting from other treatments
· Experience premature menopause (periods stop before age 40) or lost regular ovary function
Side effects of hormone replacement therapy
Hormone replacement therapy side effects vary, based on the type and doses of therapy and health factors such as cardiovascular disease or cancer risks, but can include:
· Heart disease
· Blood clots
· Breast cancer
Contact us today!
If you’re experiencing menopause symptoms, contact us today to see if hormone replacement therapy or other menopause treatments are right for you. Walnut Hill OBGYN Associates physicians will teach you how to best protect your health before menopause when you trust us for your well woman exam and help you better understand what you can expect throughout it.