Although menopause is a natural process, going through it is no piece of cake. Quite the opposite actually, it can make women uncomfortable for the whole year leading up to the diagnosis. The confirmed diagnosis can only be passed when you haven’t had your period for at least 12 months.
The age for menopause symptoms to start appearing can be anywhere between 45-55. They are often quite uncomfortable, and significantly affect the quality of life of those going through it. As a result, they often turn to lifestyle changes, and when that doesn’t work, medication.
If you too are suffering from intense symptoms and find it hard to cope, it may be best to opt for hormone replacement therapy. What is that and how does it help? We will answer all that and more, in this blog.
First, let’s look at the basics.
During menopause, estrogen levels drop significantly, leading to many side effects. Not every woman who goes through them will have to get treatment, and those who experience mild symptoms can make do with lifestyle changes, such as reducing their caffeine intake.
On the other hand, women who suffer due to extreme side effects can opt for medication. Let’s look at these symptoms in detail:
This is usually the first symptom most people experience. You may notice that you are bleeding much more and having irregular periods. If you experience spotting, periods that last longer than a week, they are very close together, you should talk to a doctor.
This is one of the most common and agonizing symptoms of menopause, which can begin a year before the actual diagnosis and last for much longer as well. As estrogen levels drop, you may experience hot flashes regularly during this transition period.
A hot flash is basically a sudden feeling of heat washing over the upper part of the body. The sufferer’s face and neck often become red and they may experience red patches on their arms, back, and neck. They can either be mild or extreme enough to cause sleeping troubles. Moreover, they can occur several times in a day and last anywhere between 30 seconds to 10 minutes.
These are the most common symptoms of menopause. Besides these, women may also go through the following.
Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) consists of medication with female hormones to make up for the drop in estrogen levels during menopause. It is used to treat/ control the symptoms of menopause.
However, there are different types of HRT, and each individual’s treatment is tailored to their needs. Let’s look at its types and the common ways it is administered.
There are three types of estrogen; estron (E1) is still produced in the body after menopausal symptoms, Estradiol (E2) is the main female hormone and Estriol (E3) spikes during pregnancy.
This may be a synthetic version of the steroid hormone progesterone, which mostly focuses on readying the uterus for pregnancy. However, it also regulates the menstrual cycle. On the other hand, HRT may include administering a body identical/ natural version of the hormone, chemically identical to the naturally occurring hormone.
Now that you are aware of the different types of HRT, let’s look at the ways you can take it.
You can take this hormone in different ways. Consult a doctor to understand which one of the following is suitable for you.
This is a pretty common way of taking HRT. You can simply stick hormone patches to your body and replace them every few days. These patches are available as just estrogen as well as combined hormones. Moreover, there is almost no risk of side effects involved with this method.
Another common form of taking HRT, tablets have usually be consumed once a day. Some women find this way to be the most efficient; however, they do pose a small risk of blood clots. Tablets are also available as just estrogen as well as combined hormones.
HRT implants are not very common as they are inserted under the skin of your stomach after the doctor numbs it. It gradually releases estrogen over the next couple of months before it requires replacement. It may also be tough to come across this treatment.
This way of HRT is gaining popularity rapidly. It has to be rubbed on the skin once a day. However, if you still have a womb, you will have to take it along with the progestogen.
Estrogen is available as creams or a ring or pessary that is placed inside the vagina. However, this method only combats vaginal dryness and doesn’t focus on the other symptoms of menopause.
The risks of developing problems from HRT are very low, however, it is best to be aware of them.
HRT tablets may increase the chances of blood clots by very less. However, other methods do not pose this risk.
Estrogen-only poses little to no risk of breast cancer; however, combined HRT has a little risk. The risk is directly impacted by how long your treatment is, and also falls back after the treatment is done. As long as you are on HRT, it is important to attend regular breast screening appointments.
HRT may not even have this impact on women below the age of 60. Only tablets may cause a little risk of heart disease and strokes in women over 60, but it isn’t very prevalent.
If you are suffering from menopause symptoms, it would be best to speak to experienced healthcare professional. Hormone Replacement Therapy requires a tailored treatment plan, so it is crucial to pick a clinic carefully. Steady Care Medical ensures that all our patients are comfortable throughout their treatment. We also address all your concerns and queries throughout. Get in touch with us today!