What is Hormone Therapy for Women?
Hormone therapy for women is a vital component of proper health and wellness. It can help restore balance in the body, providing numerous positive physical and mental effects.
Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is an option for relief for women suffering from the effects of menopause and/or hormonal imbalances.
By replenishing hormones that are naturally lost due to age or medical conditions, HRT can help reduce symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats, fatigue, vaginal dryness, and mood swings.
Types of Hormone Therapy
There are two main types of hormone therapy available for women: estrogen therapy (ET) and estrogen-progesterone/progestin therapy (EPT).
Estrogen Therapy (ET)
Estrogen-only therapy is recommended for women who have had their uterus removed through surgery called hysterectomy. This form of HT involves taking only estrogen medication which helps alleviate symptoms associated with menopause such as hot flashes, night sweats among others.
- Improved quality of life due to relief from common menopausal symptoms
- Prevention of bone loss leading to osteoporosis
- Reduced risk for colorectal cancer
Estrogen-Progesterone/Progestin Therapy (EPT)
This type of hormonal replacement therapy includes both estrogen and progesterone medications. EPT may be prescribed to postmenopausal women who still have their uterus intact since it protects against endometrial hyperplasia which can lead to uterine cancer.
- Relief from common menopausal symptoms including vaginal dryness, hot flashes among others.
- Lowered risk in developing colon cancer
- Risk reduction in ovarian cancers
Which Hormonal Replacement Therapy Is Right For Me?
Choosing the right kind depends on your specific situation and medical history. Women without a uterus can use ET safely without increasing their risk of uterine cancer.
Women with a uterus should use EPT to prevent endometrial hyperplasia. However, both types of HT have other benefits and risks that you should weigh carefully with your doctor before starting treatment.
Some factors that may influence your decision include your age, time since menopause, personal and family history of certain diseases, severity of your symptoms, and preference for pills, patches, creams or other forms of HT delivery.
Hormone Therapy Options
There are various options that a woman can choose from depending on her individual needs and preferences, which is why it’s important to discuss each type in detail.
Menopausal Hormone Therapy (MHT)
The majority of women also use testosterone, especially with estrogen or progesterone to manage menopausal symptoms. The testosterone helps with increased energy, libido mood, managing belly fat etc.
This form of hormone therapy involves taking estrogen alone or with progesterone to help manage symptoms associated with menopause such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness, mood swings among others. MHT comes in different forms including pills, patches, creams and gels.
Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT)
BHRT uses hormones that are identical in molecular structure to those produced by the body. These hormones are derived from plant sources like yams and soybeans and can be compounded into customized doses based on an individual’s specific needs.
Systemic Estrogen Therapy
Involves taking estrogen orally or through skin patches to address symptoms related to menopause such as hot flashes and bone loss prevention. It may also be used after surgical removal of ovaries or hysterectomy.
Vaginal Estrogen Products
Specifically designed for treating vaginal dryness experienced during menopause which can lead to painful intercourse among other issues. Vaginal estrogen products come in cream, tablet or ring forms which release low-dose estrogen over time directly into the vagina.
Each type has its own set of benefits and risks associated with it; therefore it’s crucial for any woman considering hormone therapy to consult a qualified medical practitioner who can recommend what would work best given their unique situation.
Risks and Benefits of Hormone Therapy for Women
Hormone therapy can provide significant benefits to women. By replacing the hormones that are naturally produced by the ovaries, hormone therapy can help relieve symptoms of menopause like hot flashes and night sweats, improve vaginal dryness, boost sex drive, and protect against bone loss and heart disease. When used properly under medical supervision, hormone therapy is an effective and generally safe treatment for many women as they go through menopause.
Improved sexual health
Hormones like estrogen play a crucial role in maintaining vaginal health, which can decline as a woman ages or goes through menopause. By supplementing hormones through therapies like MHT or BHRT, women can experience relief from vaginal dryness and pain during intercourse. Testosterone therapy also plays a crucial role in sex drive for women.
Bone loss prevention
As women age and go through menopause, they may experience a decrease in bone density which increases their risk for osteoporosis and fractures. Hormone replacement therapy has been shown to reduce this risk by improving bone density.
Through careful monitoring and adjustments by a qualified specialist, women can regain control over their bodies and live healthier lives. With hormone levels restored to optimal levels, patients report improved energy, focus, libido, and overall well-being.
Manage mood swings
By balancing hormone levels, women may find relief from anxiety, depression and irritability.
Understanding Menopause Symptoms
Menopause is a natural biological process that marks the end of menstruation, it usually occurs between the ages of 45-55 years.
Hot flashes can last for several seconds to several minutes at a time. During these episodes, women may experience sudden heat sensations accompanied by sweating and flushing.
Can cause discomfort or pain during sexual intercourse. This occurs due to a decrease in estrogen levels leading to thinning and drying out of vaginal tissues.
Night sweats are also common among women going through menopause where they may wake up feeling drenched in sweat despite being in cool temperatures while sleeping.
Mood swings occur when hormone levels fluctuate during perimenopause and menopausal transition periods. Women may experience irritability, anxiety, depression along with other emotional changes.
Fatigue or lack of energy
Women may feel tired even after getting enough sleep due to changes in hormone levels affecting their body’s metabolism rate.
By understanding these symptoms better one can take proactive steps towards managing them effectively.
Physicians Rejuvenation Centers offer supervised hormonal therapies tailored specifically towards managing these issues. Contact us today to know how we can help you ease discomfort brought by these symptoms.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can hormonal therapy increase the risk of uterine cancer?
Women who take estrogen-only therapies for menopausal symptoms without progesterone may be at an increased risk of developing endometrial hyperplasia or endometrial cancer. This is because estrogen stimulates the growth of the lining of the uterus (endometrium) and can cause it to become too thick. Adding progesterone to the treatment regimen can help reduce this risk by preventing estrogen from overstimulating the endometrium.
Note that hormone therapy for uterine cancer is different from hormone therapy for menopausal symptoms. Hormone therapy for uterine cancer uses drugs that block or remove hormones that stimulate the growth of cancer cells.
These drugs include progestins, tamoxifen, luteinizing hormone-releasing (LHRH) agonists and aromatase inhibitors. Hormone therapy for uterine cancer can help shrink tumors, slow down their growth or prevent them from coming back after surgery or radiation therapy.
Therefore, it’s important to understand that hormone therapy for uterine cancer is not the same as hormone therapy for menopausal symptoms and that they have different benefits and risks depending on the individual’s situation.
Can I continue taking birth control pills while on hormonal therapy?
It’s important to consult your doctor before starting any new medications while undergoing hormonal therapy. Birth control pills containing both estrogen and progestin may not be recommended as they could potentially increase the risk of blood clots.
Is vaginal bleeding normal during menopause when undergoing hormone replacement therapy?
Some forms of hormone therapy may cause monthly bleeding or spotting as a side effect. This is more common with cyclic hormone therapy preparations that contain a combination of estrogen and progestin. Progestin helps protect the uterus from endometrial cancer if you have an intact uterus.
However, not all vaginal bleeding during menopause is normal or caused by hormone therapy. Other causes of bleeding after menopause can include thinning of the tissues that line the vagina and uterus due to a decrease in estrogen, uterine polyps, infections, fibroids etc. Some of these causes can be serious and require medical attention.
Therefore, it’s important to report any abnormal vaginal bleeding to your healthcare provider immediately as it could indicate more serious issues such as endometrial hyperplasia or even cancer. Your provider can perform tests to determine the cause of your bleeding and recommend appropriate treatment options.
Does combined estrogen-progestin therapies increase my chances of having a heart attack?
Studies have shown that long-term use of combined estrogen-progestin treatments in postmenopausal women can slightly increase their risk for heart attacks, stroke and breast cancer among other issues. Therefore, medical practitioners usually recommend short-term use only if absolutely necessary
Can Hormonal Therapy Increase My Risk For Colorectal Cancer?
Hormonal replacement therapies might lead to an increased chance of colorectal cancers in some cases; however, research remains inconclusive about whether there is indeed a correlation between these two factors.
Bioidentical Hormone Therapy vs Traditional Home Therapy
Bioidentical hormones are lab-made hormones that are chemically similar to the hormones in your body. They’re made from a plant steroid found in soy and wild yams. However, this does not mean that they are natural or plant-based hormones. They still undergo chemical processing to become bioidentical hormones. They are lab-made hormones that mimic your body’s own hormones.
Bioidentical hormones are different from traditional hormone therapies in that they have the same molecular structure as the hormones naturally produced by your body. This means that they may have a more favorable effect on your body’s hormone receptors and cause fewer side effects than synthetic hormones. However, this is not proven by scientific evidence and more research is needed to compare the safety and effectiveness of bioidentical and synthetic hormones.
Some bioidentical hormones are approved by the FDA and prescribed by doctors or other health care providers, while others are custom made by a pharmacy according to a doctor’s orders (called compounded bioidentical hormones). Both types of bioidentical hormones have benefits and risks that you should discuss with your doctor before starting treatment.
Systemic estrogen therapy (SET) vs Traditional Home Therapy
Systemic estrogen therapy (SET) is a type of hormonal replacement therapy that involves taking estrogen orally or through skin patches to address symptoms related to menopause such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness and bone loss prevention. It may also be used after surgical removal of ovaries or hysterectomy.
SET works by supplementing the body’s natural hormone levels with synthetic hormones like estrogen. This helps alleviate symptoms associated with menopause while reducing the risk for osteoporosis which can lead to fractures.
- Improved quality of life due to relief from common menopausal symptoms
- Prevention of bone loss leading to osteoporosis
- Increased chances of developing blood clots leading to strokes or heart attacks.
- Increased risks for endometrial cancer if not taken along with progestin
Oral Estrogen Therapy
Oral SET comes in pill form and is taken daily at a specific time recommended by your healthcare professional. The dosage will depend on your medical history, age and other factors that are unique to you.
Transdermal Estrogen Therapy
Transdermal SET involves using skin patches containing estrogen which are placed on different parts of the body such as arms, thighs among others. These patches release low-dose estrogen over time directly into the bloodstream bypassing liver metabolism hence reducing potential side effects compared to oral therapies
Hormone Therapy for Women at Physicians Rejuvenation Center
At Physicians Rejuvenation Centers, women can find hormone therapy with a refreshing difference. Bespoke treatments tailored to each individual’s needs allow them to experience the very best care – from balancing vital hormones to relieving the symptoms that come with changing levels.
This isn’t just about giving your body a break: it’s about taking back control of your life and feeling empowered.
Every woman’s journey starts with a consultation to assess her current state of health and any specific needs or concerns she may have.
From there, an experienced team of medical professionals will create a customized programme to target all areas of need, ensuring maximum benefit in the shortest time possible. Whether it’s reducing menopausal hot flashes, improving moods, restoring energy, or simply boosting libido, trust Physicians Rejuvenation Centers to deliver the results you’re looking for.