All women at one point in life reach menopause. This is a stage where the ovaries stop releasing an egg every 4 weeks. A woman stops receiving her monthly periods hence cannot bear children. Menopause kicks in at 50 years, though some women reach menopause in their 40s or even late 30s.
Progesterone and estrogen female hormones have a great impact on a woman’s body. However, as time passes the levels of these hormones fall causing a range of symptoms. For instance, they cause mood swings, hot flushes, and sometimes vaginal dryness. For this reason, hormone replacement therapy is done to improve female hormone levels.
Most women have benefited from this kind of therapy. Livv natural health clinic in San Diego offers quality hormone replacement therapy. It’s all you need to get relief from menopause-related problem Apart from HRP treatment, the clinic also treats Lyme disease among many others.
How Hormone replacement therapy works
To understand how hormone replacement therapy works, you must learn the role of estrogen and progesterone in the body. Estrogen is the hormone that triggers the release of an egg from an ovary. Also, the hormone controls the monthly periods in a woman and even helps women to conceive.
Additionally, estrogen controls other key functions in the body such as helping the vagina to be moist, maintain skin temperature, and improve bone density. However, the reduction of estrogen levels in the body causes menopause symptoms which include;
- Vaginal dryness
- Stress incontinence causing a woman to leak urine when sneezing or coughing
- Bone thinning leading to fractures and osteoporosis
- Hot flushes
- Night sweats
- Low sex drive
Some of these symptoms fade away after 2-5 years. However, vaginal dryness needs immediate attention as it can worsen if nothing is done. Stress incontinence is also a serious symptom that needs to be treated to avoid osteoporosis.
This is the hormone that prepares a woman’s womb for pregnancy. Besides, it protects endometrium (the womb lining). Low levels of progesterone do not have the same effect on a woman’s body as estrogen. But one risks developing endometrial cancer if they undertake estrogen hormone therapy only. To avoid getting the cancer of the uterus, estrogen, and synthetic progesterone is used in Hormone replacement therapy.
But for women who may have gone for hysterectomy (surgery to remove the womb), are given estrogen-only HRT as they do not need synthetic progesterone.
How to take Systemic HRT
Implants, patches or tablets are preferred only if a woman shows menopausal symptoms. But if a woman reaches menopause but does not show any of the signs, HRT is not recommended. She must have such signs as vaginal dryness, hot flushes among others.
There are several types of HRT. The health expert will help you decide on the best type for you. HRT is taken through different ways including;
- An implant; this is a case where tiny pellets of estrogen are inserted inside the skin on the thigh, buttock, and tummy.
- You can be given a patch to stick on the skin
- Estrogen gel to apply on the skin
- Tablets to take orally
Types of Hormone Replacement Therapy
There are different methods of delivering HRT. The different methods offer varying combinations, and hormones amount. The most common types are;
- Continuous HRT; if a woman is on menopause, a health expert can give a continuous mixture of progesterone and estrogen.
- Estrogen-only HRT; this is a kind of therapy where the doctor prescribes estrogen-only treatment. It applies to women who no longer have their womb. Using this kind o therapy with your body intact exposes you to cancer of the uterus.
- Sequential or Cyclical HRT; this therapy is given to women who experience menopause signs and symptoms before they get to menopause. This kind of treatment aligns with a woman’s menstrual cycle.
- Local estrogen; these are vaginal creams, rings, and tablets to help reduce menopause symptoms such as vaginal dryness or irritation. However, you should not but over-the-counter menopause drugs without consulting the doctors. This is because they may not be good for you, especially if you have underlying chronic health conditions. But visiting a health clinic will help the doctor evaluate your situation and recommend the best type of HRT for you.
HRT are hormones that are prepared in the laboratory to help ease menopause symptoms. However, before taking HRT, you must understand the risks associated with the therapy so that you weigh the benefits and the risks. The doctor will help you make a well-informed decision.
HRT Side effects
After taking HRT, chances are that you will experience some side effects. These are side effects such as indigestion, bloating, breast tenderness, and leg cramps. Others are leg cramps, back, and abdominal pains. However, these side effects disappear after a short while. But if they persist for months or so, you should talk to your doctor immediately. However, the benefits of HRT far outweigh the risks involved.
HRT is linked to the following benefits;
- Prevent vaginal dryness
- Improves sleep
- Relieves night sweats
- Boosts sex drive
- Prevent vaginal itching
- Prevents fractures from thinning bones
- Reduces chances of dementia
Who should not use Hormone Replacement Therapy?
You should consider liaising with the doctor before using any HRT. This is because they are not recommendable for women who have or had such conditions as liver disease, blood clots, ovarian cancer, and breast cancer. Other conditions are stroke, cancer of the womb, and vaginal bleeding.
Alternatives to HRT
Note, you can lessen menopause symptoms without necessarily getting the HRT. However, consulting the doctor is vital since some conditions like vaginal dryness can become critical if not treated. Your doctor will advise you on ways to combat the symptoms. This applies to women who only have mild symptoms. Below are things you can do to improve the symptoms;
- Avoid spicy foods
- Exercise regularly
- Don’t wear tight clothes
- Avoid stress by practicing meditation and mindfulness
- Avoid smoking or second-hand smoke
- Do not use alcohol or caffeine
To sum it up, hormone therapy is a great approach to several health complications. Replacing estrogen and progesterone in the body helps fight menopause symptoms. Nevertheless, HRT is not ideal for everyone. Doctors at Livv Natural Health can help determine if you are the right candidate for HRT.
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