In the years leading up to menopause, which is medically defined as 12 consecutive months of not having a period, many women experience a long list of unwanted and unpleasant symptoms. These are directly a result of fluctuations in the female reproductive hormones, estrogen and progesterone. The same symptoms can also occur due to a decrease of hormones following a hysterectomy.
As a woman’s production of estrogen and progesterone, she can experience any number of a wide range of symptoms, including:
Lifestyle changes are the first-line treatment option for symptoms related to hormone fluctuations that The Women’s Group team recommends. In most cases these provide relief. However, in cases where they don’t, and symptoms are severe, hormone replacement therapy may be prescribed, and is almost always effective. Hormone replacement therapy is a replenishment of the decreased hormones in the body. They must be carefully measured to be returned to each woman’s healthy, pre-symptomatic levels.
Hormone therapy is available in a variety of forms. Replacement can be delivered orally, or vaginally, through estrogen-based creams. Creams are typically used to treat symptoms that involve vaginal dryness, painful intercourse. Creams can also provide some relief from urinary incontinence.
Hormone replacement therapy is not recommended for women who have already been using hormone therapy for more than ten years, who smoke, have blood clots, undiagnosed breast masses or cancer.
Yes. Because a woman’s hormones and symptoms can change over time, anyone undergoing hormone replacement therapy will have her hormone levels evaluated via a blood on a regular basis.
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