What Is Hormone Replacement Therapy for Menopause?

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The time in a woman's life when her cycle ends is menopause. It's a natural component of aging. The levels of female hormones will go up and down in the years prior to and during menopause. This can cause symptoms such as hot flashes, sweating at night, discomfort during sex, and dryness of the vagina. The symptoms are mild for some women and they go away on their own. To alleviate these symptoms, other women take hormone replacement therapy (HRT), also called menopausal hormone therapy. HRT will defend against osteoporosis as well.

What Is Hormone Replacement Therapy?

Your levels of estrogen dropped during menopause. Some women have painful effects, such as hot flashes and vaginal dryness. The most common treatment for menopausal symptoms is HRT (also known as hormone therapy, menopausal hormone therapy, and estrogen replacement therapy).

Estrogen Therapy

For women who have had a hysterectomy, surgery to extract the uterus, and women who have had a bilateral oophorectomy, physicians usually prescribe a low dose of estrogen (the surgical removal of the uterus and ovaries). Estrogen comes in various forms. The most famous is the daily pill and patch, but the hormone is also available in a vaginal ring, gel, or spray.

  • Estrogen Pills — Pills are the most common treatment for menopausal symptoms. Conjugated estrogens (Cenestin, Estrace, Estratab, Femtrace, Ogen, and Premarin) or estrogens-bazedoxifene are among the many forms of pills available (Duavee). Follow the dosing instructions of your doctor.
  • Topical Estrogen - Other methods of bringing estrogen into the bloodstream are creams, gels and sprays. Gels (such as Estroge and Divigell), creams (such as Estrasorb), and sprays are examples of (like Evamist). This form of estrogen therapy, as with patches, is absorbed directly into the bloodstream through the skin.
  • Vaginal estrogen -  comes in a cream, a vaginal ring or tablets of vaginal estrogen. These therapies are usually for women who are especially bothered by vaginal dryness, itchiness, and burning or discomfort during intercourse. Vaginal tablets (Vagifem), creams (Estrace or Premarin), and insertable rings are some examples (Estring or Femring).
  • Estrogen patch - the patch is worn on your abdominal skin. Some patches are replaced every few days, depending on the dosage, while others can be worn for a week. Alora, Climara, Estraderm, and Vivelle-Dot are examples. Combination patches of estrogen and progestin are also available — such as Climara Pro and Combipatch.

Estrogen/Progesterone/Progestin Hormone Therapy

Since it blends doses of estrogen and progestin, the synthetic form of progesterone, it is also called combination therapy. It's intended for women who still have a womb. Taking progesterone with estrogen reduces the risk of endometrial cancer, the lining of the uterus. Although usually used as a method of control of births. Progesterone may help with the treatment of many symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes.

  • Oral progestins – Taken as a tablet, progestin medicines include medroxyprogesterone acetate (Provera) and synthetic progestin tablets (norethindrone, norgestrel). The bulk of their menopausal patients are now treated by many experts with natural progesterone rather than synthetic progestin. There is no harmful impact of natural progesterone on lipids and it is a safe option for women with elevated levels of cholesterol. Moreover, as opposed to medroxyprogesterone acetate, natural progesterone may have other advantages.
  • Intrauterine progestin – not approved for this use in the United States, levonorgestrel low-dose intrauterine devices (IUDs) are sold under the brand names Liletta, Kyleena, Mirena and Skyla. If you had one of these IUDs when entering perimenopause, your doctor may suggest that you keep it in until after menopause is complete.

User:Marine 69-71, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Are You Looking for a Clinic That Specializes in Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) for Menopause near Gilbert, Arizona?

Atlas Health Medical Group in Gilbert, Arizona specializes in providing Bio-identical Hormone Therapy for Men and Women in Arizona’s East Valley including Gilbert, Chandler, Mesa, San Tan and Queen Creek. For women, BHRT offers an opportunity to support the transition into menopause, to alleviate symptoms and reach a healthy balance. As you may know, symptoms begin to manifest themselves in women by their late 40s, early 50s leading women into a new stage of their lives, peri-menopause. This stage typically lasts about 4 years and may be accompanied by a variety of symptoms that can be quite disruptive to their busy lives. Many women may experience menopausal symptoms for the rest of their lives, this is commonly due to adrenal and thyroid insufficiencies. BHRT replaces the missing hormones improving the incidence of menopausal symptoms, reducing the risk of bone loss, and reducing the risk of certain cancers.  We pride ourselves on setting the standards of patient care and results-driven treatments.  Our patients return to health and live the life they intended.  Contact us today for your first appointment!

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