For women between the ages of 45 and 55, menopause is an undeniable facet of life. The body’s progression out of its fertile period can cause significant physiological changes. Women can tell if they have fully entered menopause when their period has failed to occur for 12 months. One of the largest shifts that women experience during this dynamic time is a significant reduction in the production of estrogen and progesterone.
The physical side effects of reduced estrogen and progesterone can range from mildly uncomfortable to potentially dangerous, depending on the individual in question. Reductions in these hormones can lead to:
* Noticeable changes in periods.
* Hot flashes.
* Physical changes in reproductive organs.
* Bone thinning, a potential precursor of osteoporosis.
Although, for many women, these adverse physical ailments will subside over time, others are not so lucky. Many women choose to initiate hormone therapy in order to preserve bone strength, reducing the likelihood of painful bone breaks and expensive hospital visits later on in life. Here’s what you need to know about hormone therapy:
What Hormones Are Used in Hormone Therapy For Women?
Female hormone therapy is designed to maintain the body’s levels of estrogen and progesterone that had existed prior to menopause. Because of this, female hormone therapy involves either estrogen or estrogen combined with progestin, a synthetically produced progestogen that is very similar to the hormone progesterone . Estrogen is often used for hormone therapy in order to safeguard against the threat of osteoporosis. Women can choose to partake in estrogen replacement therapy for this reason alone. For women who still have a uterus, combining estrogen with progestin reduces the risk of developing endometrial cancer.
What Are The Risks Of Hormone Therapy?
Although hormone supplements can be especially helpful in alleviating the detrimental side effects of menopause, hormone therapy for women is not without its risks. Although by no means applicable to all women, hormone therapy has increased the risk of blood clots, heart attacks, breast cancer and gall bladder disease in some patients. Prospective patients should discuss hormone therapy with their doctor to learn more about the potential side effects of treatment.
What Are The Alternatives?
Depending upon your specific expectations of hormone treatment, you may be able to find alternatives to estrogen supplements. For women looking to safeguard their bones against the threat of osteoporosis, there exist medicinal and non-prescription alternatives to hormone replacement therapy. Lifestyle choices play an important role in reducing the risks of the onset of osteoporosis. Influential factors include:
* Vitamin D levels.
* Calcium levels.
* Smoking habits.
If osteoporosis is a significant concern, discuss your personal habits with your doctor to discover new methods for strengthening your bones.
What Are The Limits Of Hormone Therapy?
Although hormone therapy can provide a number of significant benefits to women experiencing a range of physical symptoms, it is not a one-stop solution for all medical problems. Hormone supplements cannot:
* Prevent heart attacks or strokes.
* Prevent memory loss.
* Prevent visible signs of aging.
How Can I Decide If Hormone Therapy Is Right For Me ?
Before beginning a hormone replacement program, every woman should determine what their treatment goals are. By establishing a realistic set of expectations that are based upon personal health and current physiological factors, women can begin a treatment program that is based on their own needs, rather than a generic statistic.
In A Nutshell: Hormone therapy for women is a powerful treatment method designed to reduce the severity of menopausal symptoms. Hormone therapy is used to restore the body’s pre-menopausal levels of estrogen, helping to prevent the onset of osteoporosis in the process. Women interested in pursuing hormone replacement therapy should discuss their personal expectations with their doctor to learn more about available treatment methods.