What Is Hormone Therapy
During menopause, your body goes through major hormonal changes, decreasing the amount of hormones it makes particularly estrogen and progesterone. Estrogen and progesterone are produced by the ovaries. When your ovaries no longer make enough estrogen and progesterone, hormone therapy can be used as a supplement. Hormone therapy boosts your hormone levels and can help relieve some symptoms of menopause. Its also used as a preventative measure for osteoporosis.
There are two main types of hormone therapy:
- Estrogen therapy : In this treatment, estrogen is taken alone. Its typically prescribed in a low dose and can be taken as a pill or patch. ET can also be given to you as a cream, vaginal ring, gel or spray. This type of treatment is used after a hysterectomy. Estrogen alone cant be used if a woman still has a uterus.
- Estrogen Progesterone/Progestin Hormone Therapy : This treatment is also called combination therapy because it uses doses of estrogen and progesterone. Progesterone is available in its natural form, or also as a progestin . This type of hormone therapy is used if you still have your uterus.
Hormone therapy can relieve many of the symptoms of menopause, including:
- Hot flashes and night sweats.
- Vaginal dryness.
How Does Menopause Affect My Bladder Control
Unfortunately, bladder control issues are common for women going through menopause. There are several reasons why this happens, including:
- Estrogen. This hormone plays several roles in your body. It not only controls your period and promotes changes in your body during pregnancy, estrogen also keeps the lining of your bladder and urethra healthy.
- Pelvic floor muscles. Supporting the organs in your pelvis your bladder and uterus are called the pelvic floor muscles. Throughout your life, these muscles can weaken. This can happen during pregnancy, childbirth and from weight gain. When the muscles weaken, you can experience urinary incontinence .
Specific bladder control problems that you might have can include:
- Stress incontinence .
- Urge incontinence .
- Painful urination .
- Nocturia .
How Much Progesterone Should I Take After Menopause
The best way to answer this question is to speak with your doctor. Your healthcare provider can review your health history and symptoms to determine the best progesterone dose for your unique concerns and needs.
In general, with hormones like estrogen and progesterone, the goal should be to address your symptoms by taking the lowest dosage for the shortest amount of time possible.
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Womens Health Initiative Studies Of Hormone Therapy And Cancer Risk
Several large studies have looked at possible links between systemic hormone therapy in menopausal women and different types of cancer.
The main randomized studies of MHT were part of the Womens Health Initiative . The WHI included 2 randomized placebo-controlled clinical trials of MHT in healthy women:
- One study looked at estrogen therapy in post-menopausal women who didnt have a uterus. Over 5,000 women in the ET group took a daily dose of estrogen in the form of conjugated equine estrogen for an average of about 6 years. The researchers then continued to follow them for several years to look for any further effects of the hormone. The women were compared to more than 5,000 in the placebo group.
- The other study looked at estrogen-progestin therapy in post-menopausal women who still had their uterus. Over 8,500 women in the EPT group took a daily dose of CEE plus a progestin called;medroxyprogesterone acetate;for an average of about 5 years. This group was compared to a group of more than 8,000 women in the placebo group.
The WHI also conducted some observational studies. However, when we mention a WHI study below, were referring to one of the randomized studies.
Herbs And Supplements During Menopause
Many over-the-counter natural products are promoted in stores and online as helpful with menopausal symptoms. These include vitamins and soy-based and herbal products . There are also endless arrays of special blends of herbs and vitamins that claim to reduce the discomforts of menopause.
These products are considered dietary supplements . They have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration to be sure that they work or even that they are safe. Some supplements have been tested in small clinical trials, but often the studies only looked at taking the substance for a short time , so it isnt clear how safe it would be if taken for a long time. Another concern has been applying the results of a study of a particular version and dose of a supplement to others that werent tested.
Most of the plain herbs that are touted for menopausal symptoms carry a low risk of harm for most women, but some can interact with other drugs and/or cause unexpected problems. You should discuss herbs or supplements with your doctor before taking them.
Well-controlled scientific studies are needed to help find out if these products work and if they are any safer than the hormone therapy drugs now in use.
You can learn more in;Dietary Supplements: What Is Safe?
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Weighing The Hormone Replacement Therapy Pros And Cons
When it comes to getting HRT after surgical menopause, deciding what to do isn’t easy. The contradictory headlines in the media in recent years haven’t helped. It’s easy for women to feel like they are making the wrong choice, no matter what they do.
When you’re deciding, you have to consider a lot of different factors, including your age, your family history, and your habits. Just take it slowly and don’t allow yourself to be rushed into a decision you’re not ready to make. Check the latest research into HRT. Remember that both the potential long-term benefits and risks of hormone therapy are really quite small for any individual person.
Finally, don’t discount your gut feelings. The decision to get hormone therapy after surgical menopause is personal. The right answer depends as much on your preferences as it does on the facts in your medical chart.
Staying Healthy After Menopause
These tips will help you live a healthy life after menopause. Talk to your healthcare provider for more information:
If you are thinking about hormone replacement therapy, discuss the risks and benefits with your healthcare provider first.;
Don’t smoke. Smoking is a major risk factor for heart disease.
Exercise regularly. Even moderate exercise, such as walking a half-hour, 3 times a week is beneficial.
Maintain a healthy weight through a balanced, low-sugar diet.
Control high blood pressure with medicine or lifestyle changes. This will help cut your risk for heart disease.
Reduce stress in your life through relaxation methods or regular exercise.
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Looking Beyond Our Diets To Balance Our Hormones
Our healthy lifestyle decisions dont need to end with food. Walking, gentle yoga and meditation are great stress reducers. Even getting out into the sun and listening to the birds singing can help your body in amazing ways. Dont forget that our stress hormones play a major role in making us unhappy after 60. They also prevent us from losing weight, which, in turn, stops us from exploring the world.
Finally, Julie reminds us to take the time to pamper ourselves. Take a hot lavender bath. Relax with some candles and appreciate some me time. Be kind to your body and it will pay you back with many years of healthy life on this amazing planet we call home.
What natural solutions have calmed your postmenopausal hormones? Have you found any specific foods that helped? What advice would you give to the other women in the community who are struggling with their postmenopausal hormones? Please join the conversation.
Do All Menopausal Women Experience A Decrease In Sexual Desire
Not all women experience a decreased sexual desire. In some cases, its just the opposite. This could be because theres no longer any fear of getting pregnant. For many women, this allows them to enjoy sex without worrying about family planning.
However, it is still important to use protection during sex if not in a monogamous relationship. Once your doctor makes the diagnosis of menopause, you can no longer become pregnant. However, when you are in the menopause transition , you can still become pregnant. You also need to protect yourself from sexually transmitted infections . You can get an STI at any time in your life.
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When Mht Is Not An Option
For some women, the risks in using hormone therapy are definitely very high. MHT would not be recommended for women who:
- Are pregnant or think they might be pregnant
- Have irregular or unexplained vaginal bleeding
- Have breast cancer or uterine cancer
- Have a history of heart attack or stroke
- Have a history of getting blood clots
- Have liver disease
Benefits Of Taking Estrogen After Menopause
- Post author Scientific review: Dr Heben’s Team
In this article, I will explain the benefits of taking estrogen after menopause. Menopause happens in middle-aged women . Menopause is a condition where menstrual cycle stops, or the end of reproductive period. This is a natural condition, and all women will experience this. But the menopause symptoms give anxiety in women, since the stopping of menstrual cycle means the stopping of reproductive hormone production, such as estrogen and progesteron.
Estrogen is a steroid hormone, produced by theca follicle cells in ovaries. Estrogen functions are: promotes secondary sexual signs in women, promotes proliferation of endometrium cells, influences electrolytes balance, and improves protein anabolism with growth hormones, as in growth of reproductive organs such as the womb and vagina.
When a woman reach pre-menopause period, her estrogen production is much decreased. The symptoms are:
- irregular menstruation
- reduced bone density, which will lead to osteoporosis and bone fractures
- increased risk of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease
1. Prevents Dryness in Vagina
Vaginal dryness is caused by lack of estrogen. This makes difficulties and pain during sexual intercourse, which can lead to physical and psychological trauma . Taking estrogen after menopause can maintain vaginal lubrication and elasticity.
2. Increases Libido
3. Prevents Pre-menopause Syndrome
6. Prevents Atherosclerosis
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Discussion Point 10: Adrenal Fatigue Does Not Mean Adrenal Insufficiency
Adrenal supplements are commonly used in compounded preparations for adrenal fatigue, a term applied to a collection of nonspecific symptoms including body aches, fatigue, nervousness, sleep disturbances, and digestive problems. However, the term is not an accepted medical diagnosis. Proponents claim that the adrenal glands burn out from the perpetual fight-or-flight arousal, thereby making a case for adrenal supplementation. Assays for adrenal function and stimulation tests are often normal.
Adrenal insufficiency, a disorder of inadequate production of adrenal hormones, results in fatigue, body aches, unexplained weight loss, low blood pressure, lightheadedness, and loss of body hair. Unlike adrenal fatigue, adrenal insufficiency can be diagnosed by blood tests and special stimulation tests.
The clinician should evaluate modifiable causes of fatigue with a history and simple clinical tests. Pain, deconditioning, chronic sleep deprivation, and mood disorders often contribute and are modifiable.
Will I Start Menopause If I Have A Hysterectomy
During a hysterectomy, your uterus is removed. You wont have a period after this procedure. However, if you kept your ovaries removal of your ovaries is called an oophorectomy you may not have symptoms of menopause right away. If your ovaries are also removed, you will have symptoms of menopause immediately.
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Who Can Use It
You can begin hormone replacement therapy as soon as you start experiencing menopausal symptoms.
The average age for women to experience the menopause;in the UK is 51. However, some women have the menopause;when they are in their;30s, 40s or 60s. There is no way of predicting exactly when the menopause will happen.
Some women have menopausal symptoms, such as hot flushes and vaginal dryness, in the 3;to 4;years;before;the menopause. This is known as the peri-menopause.
The peri-menopause occurs;because levels;of the female sex hormones, oestrogen and progesterone, fall;when the number of remaining eggs drops below a certain level. This means you may experience menopausal symptoms even when you;are still having periods.
In most cases,;HRT can be used without taking a test to confirm you are starting the menopause. A test;for the menopause is usually only necessary if you are under 40 years old or have;unusual bleeding patterns during your period.
Testing can help rule out other conditions that may cause similar symptoms, such as having an;overactive thyroid gland . You should have regular smear tests for cervical cancer.
What Is Organifi Harmony
Organifi Harmony is a delicious cacao and chocolate-flavored superfood blend designed by some of the worlds top herbalists , for women.
Its not just for your time of the month! Harmony contains a daily dose of balancing herbs that supports you pre AND post menopause.
- After 15 days of consuming this: Increased energy!
- After 30 days of consuming this: Cycle regulation, aids in reduction of PMS symptoms, such as bloat, moodiness, breast tenderness.
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Switch Caffeine For Matcha Green Tea
A study of over 2,000 women found that those who consumed coffee regularly experienced more hot flashes and night sweats than those who didnt consume caffeine. Matcha green tea has caffeine in it, the better solution would be to cut it out completely, but its a smaller portion in milligrams per serving than coffee ad has L-theanine a compound that keeps you calm.
Our Tip: switch to matcha green tea latte ;when possible and slowly wean yourself off the daily habit.;
Hormone Imbalance & Menopause Are Normal
First things first, we need to redefine what normal hormone balance and imbalance means.
After all, hormonal imbalances are not always abnormal; particularly for women during transitional times in their age, health and body.
For example, the first signs of normal hormone imbalance for women typically occur during the adolescent or teen years.
The woman is somewhere between ages 11 and 16, with the onset of Red Tide and an increase in estrogen levels around that time of the month.
From then on, other notable times of normal hormonal imbalances in a womans life include: Pregnancy, post-partum, peri-menopause and menopause.
During the menopausal years, the production of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone naturally decrease.
This is a normal hormonal imbalance that comes as a right of passage with age.
Concurrently during these years, a womans metabolic rate and bone density naturally decrease and body fat naturally increases .
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What Should Women Do If They Have Menopausal Symptoms But Are Concerned About Taking Mht
Women who are seeking relief from hot flashes and vaginal dryness should talk with their health care provider about whether to take MHT, the possible risks of using MHT, and what alternatives may be appropriate for them. FDA currently advises women to use MHT for the shortest time and at the lowest dose possible to control menopausal symptoms. The FDA provides additional information about the risks and benefits of MHT use for menopausal symptoms on its Menopause & Hormones: Common Questions fact sheet.
Will I Still Enjoy Sex After Menopause
You should still be able to enjoy sex after menopause. Sometimes, decreased sex drive is related to discomfort and painful intercourse. After treating the source of this pain , many women are able to enjoy intimacy again. Hormone therapy can also help many women. If you are having difficulties enjoying sex after menopause, talk to your healthcare provider.
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Prioritize Sleep And Relaxation
In addition to a hormone balancing diet you can help balance hormones naturally with simple lifestyle changes, starting with a sleep routine and schedule that spans over the weekend. Theres a significant relationship between cortisol and sleep, the infamous stress hormone can leave your adrenal glands depleted when its overactive.;
Our Tip: Leave the phone one hour before bed, avoid caffeine after 2:00 PM, and make relaxation time part of your schedule.
What Hormones Are Used To Treat The Symptoms Of Menopause
The hormones most commonly used to treat symptoms of menopause are estrogen and progesterone. . Often, these 2 hormones are used together, but some women are given estrogen alone. Its important to know which hormones you are talking about when looking at the risks.
Common estrogen preparations used to treat menopausal symptoms include conjugated equine estrogens and estradiol, but several forms or types of estrogen are available.
There are also many progestins available, but medroxyprogesterone acetate , is often used with an estrogen to treat menopausal symptoms. Some preparations contain both an estrogen and a progestin.
Androgens are also sometimes used to treat menopausal symptoms. This is not common, though, and because only a few studies have looked at this practice, it isnt clear how safe it is in the long run.
Tibolone is a synthetic hormone drug that can act like estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone in different tissues of the body. Because this drug isnt available in the US, its not discussed here.
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Not An Elixir Of Youth
Hormone therapy is not a magic bullet or an elixir of youth, and it shouldnt be used willy-nilly, Manson says.
But women who are suffering with menopause symptoms should not be denied hormone therapy, she says, unless they are at increased risk of cardiovascular disease, breast cancer or other estrogen-sensitive cancers.
The pendulum has swung widely from the perception that hormone therapy is good for all women to the perception that its all bad for all women, to now a more appropriate place in between where hormone therapy is perceived to be good for some but not all women, Manson says. Were recommending that hormone therapy be used for the duration that its needed to address symptoms at the lowest effective dose and with ongoing reassessment of the balance of risks and benefits.
The time to start therapy is as soon as the symptoms start. Intervening earlier, rather than later, actually seems to carry less risk, Santoro says.
Once symptoms start, they are unlikely to get better soon. On average, the menopause transition lasts about four years, Santoro says. Some women have symptoms that persist even longer, however. Although there are exceptions, most women wont go through menopause before 45, Santoro says.
If youre 45 or older and starting to have hot flashes, night sweats or mood or sleep changes, it could be your hormones and it might be time to start some active management, she says.