When To See A Doctor For Hormone Replacement Therapy
Menopause is a normal part of aging and most symptoms will pass on their own. Some people find them mildly uncomfortable and others find they interfere with normal living. When you begin to experience menopausal symptoms or find them unbearable, you can see a doctor to discuss how to proceed.
If you have symptoms related to other conditions, like early menopause before age 45, or chronic period problems, abnormal periods or bleeding, or infertility, you should see your doctor to determine the cause.
What Are The Symptoms Of Low Estrogen
First off, it is worth saying that low estrogen symptoms can be also a result of smoking, hereditary predisposition, and excessive exercising. So, whenever a woman wants to prevent the fast onset of menopause, she should avoid such activities, and inform a dedicated expert about signature genetic details. In such a case, he will be able to appoint hormone replacement therapy or recommend health supplements that will stabilize the levels as much as possible. Besides, such treatment can alleviate the symptoms of low estrogen, and let the woman live a comfortable life.
North American Menopause Society Updates Position Statement On Hormone Therapy Says Benefits Outweigh Risks For Some Women
In its updated guidelines on using hormone replacement therapy , the North American Menopause Society says that HRT is an effective treatment for hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms. For women younger than 60 or within 10 years of menopause who have no other contraindications, the benefits of HRT outweigh the risks when treating menopausal symptoms, especially hot flashes, and for women who have a higher-than-average risk of bone loss or breaking a bone.
The updated position statement was published in the June 2017 issue of Menopause: The Journal of the North American Menopause Society. Read The 2017 hormone therapy position statement of The North American Menopause Society.
Its extremely important to know that being diagnosed with breast cancer is a contraindication for HRT. Women who have a history of breast cancer should NOT take HRT.
“The use of hormone therapy continues to be one of the most controversial and debated topics,” said JoAnn V. Pinkerton, North American Menopause Society executive director. “The goal of this updated version of the Society’s position statement is to provide excellent, evidence-based, current clinical recommendations to menopause practitioners for the improvement of care for women depending on them to help relieve menopause symptoms.”
The statement also reviews the effects of HRT on various health conditions, such as cardiovascular disease and breast cancer, at different stages of a woman’s life.
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Symptoms And Effects Of Menopause
Menopause is the time in a womans life when menstruation ceases, signaling the end of her reproductive ability. The timing of menopause varies widely, but this event often occurs naturally in women in the fourth or fifth decades of life, at a mean age of 51 years. Certain medical or surgical conditions may induce the cessation of menses before this age. If menopause occurs before the age of 40 years, it is considered premature.
The STRAW classification proposed by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine depicts the natural transition in a female’s life from the reproductive years to the time of menopause.
The reproductive years are divided into early, peak, and late and are characterized by regular menstrual cycles . This is followed by the stage of menopausal transition, which earlier on is characterized by a variable cycle length that is more than 7 days different from normal. During the latter stages of this transition phase, women experience intervals of amenorrhea of more than 60 days. When this duration of amenorrhea lasts for up to 12 months, it is classified as postmenopause. The stage of perimenopause spans from the beginning of the stage of menopause transition up until the completion of 1 year following the final menstrual period.
Venous Thrombosis And Hrt
Venous thromboses are blood clots that form inside veins. Women under 50 years of age, and women aged 50 to 60, face an increased risk of venous thrombosis if they take oral HRT. The increase in risk seems to be highest in the first year or two of therapy and in women who already have a high risk of blood clots. This especially applies to women who have a genetic predisposition to developing thrombosis, who would normally not be advised to use HRT.
Limited research to date suggests the increased risk of clots is mainly related to combined oestrogen and progestogen in oral form, and also depends on the type of progestogen used. Some studies suggest a lower risk with non-oral therapy or tibolone.
What Is Known About Hormone Therapy And The Risk Of Breast Cancer
Taking combined hormone therapy can increase your risk of developing breast cancer. Here are some important findings:
- Taking combination hormone therapy showed a rare increase of absolute risk of less than one additional case of breast cancer per 1000 person years of use.
- There was a nonsignificant reduction in breast cancer seen in women with hysterectomies on estrogen only therapy.
- If youve been diagnosed with breast cancer you should not take systemic hormone therapy.
Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators
SERMs are a type of oral medication that acts like estrogen in some parts of the body, while blocking estrogen in other parts of the body. SERMS can block the effects of estrogen in breast tissue. Tamoxifen and raloxifene are two SERMS that are used to treat breast cancer or prevent breast cancer in high risk women. SERMS can also treat some of the side effects of menopause. Ospemifene is a SERM with FDA approval to treat vaginal dryness and pain during intercourse caused by menopause. Raloxifene can be used to prevent or treat osteoporosis.
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The Psychology Of Menopause
Hormone shifts can affect moods. It can be disturbing to find yourself feeling uncharacteristically nervous or depressed or having memory lapses. Sometimes these feelings can even strain your relationships with others. It helps to know that the psychological effects of menopause are temporary. In all likelihood, youll soon get back on an even keel. Here are the most common psychological accompaniments of menopause.
Anxiety. Women who have never had a problem with anxiety before may become more self-conscious and worried about minor events. In some cases, panic attacks occur. Mental health professionals have a variety of effective treatments. Many people feel much better just knowing what the condition is. The most important piece of advice is not to let anxiety restrict your activities. When anxiety or panic disorders cause people to avoid stressful situations, the result can be an ever-tightening leash that keeps them from enjoying life. Anxiety can lead to avoidance of many aspects of normal life. Prompt treatment prevents this.
Poor Memory and Concentration. Some women find that menopause brings occasional memory lapses, often related to reduced ability to concentrate. This can be upsetting and annoying, but fortunately it seems to go away on its own with time.
Get A Good Nights Sleep
Do yourself a favor and sleep 7 to 8 hours per day! If youre wondering why its because our hormones work on a schedule. Hormone production follows our bodys biological clock. When our sleeping pattern is not definite, it will also mess up our hormones. If you want to balance hormones naturally, make sure to get quality and uninterrupted sleep every night.
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Taking Estrogen With A Progestin Vs Estrogen Alone
Treating menopausal symptoms with estrogen and progestin together is known as estrogen-progestin therapy or combined hormone therapy. Although estrogen alone improves the symptoms of menopause, it increases the risk of cancer of the uterus . Adding a progestin to the estrogen lowers the risk of endometrial cancer back to normal. Because of this, EPT is given to women who still have a uterus . EPT can be given 2 ways:
- Continuous EPT means the same dose of estrogen and progestin is taken each day. Women often prefer continuous EPT because it rarely leads to menstrual-like bleeding.
- Sequential EPT means different amounts of each hormone are taken on specific days. There are different ways to do this. For example, estrogen can be taken by itself for 14 days, then estrogen plus progestin for 11 days, then neither hormone for 3 to 5 days. Other schedules involve taking progestin only every few months. This lowers the amount of progestin that you are exposed to. Monthly regimens are also thought to result in hormone levels that are more like the natural menstrual cycle. Cyclical EPT can produce bleeding like a menstrual period, but it can occur less often than monthly.
Menopausal Hormone Therapy And Cancer Risk
For decades, women have used hormone therapy to ease symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes and sweating. This is called menopausal hormone therapy, and you may see it abbreviated as HT or MHT. You may also hear it described as hormone replacement therapy , postmenopausal hormone therapy , or postmenopausal hormones .
In the past, many doctors and their patients believed that MHT didnt just help with hot flashes and other symptoms it had important health benefits. But well-conducted studies have led many doctors to conclude that the risks of MHT often outweigh the benefits.
This information covers only how MHT can affect a womans risk of getting certain cancers. It does not cover other possible risks of MHT such as heart disease or stroke.
You can use this information when you talk to your doctor about whether MHT is right for you.
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Systemic Vaginal And Intrauterine Hormones
Systemic hormones are given by skin patch, cream or pills. They enter the bloodstream and deliver hormones throughout the body. Systemic hormones are the most effective way to treat menopause symptoms, but they can come with side effects.
For women who have not removed their uterus, Intrauterine Devices may be used to deliver progesterone directly to the uterus to protect against endometrial cancer. Intrauterine progesterone has fewer side effects than systemic progesterone.
For women who experience vaginal symptoms and cannot take or do not need systemic hormones, vaginal hormone replacement medications such as Estring, Vagifem tablets, or Estrace or Premarin cream, Intrarosa, or Imvexxy vaginal inserts may be options. These work by delivering hormones to the vaginal walls with very little absorption into the body leading to fewer side effects and improved safety for cancer survivors and other women who cannot safely take systemic hormones.
Video Highlights About Your Hormones After Menopause
Make sure you didn’t miss anything big…
1:30 Things you have to remember about hormones after menopause.
1:41 The first thing you want to know about your hormones after menopause.
1:58 Know why keeping hormone levels as high as possible naturally is important after menopause
2:32 What are the benefits of having higher hormone levels after menopause.
3:16 Ways you can help your body to make more hormones after menopause.
3:47 Why reducing stress is especially important after menopause.
5:00 Stress management techniques to help you make more of the hormones you ened after menopause.
5:14 To recap.
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What Are The Risks Of Taking Hormone Therapy
While hormone therapy helps many women get through menopause, the treatment is not risk-free. Known health risks include:
- An increased risk of endometrial cancer .
- Increased risk of blood clots and stroke.
- Increased chance of gallbladder/gallstone problems.
- Increased risk of dementia if hormone therapy is started after midlife. HT started during midlife is associated with a reduced risk of Alzheimers disease and dementia.
- Increased risk of breast cancer with long-term use.
Keeping Or Restoring Strong Healthy Bones
Osteoporosisthinning of the bone tissueis common, particularly among Caucasian women, after menopause. The cause is not an inadequate calcium intake, ordinarily. The problem is abnormally rapid calcium loss, aggravated by the following five calcium wasters:
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The Gut Is The Gateway Health
The gut is the gateway to health.
Think about it: Every single cell in a womans body is nourished, fed and supported by what goes into the gut.
In addition, one of the major centers of hormone production occurs in your gut itself. In fact, the gut is now being termed an endocrine organ.
Thus, when we have a weak foundation in our gut , then the rest of our body takes a hit cortisol and hormone levels included.
Since essential nutrients are unable to reach these hormones or other cells that govern our metabolic processes, stress is much more likely.
Even if you do eat healthy, if you have an underlying gut imbalance or you are not supporting the health of your gut and digestion as a whole, then your body is simply not going to absorb and digest the foods you do feed it.
In short: A common reason why women experience all the usual symptoms of menopause goes back to the gut.
Heal the gut, reduce hormone imbalance
So what to do?
To get to the bottom of your own health or gut imbalances, its always advised you consult with a doctor or other healthcare practitioner trained in a functional approach for addressing the roots of these imbalances .
Much of our contemporary medical way of thinking is the replacement model.
This is simply replacing hormones or treating hormone imbalances with hormone replacement drugs and therapies before looking into the reasons why hormones are significantly out of balance in the first place.
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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Women Have Struggled To Get Help With The Menopause For Decades But Its About To Change
Hormone replacement therapy can have life-changing effects for women. A new bill could help thousands access it
HRT used to be a dirty word. Now its a battle cry. Women will be gathering in Parliament Square in London later this month to support the menopause bill to demand free prescriptions for hormone replacement therapy in England.The bill could help thousands more women to access this life-changing treatment and will put the menopause under the microscope.
For years, a combination of medical sexism, hysterical reporting and outdated science has held women back from asking for the health care they need. HRT replenishes the oestrogen, progesterone that women lose when having the menopause. As a result of previous misleading reports linking the treatment to a risk of breast cancer and dementia, HRT has long been considered controversial.
Last week, however, a BMJ paper studying more than 100,000 HRT users over two decades in the UK found that there was no overall association between hormone replacement and an increased risk of developing dementia. Meanwhile, the science lumping the many different types of HRT together in one causes-breast-cancer basket is being questioned by menopause experts.
Kate Muir is a writer and film-maker. Her new book Everything You Need to Know About the Menopause is out in January
Does It Cause Weight Gain
Some people worry that hormone treatment might lead to weight gain, but there is no evidence to support this.
Eating a healthful diet and getting plenty of exercise can help manage the weight gain that commonly affects both females and males in midlife.
There are various ways of delivering hormone therapy, and the different types provide different combinations and amounts of hormones.Common types include:
Estrogen-only HRT: A doctor may recommend this if a person has had their uterus and ovaries removed, in which case progesterone is not necessary.
Cyclical, or sequential, HRT: This may be a good option if symptoms occur before menopause the dosage can align with the menstrual cycle.
Continuous HRT: After menopause, a doctor may prescribe a continuous combination of estrogen and progesterone.
Local estrogen: Vaginal tablets, creams, or rings can help with urogenital symptoms, including vaginal dryness and irritation.
The doctor will prescribe the lowest possible dosage that addresses the persons symptoms, and arriving at this dosage may take some trial and error.
Ways of delivering HRT include:
- vaginal rings
- skin patches
When a person no longer needs the treatment, the doctor will describe how to stop it gradually.
Various lifestyle adjustments can help manage the symptoms of menopause.
Also, it is a good idea to ask the doctor about nonhormonal treatment options.
Always speak to a doctor before using any supplements.
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