Hormone therapy is medication containing hormones which a woman’s body stops to produce when reaching menopause. There are many types of hormonal medications about which you can read up at http://www.drugs-med.com. All of them are meant for relieving menopausal symptoms. However, finding the right one for you can be not so simple.
The basic types of hormone replacement therapy include:
Estrogen-only therapy. Estrogen provides relief for most menopausal symptoms and is generally prescribed to women without a womb after a hysterectomy. It is particularly effective for treating hot flushes and also helps prevent bone loss associated with menopause. An example of oral estrogen product is Premarin conjugated equine estrogen pills used for treatment of moderate to severe hot flushes due to menopause.
Estrogen+progestogen therapy. Progestogen is added to estrogen therapy to prevent the overgrowth of cells in the lining of the womb that can result from the use of estrogen alone. This overgrowth can lead to endometrial cancer. Therefore, most women who haven’t had their womb removed receive combination therapy.
Hormones can be taken every day or only on certain days of the month and should be started with the lowest effective dose for the shortest period of time. They should be administered under close medical supervision as treatment plan must be individualized for every woman. It may take several weeks to see effects of menopause treatment and there may manifest side effects as bleeding, bloating, headaches, nausea, breast tenderness and mood changes at first.
The main benefits of hormone therapy are relieving such symptoms as:
- Hot flushes
- Night sweats
- Vaginal dryness
- Mood swings
- Sleep disturbances
- Low sex drive.
Hormone therapy may also reduce the risk of osteoporosis, colorectal cancer and heart disease. However, it may increase the chances of developing blood clots and breast cancer when some types are used long-term. That’s why today clinicians administer much lower doses than a decade ago, and for not more than 3-5 years.
While most symptoms usually pass on their own in a few years, they can be very unpleasant and hormone therapy can offer relief for many women. But each woman is unique and should weigh her physical discomfort against her fear of hormone treatment.