Menopausal years are every woman’s concern. In these years women suffer from unusual kind of changes in their life. Their mental and physical energy level decreases and due to various hormonal changes they undergo a very stressful time. Feeling of hot flushes, unexplainable mood swings,
disturbed night sleep, vaginal dryness and weight gain further worsens their condition.
These conditions can be effectively handled by making some lifestyle changes, meditation and by Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT).
Female reproductive system comprises of a pair of ovaries, fallopian tubes and uterus. These ovaries apart from producing ova are also responsible for production of Estrogen and progesterone. These hormones are responsible for thickening of lining of the uterus, on which the fertilized egg I implanted. Estrogen is also responsible for absorption of calcium in the body. It functions as a regulatory hormone that maintains healthy levels of cholesterol in the blood. It keeps the vagina healthy. As menopause approaches, the capacity of ovaries to produce these hormones reduces greatly and fluctuating estrogen levels make the life of females miserable. Malfunction of these hormones can lead to risk of heart diseases and osteoporosis.
What is Hormone Replacement Therapy
As discussed estrogen and progesterone hormones are primarily responsible for the smooth functioning of female genital system. During menopause these hormones gets affected and female experiences discomfort due to diminished circulating estrogen and progesterone.
Hormone replacement therapy can simply be defined as a procedure through which these diminished circulating estrogen and progesterone, which female body is no longer able to produces are replaced through medication. It is helpful in dealing with the post-menopausal problems.
Benefits of taking HT
HT is helpful in the conditions of
• Vaginal dryness
• menopausal issues like night sweats and dry, itchy skin
• Hot flashes
Apart from these common issues HT has been found be beneficial for following problems;
• Osteoporosis and reduced risk of bone breakage
• Female body becomes less prone to colon cancer
• Shields females from the risk of developing diabetes
• Improvement in joint pains problem.
• Decreased tooth loss
• Elevates moods and helpful in maintain overall female health.
Risk and side effects associated with HRT
Hormone replacement therapy is beneficial in many menopausal problems at the same time replacement of hormones can cause some discomfort also and a woman undergoing therapy may feel some side effects like bloating, nausea, breast tenderness and breakthrough bleeding. Recent research suggests that HRT involves certain risks like Heart disease, Stroke, Blood clots, Breast cancer. One of the myths associated with HRT is about weight gain and most of the women avoid going for HRT because of this myth. It should be understood that menopause itself is a process which involves many hormonal changes and due to that metabolic rate of body decreases considerably. Reduced metabolic rate does not allow the body to burn calories on a higher rate and results in decreased energy levels and weight gain. In the beginning of the treatment some women experience bloating and breast fullness which should not be misinterpreted as weight gain. After some time these symptoms are seen disappearing.
Who should consider hormone therapy?
Although there are certain health risks, systemic estrogen is still the most effective treatment for menopausal symptoms. Hormone therapy may prove beneficial for you and risk can be minimized if you’re healthy and you are suffering with
• moderate to severe hot flashes or other menopausal symptoms
• You have lost bone mass and other treatments are not providing relieve to you.
• If you are a victim of premature menopause (menopause before 40) or you have lost normal function of your ovaries before age 40 (premature ovarian insufficiency)
Choose right HRT for you:-
Two types of hormone therapies are available and one should choose the appropriate one after consulting her specialist.
1. Systemic hormone therapy. Systemic estrogen — which is taken in form of pills, skin patch, gel, cream or spray — It is especially helpful in the condition of troublesome menopausal hot flashes and night sweats and gives required relieve. It effectively eases vaginal problems such as dryness, itching, burning and discomfort with intercourse.
2. Low-dose vaginal products. Low-dose vaginal preparations of estrogen — these come in the form of cream, tablet or ring form — are useful in treating vaginal symptoms and urinary symptoms, while minimizing absorption into the body. Low-dose vaginal preparations are not so helpful in hot flashes, night sweats and hardly guard against osteoporosis.
Menopausal problems can be easily dealt with useful Hormonal replacement therapy. Although it has some risks and side effects but consulting a specialist for the same can solve the purpose. Ask your doctor for an individual assessment and enjoy happy post-menopausal years of your life.