Menopause is a natural progression that’s part of a woman’s health. It marks the time when a woman reaches the end of her fertility and goes a solid 12 months without a period. But, you don’t have to suffer for those 12 months before you receive treatment
Some women sail through menopause without any real disturbing symptoms, but many experience extremely disruptive symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, sleep disturbances, painful intercourse, vaginal discomfort, and cognitive difficulties. These symptoms can seriously upset your quality of life.
Menopause can also bring about new health challenges as the decline in estrogen puts you at greater risk of osteoporosis, heart disease, and weight gain. At Healthcare For Women, we offer women of the Oak Park and North Riverside areas an opportunity to transition through menopause more smoothly with hormone replacement therapy.
Menopause usually begins in your 40s with perimenopause which brings symptoms like irregular periods and hot flashes. Your body is starting to transition to menopause, but you still get a menstrual cycle (sometimes intermittently) and are able to get pregnant.
Once you’ve gone one full year without a menstrual cycle, menopause is confirmed. Postmenopause encompasses all the years after menopause.
The reason you experience a variety of symptoms and health changes during menopause has to do with your changing hormone levels. Through all the stages of menopause, your estrogen levels and progesterone levels decline. These hormones govern a variety of bodily functions, so when they decrease, you really experience a change in the way you feel and in your overall health.
About hormone replacement therapy
Hormone therapy isn’t delivered as a one-size-fits-all treatment. Dr. Taylor considers your symptoms, health history, and complaints as you move through menopause.
Estrogen therapy may be offered through oral tablets, patches, gels, injections, or BioTEⓇ pellets to circulate throughout your bloodstream and affect a variety of bodily functions and symptoms – such as night sweats, irritability, difficulty sleeping, low libido, depression osteoporosis, and vaginal dryness. Hormone therapy can be applied locally, too, in the form of a cream or ring to address vaginal symptoms.Estradiol vaginal cream is recommended to prevent atrophic vaginitis which causes dysparunea, and susceptibility to vaginitis and urinary tract infections. Estrogen vaginally helps prevent urinary incontinence.
Pellets last 4-5 months and can be inserted 2-3 times per year. The dosage is determined by a computer algorithm using multiple personal parameters to determine the optimal dose for you.
Hormones sometimes contain estrogen only to help women who have had a hysterectomy. Estrogen plus progesterone therapy helps protect any woman who still has her uterus from endometrial cancer. Testosterone for women can be added to decrease menopause symptoms increase strength, endurance, and libido.
Benefits of therapy
When your hormones are put back into balance with hormone therapy, research proves it relieves conditions such as hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, and bone loss. You experience improved sexual relations and better health and well-being.
Length of time on therapy
You’ll be on therapy for as long as you and Dr. Taylor feel it’s necessary for your health needs and goals. You may use hormone therapy for just a short time during menopause. But sometimes Dr. Taylor may recommend a longer-term use to reduce your risk of osteoporosis, a leading cause of dysfunction as you age.
Dr. Taylor checks with you regularly as you’re on the hormones to make sure they’re still meeting your goals.
If you’re approaching menopause, experiencing perimenopausal symptoms, or just have questions about your reproductive health, don’t hesitate to call one of our offices in Oak Park or North Riverside, Illinois, or schedule a consultation online. Hormone therapy is just one of the multiple treatments we provide to help women maximize their reproductive and gynecological health.