Menopause is something that every woman has to look forward to once their body is no longer fertile. It happens at different ages for many women and symptoms can be manageable for some and horrendous for others. In some cases, menopause symptoms are so severe that they can ruin your entire day.
Menopause is caused by the body reducing or stopping the amount of estrogen that is produced. Estrogen is responsible for the regulation of the menstrual cycle, but also plays a part in key processes of the brain, heart, reproductive system, heart, mucous membranes, blood vessels, breasts, pelvic muscles, hair, and skin. It is no wonder that the body undergoes so many changes! Read on to learn more about the symptoms of menopause and how hormone therapy can help.
Symptoms of Menopause that Affect Your Life
#1: Hot Flashes
Many women going through menopause experience hot flashes, particularly in the earlier stages of menopause. Hot flashes can be mild to severe and can be so annoying that they interrupt your day and may even wake you from sleep. They can last from 30 seconds to a painful 10 minutes and result in a redness and sweating of the chest, neck, and face.
#2: Loss of Bladder Control
Women going through menopause may experience painful urination or even a frequent need to urinate, even if their bladder is not full. This is caused by the thinning of the lining and loss of elasticity in the urethra and vagina. This is something that definitely will interrupt your day.
#3: Frequent Urinary Tract Infections
As estrogen levels are lowered, the changes in the urinary tract make it more likely that you will develop a urinary tract infection. These types of infections make it very painful to urinate and will make you feel like you have to urinate even when your bladder is not full. While these are treatable with antibiotics, the antibiotics can make you more susceptible to a yeast infection. This can be a vicious, painful, and uncomfortable experience for many women.
#4: Depression, Mood Swings, and Other Mood Changes
When a woman goes through menopause, hormone production undergoes drastic changes. Hormones play a huge role in feelings and mood regulation. This means that it can cause depression, feelings of high and low, mood swings, and irritability.
If your menopause becomes unmanageable, then your doctor may recommend options, one of them being hormone therapy. Hormone therapy solves all of the above problems and more. Body Concepts and Wellness can assist in understanding and providing hormone therapy options to meet your health needs. Let’s learn about how hormone therapy can help solve some of your menopause problems and how treatment works.
How it Can Solve Menopause Problems
Hormone therapy (also called hormone replacement therapy) has the potential to solve all of the symptoms associated with menopause. The way that it works is by determining an effective dose of the hormone estrogen to treat a woman’s symptoms. This will be determined by the severity of your symptoms. Some women find that a low dose of vaginal estrogen will work (particularly women who are only plagued by problems like UTIs and vaginal dryness and discomfort), while others need a stronger dose. The reason that hormone therapy relieves all symptoms of menopause is because it replaces the hormones that your body is missing. It is the decrease in estrogen that causes the symptoms of menopause.
This is especially effective during the earlier years of menopause, when the symptoms are at their peak. The good news is that many women do not experience menopause symptoms after several years.
The Hormone Therapy Process
If you have severe hot flashes or extreme mood swings, your doctor may recommend a high dose treatment. This will involve taking estrogen supplements so that the boost in estrogen affects the entire body. If your uterus has never been removed, then you will need to take a progestogen hormone in order to protect from cancer of the uterus.
Estrogen can have adverse effects on the body (especially cancer of the uterus) if it is used too long. Most doctors will not prescribe it for a period longer than five years. If your uterus has been removed, then it may be safe to use it for a period of up to 7 years.
Menopause is something that will affect every woman, though the symptoms like hot flashes, increased UTIs, mood problems, and loss of bladder control will only affect some. If you find that your symptoms are unbearable, speak to your physician about your options. You may find that hormone therapy is one of your best choices if menopause symptoms are interrupting your daily life. Your doctor will be able to advise on the right dosage to alleviate your symptoms, how long you can take the hormone therapy for, and whether or not you will need to take progestogen as well.