It’s happening again. The heat starts rising in your body, and the sweat starts to accumulate on your brow. You feel your heart rate quicken as you look around in search of the nearest exit. The hot flash has come once more and unleashed an intense and sudden feeling of feverish heat.
If you’re a woman, typically between the age of 40-58, who has experienced this phenomenon due to menopause, you may be a good candidate for hormone replacement therapy.
What is Hormone Replacement Therapy?
Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is the process of taking certain medications that contain hormones your body is losing at a faster rate than what is considered normal. It is typically used for alleviating the symptoms of menopause, which include hot flashes and vaginal discomfort. Men also suffer from hormone depletion. HRT is the most effective treatment for menopausal symptoms, and can be prescribed in many different forms. The following are the most typical treatment options:
1. Estrogen pill- The most common method of used to treat menopausal symptoms.
2. Estrogen patch- The patch is worn on your skin, typically on your abdomen, and slowly releases estrogen over time. Some must be changed every few days, while others can last a week.
3. Topical estrogen- Like the patch, this is administered through skin absorption, through the use of creams, gels and sprays.
4. Vaginal estrogen- Comes in creams, a vaginal ring, or vaginal tablet and is inserted vaginally, and changed depending on the product.
Finding the right treatment that fits your lifestyle and the proper dosage is something that would be discussed in detail with your doctor upon consultation.
Is HRT Right For Me?
Though HRT is the most effective treatment for menopausal symptoms, it is not recommended for everyone. HRT may be a great option for you if you’re a woman between the ages of 40-59, healthy, and:
1. Experiencing moderate to severe discomfort from menopausal symptoms.
2. Have lost bone mass and aren’t benefiting from other treatments.
3. Stopped having periods, or lost function of your ovaries before the age of 40.
HRT may not be suitable for women who have a history of:
1. Uncontrolled hypertension, or high blood pressure
2. Thrombosis or blood clots
4. Heart disease
5. Endometrial, ovarian or breast cancer
It’s important to consult with your doctor if you have any questions and concerns.