You won’t need anyone to tell you that you are in perimenopause or menopause. You will know! You will discover changes to your mood, your temperature, your ability to get a good night’s sleep, and even your skin. Oh yes, it will be quite obvious, but now what? You could turn to hormone replacement therapy, or HRT. What does HRT do for menopause?
Getting Your Old Self Back
Once a woman enters perimenopause or menopause, they suddenly become a different person like Dr. Jekyll and Ms. Hyde. We don’t mean to make light of the problem, but sometimes laughter is the best medicine. Or not. The jokes about the signs of menopause are plentiful, but not so funny if you are the one suffering with them.
You (and those around you) will yearn for the old you, the one without all the symptoms of menopause like the following:
- Night sweats
- Mood swings
- Brain fog
- Hot flashes
- Urgency to urinate
- Vaginal dryness
- Dry skin and eyes
They don’t just go away, so you can go cold turkey and try to live with the changes, or you can discuss HRT with Metropolitan Women’s Group in Greenbelt and Germantown.
What Hormone Replacement Therapy Can Do for You
The euphemism, Change of Life, is a soft pedaled way to talk about menopause. Since symptoms can last up to 5 years after a female completes menopause, a more serious discussion should be about how hormone replacement therapy can replenish lost hormones.
If a woman still has her uterus, HRT will replace lost estrogen and progesterone. If not, it will only replace estrogen.
Let’s talk about the value of estrogen. Estrogen protects bones, the lining of the vagina, and lowers cholesterol. It is also linked to the brain, bones, heart and blood vessels. When it is reduced or lost, you can naturally expect cognitive decline, mood changes, and the risk of osteoporosis.
The Benefits of Hormone Replacement Therapy
Women under the age of 60 who entered menopause in the last 10 years will benefit the most from HRT.
The best researched benefits include:
- Low dose estrogen relieves hot flashes and night sweats.
- Low dose estrogen relieves urinary and genital symptoms like vaginal dryness, painful sex, or urinary problems.
- HRT offers protection against cardiovascular disease.
- Estrogen patches offer relief from depression symptoms and will help to protect your bones.
- Combined with regular exercise HRT can help increase muscle mass and strengthen your muscles.
- If HRT begins during perimenopause, it may cut a woman’s risk of Alzheimer’s in half.
There are pros and cons of HRT and they should be explored with a physician.