The transition to the end of your periods is a time full of questions and an array of symptoms that can make it difficult for you to comfortably go about your daily life. When considering your options for relieving the symptoms surrounding menopause, hormone replacement therapy may be at the top of the list.
You may already have heard some stories, both good and bad, about what it’s really like to use replacement hormones as a treatment for menopause symptoms. Here’s a look at the most common myths and facts about menopause and hormone therapy.
Myth: You don’t need medical help for menopause
FACT: Hormonal imbalances during the transition to menopause can wreak havoc on your health
When you approach menopause, your reproductive hormone production slows down. Unfortunately for many women, it’s not a nice, smooth ride. Hormone fluctuations can cause a variety of symptoms, some that may interfere with your quality of life, including:
- Hot flashes
- Mood swings
- Night sweats
- Irregular periods
- Vaginal dryness and irritation
Using hormones to replace what’s been diminished can help rebalance your body and provide significant relief from severe symptoms in perimenopause, the time before menopause; menopause is diagnosed when your periods have stopped for a year.
Myth: Hormone replacement therapy can be dangerous
FACT: Hormone therapy is customized to meet your needs, based on your health history and symptom severity
While some women can’t tolerate hormone therapy, those who can may find them beneficial with little associated risks. You shouldn’t consider HRT in certain situations, such as if you smoke or if you have a history of some cancers. In these cases, the providers at The Guirguis Obstetrics & Gynecology Group can recommend other options to relieve menopause symptoms.
Myth: Replacement hormones cause cancer
FACT: Bioidentical hormones can reduce your risk for certain cancers
If you have a history of cancer of the breast, uterus, or endometrium, or if cancer runs in your family, you may still be able to use hormones to alleviate your menopause symptoms. Treatment can be designed around your medical history and future cancer risks.
If you’re otherwise in good health, using bioidentical hormones can reduce your risk for developing reproductive cancers and conditions like osteoporosis, a loss of bone density. Bioidentical hormones match the hormones your body produces naturally and often are considered to be gentler on your body than traditional synthetic hormones.
Myth: There’s no need for hormone replacement therapy after menopause
FACT: Even after you make the transition to your postmenopausal years, you can still feel the effects of a hormone imbalance
It may take several years for your hormones to level out after your periods stop. Symptoms like night sweats, hot flashes, and mood swings remain common during this time and can still be severe enough to disrupt your life. You may be able to continue hormone replacement therapy after your periods end for several years, under the close supervision of your doctor.
Whether or not you choose HRT for menopause symptom relief, it’s important to remember that what you’re experiencing is real. The providers at The Guirguis Obstetrics & Gynecology Group can help you through the years leading up to and through menopause, working closely with you to find the treatment option that’s best for you and your overall health.
Call the New York City office closest to you to learn more about hormone replacement therapy, or book an appointment online today.