Every woman is eventually going to reach menopause at a certain stage in her life. Though menopause is naturally occurring, it doesn’t come without its troubles to the woman. Therefore, hormone therapy for women was formulated to treat these troubles and allow the woman to enjoy the rest of her life. It is important to note that some women do not experience the discomfort associated with menopause. However, a significant number feel moderate to severe discomfort at menopause.
What is Menopause?
Menopause is the point in a woman’s life when menstruation ceases and loses her natural ability to bear children.
Stages of Menopause
Natural menopause occurs in three benchmark stages:
This is the menopause transition stage. It is the time interval between the start of menopausal symptoms and one year after the last and final normal menstrual cycle.
This is the stage when menopause is confirmed. And usually 12 months after the final menstrual cycle.
This refers to all the years after menopause is confirmed.
- Hot flashes; sudden sensation of warmth.
- Sleep disturbances: night sweat.
- Vaginal symptoms; dryness, itching, burning and discomfort during intercourse.
- Sometimes, increased bone loss (osteoporosis).
Menopause and its symptoms are as a result of the absence of female hormones.
Hormone therapy for Women (Menopausal)
This refers to treatment with medications that contain female hormones which are used to replace the ones the female body no longer produces, and treat the effects their absence caused.
Types of Hormone Therapy for Women
There are two basic types:
- Estrogen Therapy: for women who have had their uterus removed.
- Estrogen Plus Progesterone Therapy: for women who still have their uterus.
Progesterone protects the uterus against the effect of estrogen.
Ways to Administer Hormone Therapy for Women
Systemic Therapy: This circulates the female hormones through the bloodstream, thus ensuring overall body reach.
Localized Therapy affects only a particular area of the body.
Risks Associated with Hormone Therapy for Women
The risks of hormone therapy may be different depending on whether estrogen is given alone or with progesterone; current age and age at menopause.
How to Effectively Undergo Hormone Therapy with Reduced Risk
- Women should start hormone therapy around menopause, and not some years after.
- Therapy should only last between 3-5 years after which it should be discontinued.
- Therapy should not be used after the age of 60.
- Women should only use the type and route of administration that suits the symptoms they suffer.
- The lowest effective dose should be used.
- Women taking hormone therapy should see their doctors once a year.
Despite the risks, hormone therapy remains the most effective treatment for symptoms and discomforts associated with menopause. The advantages will outweigh the risks if you are healthy and adhere to the recommendation of your doctor.