Hormone Replacement Therapy Denver
Symptoms often occur abruptly and lead to dramatic drops in estrogen, testosterone and progesterone levels in the body.
- Hot Flashes
- Night Sweats
- Low Sex Drive
- Weight Gain
- Vaginal Dryness
- Foggy Memory
Discuss any medical conditions that you may have with your doctor. Sharing your medical history with a doctor can help him or her determine what is causing your hormone imbalance
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Hormone Replacement Therapy
As our bodies age the amount of hormones steadily decreases beginning at the age of 35 the levels begin to drop, some more than others. This can be corrected with customized treatment program tailored to your specific hormone levels, nutrition plan and fitness plan. SpectrummedSpa believes in a multi front assault on the problems that affect all of us. With our approach of tailored Hormone Replacement therapy, nutrition planning and fitness consultation our experts have seen countless recoveries happen in a matter of months.
All About Hormone Therapy
Menopause is a period of time in a woman’s life where she naturally stops having a menstrual cycle. It is the end of what are considered the reproductive years. The average age of menopause for American women is 51 years old. Before menopause occurs, many women enter a transitional phase known as perimenopause. This is a time of change in the levels of estrogens, a hormone that is responsible for controlling the menstrual cycle.
During childbearing years, both estrogen and progesterone levels change. They are made by the ovaries and balance the menstrual cycle. Estrogen is responsible for causing the endometrium, the uterine line, to grow and thicken to prepare for possible pregnancy. On a certain day in the cycle (there is no set time); an egg is releases by an ovary in what is known as ovulation. If the egg isn’t fertilized, no pregnancy occurs. This will cause the levels of those two hormones to decrease and the uterus to shed this lining. This is the monthly period.
Signs & Symptoms of Perimenopause
The signs and symptoms women experience may vary depending on the levels of estrogen in the body. A common sign of perimenopause is cycle changes. Cycles may become longer or shorter, periods skipped or lighter or heavier periods. While some changes in the cycle are normal, it is important to discuss them with your doctor. Always immediately contact your doctor if you have bleeding after sex, between periods, bleeding that lasts for more days than usual, spotting or any bleeding after the process of menopause at all.
While a hysterectomy ends menstrual periods, it doesn’t cause menopause. The ovaries must be removed in order to go through that process (surgery is known as an oophorectomy). This causes immediate signs and symptoms of menopause if is done before a woman has received this time of her life.
This is one of the common symptoms of this time. It is a sudden feeling of heat that spreads across the face and body. The skin reddens and some break into a sweat. They can last a few seconds to several minutes. They aren’t harmful, but can be uncomfortable. Some women have them at night that may wake them up.
During the first 4-8 years after menopause, women lose bone quickly. This rapid loss is because of the decreased levels of estrogen in the body. If too much bone is lost, it can increase a woman’s risk of osteoporosis. This can lead to bone breaks.
Vaginal or Urinary Tract Changes
When estrogen levels decrease in the body, changes can take place within the vagina. Ultimately the vaginal line gets dryer, thinner and last elastic. This dryness may cause pain during intercourse. Vaginal infections also become more common. The urinary tract changes with age too. The urethra can become inflamed, irritated and dry. Some women may feel the need to urinate more often and have a higher risk of urinary tract infections after menopause too.
Hormone Therapy Types
This therapy can help to relieve the symptoms of either perimenopause or menopause. This can mean taking estrogen or progestin for those who haven’t had a hysterectomy and still have a uterus. It is a form of progesterone. Taking progestin will help to reduce the risk of cancer within the uterus.
The first type is local therapy, which is commonly used in women who have vaginal dryness only. This is done with a vaginal ring, cream or tablet. These forms release small amounts of estrogen into the tissue of the vagina, which helps to restore the elasticity and thickness of it while helping with irritation and dryness overall.
With this type of therapy, hormones are releases into the bloodstream and travel to where they are needed. This form uses estrogen in pills, gels, sprays, skin patches and more. If progestin is prescribed to the patient, it will be given separately or combined with estrogen in order to be taken. For estrogen-only therapy, it will be taken daily or every few days. For women in combined therapy, they will use cyclic or continuous therapy methods. With cyclic, estrogen is taken daily and progestin every few days. Continuous therapy is when both estrogen and progestin are taken daily.
What to Know About Hormone Therapy
Hormone therapy has countless benefits, but also has risks. Side effects can and do occur in some women. In terms of benefits, systemic and local therapy relieves vagina dryness, some hot flashes and night sweats and can help to prevent bone fractures. Combined estrogen and progestin therapy may also reduce the risk of colon cancer.
In terms of risks, estrogen therapy can cause the uterine lining to grow, which increases the risk of uterine cancer. However by adding progestin, it reduces one’s risk. Combined hormone therapy has shown a small increased risk of heart attack whether because of age or other medical conditions. It also has shown a small increased risk of breast cancer.
In terms of side effects, combined hormone therapy can cause vaginal spotting or heavier bleeding then a menstrual period. Fluid retention and breast soreness are two other common side effects too.
While hormone therapy can relieve some symptoms, it is important to weigh out the options with your doctor. It should be limited to treating these symptoms of perimenopause and menopause at the lowest dose for the shortest period of time as possible. Continued use should be reevaluated annually.
Medications such as antidepressants have been shown to help with symptoms. Plant-based alternatives such as Chinese herbal remedies have shown some improvements in some patients too.
Ultimately if someone chooses to use hormone therapy, regular follow ups are important. Benefits and risks can also change over time too. Your health care provider can assess your use of continued hormone therapy and change your dose and methods over time as things change. Always report any side effects to your health provider immediately.
Quick Guide to Hormone Replacement Therapy
Hormone replacement therapy or HRT is a specific treatment type where the body is given hormones in order to treat or prevent certain medical conditions or the symptoms of perimenopause or menopause in women. The hormones used in this therapy are synthetic hormones or manmade, but act as natural hormones when they are inside of the body. Doctors generally prescribed HRT in hopes it would guard against certain diseases such as heart disease, cancer and osteoporosis and treat menopause. Many suggestions suggest that for women, the risks of using HRT may outweigh the benefits. However this depends on the patient and their individual health. That’s why it is important to discuss this with a doctor on an individual basis.
The Women’s Health Initiative conducted a series of studies with the National Institutes of Health. The researchers gathered health information from women who have went through menopause. In their trial study, researchers tried to determine whether or not HRT could affect a woman’s chances of developing colorectal or breast cancers, osteoporosis or heart disease after going through menopause. They studied two groups of women. The first was those who had a hysterectomy who took estrogen or a placebo pill. The women in the second group were postmenopausal, but hadn’t had surgery. They took a combination HRT or a placebo. The researchers saw that the risks outweighed the benefits when it came to HRT. It was discovered that the long-term use (5 years or more) increased a woman’s risk of breast cancer, heart attacks, strokes and even blood clots. The increased risk equates to about 8 more events per 10,000 women annually.
If you’re taking hormone replacement therapy, visit your doctor before you make changes to your individual therapy plan. They may consider your particular symptoms and your risk and will determine whether or not this should be altered or not. HRT does offer protection against colorectal cancer and the risk of developing osteoporosis. In terms of alternative therapy, vaginal estrogen creams, soy products, antidepressants and herbal supplements are all alternatives to hormone replacement therapies.
A Guide to Menopause
Known as the change of life, menopause is when a woman’s periods stop. Some women experience vaginal dryness, irritation, thinning bones and hot flashes, just to name a few symptoms. Some women choose to treat these symptoms with hormone medications known as hormone replacement therapy. They can be administered in skin creams, skin sprays, injections, pills, patches, gels, vaginal creams, vaginal rings, vainal inserts or vaginal tablets. Some of these hormone medicines can include:
- Combination estrogen and other medicines;
- Combination estrogen and progestin medicines.
Some women may experience an increased change of blood clots, strokes, breast cancer, heart attacks or gallbladder disease. Never take hormone therapy if you think you could be pregnant, have had certain cancer, have vaginal bleeding, have had a heart attack or stroke in the past or have liver disease.
About Compounded Bio-Identical Hormones
The FDA believes that the risks of using these items in comparison to hormone therapy may be the same. These products claim that their products are identical to hormones made by the body. They also claim that they don’t have any risks. Bio-identical hormones may be more safe or effective than HRT. However, they are not FDA approved.
Questions to Ask Your Health Care Provider
What are the benefits of hormone replacement therapy?
What are common side effects?
What are the risks associated with it?
Are hormones right for me? Why or why not?
How long should I use this therapy type?
What is the lowest dose I can take that will work for me?
Are there any non-hormone medicines that I can take?
A hormone is a chemical substance that is made by an organ. Some examples of hormones are progesterone, testosterone and estrogen. When a woman begins the transition into menopause, the months or years before this period of time can cause changes in the hormone levels in the body. This will happen as the ovaries begin to work less. This is a normal part of aging and isn’t a disorder or disease. Some women will have symptoms such as hot flashes or night sweats. A health care provider can help women to determine what therapy type would work best for their symptoms.
Hormone Replacement Therapy
Hormone replacement therapy or HRT is an umbrella term to describe the many different types of hormone combinations available in different doses and forms. A vaginal tablet, cream, pill, skin patch, implant, shot or vaginal ring insert is used. Estradiol is the most important estrogen type. Other hormones such as progestin or progesterone can be taken too.
The type of hormone replacement therapy chosen will depend on the patient’s medical history and symptoms. The dose also will vary from patient to patient. Some doctors may suggest that estrogen be used daily, but the progestin only every few days. Research has found that some women do experience an increased risk of stroke, blood clots, heart disease and breast cancer when using HRT. Some noticeable side effects of the therapy include bloating, cramping, spotting and breast tenderness. These symptoms generally change when the amount or type of hormones are changed as well as the way they are taken.
The most common symptom is hot flashes or night sweats which can be relieved by estrogen. Vaginal dryness is another common symptom which is relieved with vaginal estrogen products or even water-based lubricants. Estrogen has been known to improve cholesterol levels in the pill form. The estrogen patch doesn’t seem to have the same effect.
The Women’s Initiatives and their studies have taught us many things about Hormone Replacement therapy. In terms of benefits, there are less chance of colorectal cancer and fewer fractures. However they found there is an increased risk for breast cancer, heart attacks, serious blood clots and strokes. This typically happened in woman over the age of 60. These findings were discovered with a specific oral form of hormone replacement therapy only.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends that women with moderate to severe symptoms who want to try this therapy method do so in the shortest time period and at the lowest dose possible.
Some Unanswered Questions
Experts know more about menopause than ever before. However there are some unanswered questions. They include:
- Are the risks only for women over 60 or for younger women too?
- What are the risks and benefits of lower estrogen doses?
- Is using a specific type of estrogen or progesterone safer?
- Does using estrogen around menopause increase your risk for dementia?
Bio-identical hormones are supposed to be chemically made, but function the same as the hormones found naturally in a woman’s body. These are supposed to be as safe and effective as others. The FDA hasn’t approved them however. Some clinical trials have shown that they didn’t relieve hot flashes and there were some rare cases of serious liver imdisease from prolonged use.
Questions to Ask Your Health Care Provider
- Am I at a risk for developing osteoporosis?
- Can I use HRT with a family history of gallbladder and high cholesterol?
- Will my family history of breast cancer affect me?
These are just some of the questions you may want to discuss with your doctor regarding HRT and your health.