HORMONE REPLACEMENT FOR WOMEN - ISSAQUAH, WA
HORMONE REPLACEMENT FOR WOMEN - ISSAQUAH, WA
You’re Only as Young as You Feel: Hormone Replacement For Women
As women age, they experience various physiological changes, including hormonal changes that can have a significant impact on their health and well-being. One treatment option for these hormonal changes is hormone replacement therapy, or HRT. HRT is a type of hormone therapy for women that involves taking medications to replace the hormones that the body stops producing as a person ages. The goal of HRT is to reduce symptoms associated with hormone imbalances and to improve overall quality of life. HRT is used to treat symptoms of menopause, including hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal dryness. Hormone therapy can be delivered through various methods, including pills, patches, gels, creams, and hormone pellets. Bioidentical hormones, which are chemically identical to the hormones naturally produced by the human body, are often used in bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT).
Is HRT For Women Safe?
While hormone therapy can be an effective menopause treatment, there have been concerns about its safety, particularly in relation to an increased risk of breast cancer, heart disease, and stroke. However, recent research has shown that the risks of hormone therapy may be lower than previously thought, particularly when hormone therapy is started soon after the onset of menopause and used for a short period of time. In fact, the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) and other leading medical organizations now recommend hormone therapy as a safe and effective treatment for menopause symptoms, particularly for women who have moderate to severe symptoms that significantly impact their quality of life. NAMS states that hormone therapy is also safe for most healthy women who are experiencing moderate to severe vaginal dryness, a common symptom of menopause.
When considering hormone therapy, it’s important to discuss the potential risks and benefits with a knowledgeable healthcare professional like the doctors at Cascade Integrative Medicine. Our providers will tailor the type and dose of hormones used to meet your individual needs and will assess your medical history to optimize the effectiveness of your hormone therapy while also minimizing risks.
Manage Menopause Gracefully.
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can be used to treat a variety of symptoms in women that are related to menopause or other hormonal imbalances. The symptoms that may be effectively treated with HRT include:
- Hot flashes – Hot flashes are a common symptom of menopause and can be effectively treated with HRT.
- Night sweats – Night sweats are also frequently experienced during menopause, and HRT can prevent these from occurring.
- Vaginal dryness – HRT can be used to treat vaginal dryness, which can cause discomfort and pain during sex.
- Libido – HRT can improve sexual desire in women.
- Mood changes – Hormonal fluctuations can cause mood changes, including anxiety, depression, and irritability. HRT can help alleviate these symptoms.
- Sleep disturbances – HRT may help improve sleep quality by reducing hot flashes and night sweats.
- Loss of bone density – Low estrogen levels can cause a loss of bone density, which can increase the risk of osteoporosis. HRT can help prevent bone loss and reduce the risk of fractures.
- Cognitive changes – Some women may experience cognitive changes during menopause, including forgetfulness and difficulty concentrating. HRT may help improve cognitive function.
Am I a Candidate for HRT?
HRT is typically recommended for women who are experiencing moderate to severe symptoms of menopause or other hormonal imbalances. HRT may not be suitable for women who have a history of certain types of cancer or blood clots, or who have a family history of these conditions.
If you are considering hormone replacement therapy, our providers have extensive experience in this field, and are happy to help determine whether or not you may benefit from HRT. Our providers can help you determine which type of HRT is right for you and can monitor your progress to ensure that the treatment is effective and safe.
What Are My Options for Hormone Therapy?
There are several different modalities of hormone therapy available, including pills, patches, gels, creams, and hormone pellets. Each modality has its own unique advantages and disadvantages, which should be discussed with a healthcare professional to determine the most appropriate treatment option. All are effective in treating menopause symptoms and other hormonal imbalances for women. It’s important to discuss the potential risks and benefits of each type of hormone therapy with a trained healthcare professional, and the providers at Cascade Integrative Medicine can help to determine the most appropriate, individualized treatment option for you.
- Hormone pills – Hormone therapy pills are the most common type of HT. These pills contain a combination of estrogen and progestin, or estrogen alone in the case of women who have had a hysterectomy. They are taken orally and are usually prescribed to be taken once a day. Hormone therapy pills can effectively treat hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and other menopause symptoms.
- Hormone patches – Hormone therapy patches are another common form of HT. They deliver a steady dose of hormones through the skin over a period of time. Patches are available in various strengths and can be worn for several days. Some women may prefer patches over pills because they do not need to be taken orally and do not cause stomach upset.
- Gels and creams – Hormone therapy gels and creams are topical treatments that are applied directly to the skin. They are available in various strengths and can be applied to different areas of the body, such as the arms, legs, or abdomen. Gels and creams can be a good option for women who prefer a non-oral method of HT.
- Hormone pellets – Hormone pellets are a form of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT). Pellets are small, rice-sized pellets that are inserted under the skin, typically in the buttocks. They release a steady dose of hormones over a period of several months. Hormone pellets are a newer form of HT and are not regulated by the FDA. While some women may prefer hormone pellets due to their convenience, there is limited scientific evidence to support their use.
- Vaginal treatments – Hormone therapy is also available as a vaginal cream, tablet, or ring. These treatments deliver a low dose of hormones directly to the vaginal area and can be effective in treating vaginal dryness, itching, and discomfort during sex.