When to Consider Hormone Replacement Therapy for Your Menopause Symptoms

When to Consider Hormone Replacement Therapy for Your Menopause Symptoms

Around 4% of women in the United States use hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to address symptoms of menopause. HRT can be an important tool to preserve your quality of life, but it’s not for everyone. 

Dr. Parisa Pourzand recommends HRT to some patients, but advises others to avoid it. That’s because hormone therapy can pose some risks for certain groups of women. Her approach to care includes making sure that it suits you, whether you’re in need of help dealing with infertility, could use a helpful pregnancy guide, or you’re living with uncomfortable symptoms because of menopause. 

First: what is menopause? 

The question about what menopause is may seem absurd, but in reality it’s a bit more complex than most of us realize. Menopause is the day that it’s been 12 months without a period. It’s just that one day — the time leading up to it is called perimenopause, and the time after is called post-menopause. 

So, when we talk about menopause symptoms, we’re generally talking about the symptoms you feel during perimenopause. Perimenopause can last several years, and during it, the amount of hormones, particularly estrogen, that your body produces varies significantly but steadily declines over time. 

The symptoms you may experience

Not everyone experiences the same symptoms. Some women never have the first hot flash, while others find it difficult to navigate their normal daily obligations due to hot flashes. Here are some common symptoms of menopause: 

The average age of menopause is 51, but you may begin having symptoms as early as your mid-40s. Depending on what symptoms you have and how intense they are, you may want to consider HRT. 

Considerations regarding HRT

If you have or have had certain types of cancer, a stroke or heart attack, blood clots, or liver disease, HRT is not a good option for you. Aside from those conditions, you should consider the fact that different types of HRT are available. For example, some women do best with estrogen therapy, others are more successful with progestogen. 

In addition to the different types of HRT, there are many delivery methods. Taking a pill is a common option, but there are also creams, patches, gels, and sprays, as well as rings. Finding the best delivery method and the best dose to address your specific symptoms is important.

In deciding whether or not to discuss HRT with Dr. Pourzand, the biggest consideration is how you feel. 

As long as you’re healthy, within 10 years of menopause, and your symptoms are making you uncomfortable, there’s no reason to not talk to Dr. Pourzand about whether or not HRT could be a good option for you. She can give you guidance regarding your options, advise you of any risks, and will review your situation at least annually to make sure HRT is still suitable for you. 

If you have questions about HRT, schedule an appointment to talk to Dr. Pourzand about your situation. 

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