Menopause, and the period of time leading up to it, called perimenopause, can cause uncomfortable symptoms. For many women, symptoms are simply annoying; but for others, they can be bad enough to degrade your quality of life.
Dr. Parisa Pourzand offers hormone replacement therapy to help with symptoms related to menopause. However, hormone replacement therapy isn’t right for everyone. In this post, we consider who is most likely to benefit.
Your age matters
Experts have found that women who are under the age of 60 and within 10 years of menopause are more likely to benefit and have less risk of adverse effects related to hormone replacement therapy. In the United States, the average age of menopause is 51 years old.
However, menopause is technically one day — the day 12 months after your last period. Perimenopause, though, can last up to 10 years. That means if you experience menopause at the average age of 51, you may have had symptoms since your early 40s. So, if you’re in your 40s or 50s, you may be a good candidate for hormone replacement therapy.
Consider your family medical history
In large studies, some hormone replacement therapy regimens led to an increased risk of certain problems, like heart disease, stroke, blood clots, and breast cancer. If you have a family history of these issues, you may not want to do anything that could further increase your risk.
On the other hand, if you have a family history of osteoporosis, bone loss, or fractures, hormone replacement therapy may help you. Estrogen, one of the hormones that declines as you approach menopause, provides some protection for your bones.
The severity of your symptoms is a factor
If you have terrible night sweats that prevent you from sleeping comfortably, you may find that you have difficulty focusing during the day or even that driving is dangerous because you’re so sleepy. Mood swings can affect your relationships. Severe hot flashes may require you to change clothes and make it difficult to enjoy social events.
The symptoms associated with menopause can be severe enough to be beyond troubling. When your symptoms are making it hard for you to meet your professional obligations or are impacting your interpersonal relationships, you may want to consider hormone replacement therapy, which has been shown to help with the most common and problematic symptoms.
Lowering any risk
Dr. Pourzand works closely with you to find the right medication for you in the right dose. Hormone replacement therapy can be in the form of a pill, patch, cream, gel, or ring. Each of these delivery methods has pros and cons.
Experts suggest that taking the lowest effective dose for the shortest length of time necessary is the best approach to hormone replacement therapy. This means that you’ll need to be evaluated regularly, so that Dr. Pourzand can continue to weigh the risks and benefits of hormone replacement therapy in your situation.
When hormone replacement therapy isn’t an option
If it turns out that the risks of hormone replacement therapy outweigh the potential benefits, you can take other steps to ease your symptoms. Living a healthy, active lifestyle and eating a well-rounded, appropriate, and nutrient-dense diet are important weapons against many symptoms of menopause. If you have vaginal dryness or discomfort during intercourse, vaginal moisturizers and lubricants can help.
You’re a unique individual, and your situation isn’t like anyone else. If you’re considering hormone replacement therapy, it’s important to discuss your concerns and questions with Dr. Pourzand. If you’d like to learn more, schedule an appointment at our Glendale or Los Angeles location today.