Hormone therapy treats a variety of health conditions, but it typically refers to hormone replacement after menopause. Whether you desperately need relief from hot flashes or you want to restore your vaginal health, the providers at Women’s Health Specialists of Frederick are available to guide your decision.
What are the Benefits of Hormone Therapy?
Hormone therapy may be used in:
- • Medication to treat a hormone-related health problem
- • Birth control pills, IUDs, patches and other forms of hormonal contraception
- • Pills, injections, and other forms to restore low hormone levels back to normal
Many different health and gynecologic conditions may be treated with hormone therapy, such as acne, diabetes, thyroid conditions, polycystic ovary syndrome, and endometriosis.
However, when hormone therapy is mentioned, it most often refers to hormone replacement
therapy during perimenopause and menopause.
Why Do I Need Hormone Replacement Therapy?
Many women don’t need hormone replacement therapy, it depends on the symptoms you experience and your overall health in the years before, during, and after menopause.
At menopause, your ovaries stop producing estrogen. Estrogen levels remain low for the rest of your life. This loss of estrogen stops your menstrual periods and causes classic symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats, and mood swings.
Estrogen also affects the health of tissues throughout your body. It helps regulate bone metabolism, collagen production, and skin hydration. When estrogen levels drop, elasticity and tone decline in tissues lining your blood vessels and vagina.
These changes mean you’re at a higher risk of developing:
- • Osteoporosis
- • Heart disease
- • Aging skin
- • Hair loss
- • Dental problems (gum disease)
- • Urinary incontinence
- • Vaginal atrophy
It’s estimated that about half of all women develop vaginal atrophy after menopause. With vaginal atrophy, vaginal tissues become thin, dry, and less elastic.
The bottom line is that hormone therapy relieves all the classic menopause symptoms, reverses vaginal atrophy, and helps prevent systemic problems and diseases.
How Do I Get Hormone Therapy?
Although hormone replacement therapy is safe for most, it isn’t an option for all women, so your doctor first evaluates your medical history and health to be sure you can use hormone therapy.
After ordering blood work to determine your hormone levels, your doctor prescribes the dose and type of hormone that’s best for your health.
Hormone therapy is available in many different forms. You can get hormone therapy using patches and gels applied to your skin, and in pills, and injections.