Menopause is a natural and normal part of life. That said, every woman’s journey is different, and some women begin experiencing symptoms years before they reach menopause.
Menopause symptoms vary and range from mild to severe as the body’s estrogen and progesterone levels drop. While there’s no way to stop menopause, treatments like hormone replacement therapy help to manage the symptoms.
At Memorial Women’s Specialists in Houston, Texas, our OB/GYN team offers a range of women’s health services, including treatment for menopause and hormone replacement therapy.
What is hormone replacement therapy?
Hormone replacement therapy can ease severe menopause symptoms. Factors like your medical and family history, age, and health play a role in determining if hormone replacement therapy is right for you.
There are several types of hormone therapy that can be taken in pill form, as a topical gel or patch, or via injection.
In addition to treating menopause symptoms, some women take hormone replacements to sustain bone density and manage the risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures after menopause.
Remember, some types of hormone replacement therapy have been associated with the risk of heart disease, blood clots, stroke, and breast cancer. The dose, type of hormones, and how long you take the treatment are determined by your symptoms, health and medical history, and potential risk for any known side effects of hormone therapy.
Common menopause symptoms
Hot flashes and night sweats are the most common and well-known symptoms of menopause. Other symptoms of menopause include:
- Weight gain
- Skin changes
- Vaginal dryness
- Loss of libido
- Mood swings/irritability
- Thinning hair
- Irregular periods
Remember, while your menstrual cycle may become erratic and fertility declines in the years leading up to the time you reach menopause (defined as an entire year without a menstrual cycle, typically around age 51 for many women), it’s still possible to become pregnant during perimenopause (the phase leading up to menopause).
Our team can also help you find the right birth control method for your needs if necessary.
Additional treatment options for menopause symptoms
In addition to hormone replacement therapy, several non-hormonal medications can provide relief for menopause symptoms like hot flashes, as well as help to prevent or lower your risk of developing osteoporosis.
If you’re struggling with anxiety and depression, antidepressants may also help as you adjust to the transition.
Symptoms like vaginal dryness can also be treated with localized estrogen creams and gels.
For more information about hormone replacement therapy and how to find relief for your menopause symptoms, contact Memorial Women’s Specialists today to schedule an appointment with a gynecologist at our office in Houston.