There’s a lot to look forward to when you reach menopause — you no longer are burdened by a monthly period, irritating premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms disappear, and you can be intimate with your partner without worrying about contraception or unintended pregnancy.
While menopause may signal the end of your fertility, it doesn’t have to mean the end of your vitality. However, it may not feel that way when the shifting hormone levels that trigger this inevitable “change of life” give rise to bothersome symptoms that leave you feeling less than your normal self.
Luckily, there’s a lot you can do to manage annoying menopause symptoms — and our seasoned team of women’s wellness experts at Oakland Macomb Obstetrics & Gynecology, P.C., can help. Read on as we explain when hormone replacement therapy (HRT) might be your best treatment option.
Menopause doesn’t happen overnight — instead, declining reproductive hormone levels happen gradually through perimenopause — the time it takes to transition from prime reproductive years into complete menopause.
Along the way, changing hormones can cause various physical and emotional symptoms. Some women only experience “hallmark” menopause symptoms like hot flashes, mood swings, and low energy. Many other women find themselves facing additional concerns like persistent vaginal dryness, painful sex, regular sleep disturbances, a slower metabolism, and uncontrolled weight gain.
If you’re experiencing a variety of persistent menopause symptoms, HRT may be the perfect comprehensive solution. By rebalancing your hormone levels, HRT can stop hot flashes, restore sexual wellness, regulate your mood and metabolism, and boost your energy levels, so you feel more like yourself again.
You don’t have to be battling a wide range of troublesome symptoms to benefit from HRT; hormone replacement can also be extremely helpful for women who find themselves dealing with just one or two severe menopause symptoms that disrupt daily life.
For example, many women find it difficult to deal with intense and sporadic hot flashes. Let’s face it — you don’t want to be at work or out running errands when your body suddenly heats up, your face becomes flushed, red blotches appear on your skin, and your clothes become drenched in sweat.
As many as 3 in 4 women experience frequent hot flashes throughout perimenopause, and some continue having them well after they reach menopause. While we can teach you some effective ways to minimize your chances of having a hot flash or manage them better when they occur, HRT can help you eliminate them.
Although various factors contribute to chronic headaches or migraine pain, the cyclical fluctuation of estrogen levels makes women more susceptible to these debilitating headaches.
Fluctuating reproductive hormone levels are a significant migraine trigger for many women who have a history of getting such headaches. For some women, existing migraine problems worsen during perimenopause as estrogen levels fluctuate through their gradual decline.
For the same reason, perimenopause is also a time when women who’ve never had a migraine may experience a severe, hormone-triggered headache for the first time. In either case, the right prescription of replacement reproductive hormones may be able to stabilize your blood levels to help reduce or prevent menopause-related migraine episodes.
Specific lifestyle changes can often help ease menopause symptoms that are relatively mild or infrequent. However, if lifestyle strategies — like getting plenty of exercise, eating a healthy diet, staying well-hydrated, and dressing in comfortable layers — don’t do much to diminish your menopause symptoms, it may be time to contemplate HRT.
HRT has long been the gold-standard treatment solution for severe or disruptive menopause symptoms. Even so, reproductive hormone supplementation isn’t a viable option for women with certain health conditions.
We may advise you to avoid HRT if you have a personal or family history of:
If your physical exam and health history reveal that HRT is a safe treatment option, we then measure your hormone levels and determine the exact supplemental dose needed to restore your internal equilibrium and attain effective symptom relief.
Are you ready to manage the “change of life” more comfortably? We can help. Call or click online today to schedule a visit at your nearest Oakland Macomb Obstetrics & Gynecology, P.C. office in Rochester Hills, Troy, or Lenox, Michigan.