Menopause is a unique experience for every woman. Some women breeze through without so much as a single hot flash, while others find themselves suffering symptoms that are difficult to manage. While individual experiences vary, most women have to contend with a variety of uncomfortable symptoms as their body experiences plummeting levels of estrogen and progesterone.
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can be life-changing for women who face challenging symptoms of menopause, but due to a fair amount of misinformation about HRT, many women who could benefit aren’t using the treatment.
At New Beginnings OB-GYN, we’ve helped menopausal and postmenopausal women throughout the greater Las Vegas area improve their quality of life, their sexual function, and their overall health and well-being with hormone replacement therapy, and we want to help you separate the fact from the fiction when it comes to this effective and innovative treatment.
Misconceptions surrounding hormone replacement therapy
Many women who come into New Beginnings OB-GYN are wary of HRT because they want to go through menopause “naturally,” or they’re afraid that HRT may be dangerous.
The bad press hormone replacement therapy has received is largely derived from just two studies that took place in the 1990s, which showed there may be an increased risk of breast cancer and cardiovascular disease amongst women receiving HRT. More recent studies, however, have shown that there appears to be a far smaller risk than the initial findings may have suggested.
Published in 2017, the results of an 18-year study among postmenopausal women in the Women’s Health Initiative showed that there was no increase in risk of death from cardiovascular disease or cancer among women who had received HRT when compared to correctly balanced groups of women who had not received HRT.
The benefits of hormone replacement therapy
The most obvious benefit of HRT is the proven protection against osteoporosis for all women. The main reason women choose hormone replacement therapy, though, is to combat the effects of menopause. If you are a woman suffering greatly from symptoms of hormone depletion, HRT can offer absolute relief from a feeling that the “life is being sucked out of you.”
Symptoms of menopause that can be greatly improved with HRT include:
- Loss of libido
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Weight gain
- Heavy or irregular periods
- Vaginal dryness
- Mood swings and irritability
- Heart palpitations
- Thinning hair and dry skin
- Loss of focus and concentration
For a woman suffering the full gamut of menopausal symptoms, the benefits of HRT could be immense.
Hormone replacement therapy isn’t right for everyone
Despite its numerous benefits, we still exercise caution when prescribing hormone replacement therapy, as it may not be right for every woman and every case of menopause. Specifically, HRT may not be right for you if you have:
- A history of breast, uterine, or ovarian cancer
- A history of blood clots
- Uncontrolled hypertension
- Liver disease
Like all medications, HRT does have potential side effects, which can include breast tenderness, headaches, nausea, and vaginal bleeding.
Is hormone replacement therapy right for you?
Weighing your personal risks against the benefits of any treatment can help you decide what’s best for you. If you’re at the more severe end of the menopausal spectrum, HRT could transform your quality of life. The best course of action is always to consult with an expert in women’s health, experienced in treating the symptoms of menopause.
If you’re experiencing symptoms associated with menopause, the women’s health experts at New Beginnings OB-GYN can help you explore your treatment options and determine whether hormone replacement therapy is right for you. Call our Las Vegas office or request an appointment online today.