What is Hormone Therapy

hormone-replacementWhen a woman reaches a certain age, she will go through menopause, or the cessation of her menstruation years. With menopause, comes the need for hormone replacement therapy (HT), for many women. The hormones most commonly used to treat the many symptoms of menopause; such as: vaginal dryness, hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, sleep disorders, and lack of sexual drive.

The most common hormones used to treat menopause are: estrogen, progesterone, and sometimes testosterone. The hormones can be delivered in multiple ways; such as, a patch, a pill, an injection, nasal spray, a vaginal cream, skin gel, a ring, or a tablet. Some women need more than one form of treatment to control their symptoms.
Along with HT helping to reduce or eliminate many of the more irritating symptoms; one of the hormones, estrogen, can also help protect you from a more serious medical condition known as, osteoporosis or, bone loss. HT has also shown positive benefits in the treatment of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Although medications and treatments can be very beneficial for different medical conditions; they also come with risks. HT is no different. Some of the risks associated with hormone therapy (HT) are: gallstones, urinary incontinence, and anxiety; as well as more serious medical conditions like: breast cancer, Endometrial or uterine cancer, heart disease, blood clots, and stroke.

Because every woman’s needs are different, discussing HT with your doctor is important. He should know your full medical history, your current medical conditions, and current medications you take before making the decision to start hormone replacement therapy in Ashville NC.

HT is not recommended to be taken past five years. It should also be taken at the lowest dose possible, and under the supervision of a doctor. Women on HT should not smoke, as smoking increases your risks for many of the medical conditions associated with HT.

Along with hormone replacement therapy (HT), a change in your lifestyle is important. Getting regular and plenty of exercise is important. Exercise will help to reduce bone loss, it will help to improve your balance, and very importantly, keep your heart healthy and strong.

Some women may require additional medication to treat the symptoms of menopause. If you have, or are at risk for osteoporosis or heart disease, your doctor may need to put you on a medication to control these conditions. Some women need medication to help with the loss of sex drive.

If you are a smoker, you need to stop, as this raises the risk for stroke and heart disease when on HT. You should also get plenty of exercise, and live a healthy lifestyle. You need to see your doctor regularly and keep them informed of any development of symptoms or medical conditions.

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