Menopause is a period that takes place in women as they get older and will mostly set in as at the age of 45. This period marks the end of a woman’s productive years and thus the monthly cycles cease. Menopause is confirmed by a progressive 12 months since the last period was seen. This stage comes with numerous changes to the body and the woman herself, as the cessation of the menstrual cycle means that estrogen is no longer being produced. As such, a woman will experience various side effects which range from hot flashes, night sweats and osteoporosis to depression. The severity of the symptoms seen vary from woman to woman and in some the symptoms may be mild while in others severe.
One of the most sought after menopause treatments options by women around the globe is a hormonal therapy. In this case, one seeks to replace the hormone estrogen, either by taking it up as a pill, having it as a patch on a location of the body to even having an injection of the same. Just how good or bad is hormonal therapy as an end to controlling menopause? Hormonal replacement therapy was a popular menopause treatments method of controlling menopause but in the recent times, it is by and by being dropped as an ideal way of controlling menopause.
One of the risks that made a lot of people to drop this method of controlling menopause symptoms was that it was shown to pose greater health risk in the long term than the benefits it was touted to provide for women. This made doctors to progressively prescribe less of it in time. Earlier, it was thought that hormonal therapy was good at preventing heart disease and dementia. Current research has however showed that there is no significant benefit that hormonal therapy offers with regard to the said ailments. Today, hormonal therapy is referred to certain patients, depending on the severity of symptoms recorded and the risk factors that may crop up.
Among the benefits of hormonal therapy as a menopause treatment depend on the means of administration of estrogen. In some women, the means of administration is systemic and in other low dose vaginal preparations. Systemic hormone therapy has estrogen which comes in form of a pill, skin patch, spray, cream or even as a gel. This is said to be the most effective way of administering the estrogen as it offers relief to hot flashes and night sweats when used. It has also been shown to ease symptoms of vaginal dryness and discomfort during intercourse.
The FDA recommends the use of estrogen as a menopause treatment as a supplement when it comes to protection against bone thinning. It helps combat osteoporosis and hence keeps women with strong bones even in their old age.
Low dose vaginal products have been shown to be effective and are commonly retailed as a cream, tablet or ring. They are effective for women whose menopause symptoms revolve around the vagina and they also help in treatment of some urinary tract symptoms. They are recommended as they minimize absorption in the body. Their shortcoming is that they do not treat osteoporosis, hot flashes or even night sweats.
It is important to note that it is not common to have long term prescription of hormone therapy as a way of controlling menopause. Most women are only prescribed in the initial stages as the most ideal of the available menopause treatments and lifestyle and diet change is recommended going forward. Long term use of estrogen has to go hand in hand with the administration of progesterone as use of estrogen alone has been shown to increase the risk of uterine cancer
Among the documented risks of the hormonal menopause treatments include heart disease, blood clotting in the vessels, stroke and breast cancer. The risk of stroke and blood clots in the vessels increases when the use of combination hormonal therapy is employed. When estrogen and progestin are recommended in hormonal therapy, they make mammograms denser, making the detection of breast cancer cells in mammograms quite difficult.
It is, therefore, wise to look at the available menopause treatments and consider their pros and cons before settling down on a preferred hormonal therapy to employ. For the best results, always seek the consult of an endocrinologist before starting to use various menopause treatments. One natural way to go would be to make use of natural products available in the environment to treat menopause.
Sophie Addison is a beauty and health expert and loves to write on health information. She is an independent health and beauty researcher. She is 28 years old and studied Medicine from the University of Washington, apart from this she enjoys gardening and listening to music. She has written numerous articles on beauty care, skin car, weight loss tips, yoga and many more like this. You can also contact her on Facebook and Twitter.