Hormone Treatment And Therapy
Estrogen and progesterone therapy
Hormone therapy , or menopausal hormone therapy , consists of estrogens or a combination of estrogens and progesterone . This was formerly referred to as hormone replacement therapy . Hormone therapy controls the symptoms of menopause-related to declining estrogen levels , and HT is still the most effective way to treat these symptoms. But long-term studies of women receiving combined hormone therapy with both estrogen and progesterone were halted when it was discovered that these women had an increased risk for heart attack, stroke, and breast cancer when compared with women who did not receive HT. These risks were most pronounced in women over 60 taking hormone therapy. Later studies of women taking estrogen therapy alone showed that estrogen was associated with an increased risk for stroke, but not for heart attack or breast cancer. Estrogen therapy alone, however, is associated with an increased risk of developing endometrial cancer in postmenopausal women who have not had their uterus surgically removed.
Hormone therapy is available in oral , transdermal forms . Transdermal hormone products are already in their active form without the need for “first pass” metabolism in the liver to be converted to an active form. Since transdermal hormone products do not have effects on the liver, this route of administration has become the preferred form for most women.
Should I Continue Using Birth Control During The Transition To Menopause
Yes. You can still get pregnant during perimenopause, the transition to menopause, even if you miss your period for a month or a few months. During perimenopause you may still ovulate, or release an egg, on some months.
But it is impossible to know for sure when you will ovulate. If you dont want to get pregnant, you should continue to use birth control until one full year after your last period. Talk to your doctor about your birth control needs. Learn more about different .;
You cant get pregnant after menopause, but anyone who has sex can get ;. If you are not in a monogamous relationship in which you and your partner have sex with each other and no one else, protect yourself by using a male condom or ;correctly every time you have vaginal, oral, or anal sex. After menopause you may be more likely to get an STI from sex without a condom. Vaginal dryness or irritation is more common after menopause and can cause small cuts or tears during sex, exposing you to STIs.
What Happens After Menopause
After menopause you will no longer be able to get pregnant and you will no longer get a period. If you have any type of vaginal bleeding after menopause, you should see a doctor as soon as possible. Vaginal bleeding after menopause is not normal and can mean that you have a serious health problem. ;
You may experience any of the following after menopause:
- Low hormone levels. With menopause, your ovaries make very little of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. Because of changing hormone levels, you may develop ,;including osteoporosis, .
- Menopause symptoms instead of period problems. After menopause, most women get relief from or menopause . However, you may still experience symptoms such as hot flashes because of changing estrogen levels. One recent study found that hot flashes can continue for up to 14 years after menopause.,
- Vaginal dryness. Vaginal dryness may be more common post-menopause. Learn more about ;for vaginal dryness.
Menopause Can Have Mental And Emotional Effects Too
Most people dont like their period, but when it goes away you feel your age, Dr. Rowen tells SELF. For some people, the idea of losing their period can be psychologically distressing.And as we mentioned, your hormones, specifically estrogen and progesterone, change during menopause. And this change may cause feelings of anxiety and depression. Lower estrogen can also trigger hot flashes that make it difficult to sleep, leading to mood swings and anxiety. Coupled with any emotional distress from losing your period, and you understandably may not be in the mood to have sex. If you feel down for more than two weeks, you may be depressed and want to speak with a therapist, the Cleveland Clinic recommends. However, finding a therapist can be a long, and often stressful, process. . Generally, you will want to start by asking your insurance company for a list of providers. If you dont have insurance, websites like Open Path include therapists who offer reduced-fee sessions.
Will I Still Enjoy Sex After Menopause
You should still be able to enjoy sex after menopause. Sometimes, decreased sex drive is related to discomfort and painful intercourse. After treating the source of this pain , many women are able to enjoy intimacy again. Hormone therapy can also help many women. If you are having difficulties enjoying sex after menopause, talk to your healthcare provider.
Recommended Reading: Does Tubal Ligation Cause Premature Menopause
What Is Menopause And Perimenopause
Most women think of menopause as the time of life when their menstrual periods end. This usually occurs during middle age, when women are also experiencing other hormonal and physical changes. For this reason, menopause is sometimes called the “change of life.”
A woman is said to be in menopause after she has gone for one full year without periods. While most women in the United States go through menopause around the age of 51, a small number will experience menopause as early as age 40 or as late as their late 50s. Rarely, menopause occurs after age 60. When menopause is diagnosed before age 40, it is considered to be abnormal or premature menopause.
In women, the ovaries produce the female hormones estrogen and progesterone. Estrogen and progesterone control a woman’s periods and other processes in her body. As a woman approaches menopause, her ovaries gradually makes less and less of these hormones.
As hormone levels fall, a woman’s pattern of menstrual bleeding usually becomes irregular. Many women experience light, skipped or late periods for several months to a year before their periods stop altogether. Some women may experience heavier-than-normal bleeding. Heavier-than-normal bleeding should be evaluated by a doctor to exclude problems in the genital tract.
It is important to realize that until menopause is complete, a woman still can become pregnant even when periods are light or missed.
When To Stop Your Birth Control
In most cases, you should stop the combined pill when youâre at the age of 50. Women in this age group may have other health issues that could make it dangerous to use. Talk to your doctor to see if itâs safe for you to use it if youâre 50 or older.
If you donât want to be on the combined pill anymore but still want protection against pregnancy, you can use a progestogen-only pill or other forms of birth control, like condoms. If youâre over the age of 55, you can probably stop hormonal methods since your chances of pregnancy are very low. But to be safe, donât stop any type of birth control until you havenât had a period for a full year.
Recommended Reading: Can You Have Ovarian Cysts After Menopause
Will I Start Menopause If I Have A Hysterectomy
During a hysterectomy, your uterus is removed. You wont have a period after this procedure. However, if you kept your ovaries removal of your ovaries is called an oophorectomy you may not have symptoms of menopause right away. If your ovaries are also removed, you will have symptoms of menopause immediately.
Q When Should I Call A Doctor About My Perimenopausal Symptoms
If you have not had a period for 12 months and then experience vaginal bleeding, contact your doctor. It is not normal for bleeding to recur after this period of time. Read our article about when you should see your OBGYN.
Remember, perimenopause and menopause are natural and normal transitions, but they can be stressful. Many symptoms can be managed which can help you regain a sense of control, well-being, and confidence to thrive in your next stage of life.
We want you to feel supported, heard, and cared for as you go through this change.
Sometimes, the biggest help is simply confirmation that what youre experiencing is normal!
Dr. Ashley Durward;has been providing healthcare to women in Madison since 2015 and joined Madison Womens Health in 2019, specializing in high and low risk obstetrics, contraception and preconception counseling, management of abnormal uterine bleeding, pelvic floor disorders, and minimally invasive gynecologic surgery.
Should You Get Tested For Perimenopause
The short answer: No.
The blood tests that measure your ovarian reserve are rarely accurate during perimenopause. FSH and estrogen change by the day and throughout the day so they are generally not helpful.
We do consider testing these hormones if you experience perimenopausal symptoms under the age of 45. We generally will also check other pituitary hormones, like TSH and prolactin, if you are experiencing these symptoms prematurely.
Keeping a menstrual diary is generally the best test you can do. This will give you and your OBGYN insight into what your body is doing and for how long.
Any time you experience abnormal uterine bleeding , checking in with your doctor is a good idea to make sure it is normal and that no other work-up is needed.
When Is The Point You Should Contact Your Doctor
If you’re experiencing pain and cramping to the point where you have to take painkillers, then definitely go and see your doctor. If it’s debilitating or affecting your daily regime in any way, please go and see a doctor.
And, if the bloating you’re getting is constant , then please go and just get these checked out by your doctor as well.
I hope you found this one interesting, and I will look forward to next week for another edition of A.Vogel Talks Menopause.
You May Like: What Causes Mood Swings During Menopause
What Are Hot Flashes And How Long Will I Have Them
Hot flashes are one of the most frequent symptoms of menopause. It is a brief sensation of heat. Hot flashes arent the same for everyone and theres no definitive reason that they happen. Aside from the heat, hot flashes can also come with:
- A red, flushed face.
- A chilled feeling after the heat.
Hot flashes not only feel different for each person they also can last for various amounts of time. Some women only have hot flashes for a short period of time during menopause. Others can have some kind of hot flash for the rest of their life. Typically, hot flashes are less severe as time goes on.
Southern Cross Medical Library
The purpose of the Southern Cross Medical Library is to provide information of a general nature to help you better understand certain medical conditions. Always seek specific medical advice for treatment appropriate to you. This information is not intended to relate specifically to insurance or healthcare services provided by Southern Cross. For more articles go to;the Medical Library index page.
Recommended Reading: What Happens To Sperm After Menopause
Also Check: Can Women Have Sex After Menopause
Why Does Menopause Happen
Natural menopause menopause that happens in your early 50s and is not caused by surgery or another medical condition is a normal part of aging. Menopause is defined as a complete year without menstrual bleeding, in the absence of any surgery or medical condition that may cause bleeding to artificially stop As you age, the reproductive cycle begins to slow down and prepares to stop. This cycle has been continuously functioning since puberty. As menopause nears, the ovaries make less of a hormone called estrogen. When this decrease occurs, your menstrual cycle starts to change. It can become irregular and then stop. Physical changes can also happen as your body adapts to different levels of hormones. The symptoms you experience during each stage of menopause are all part of your bodys adjustment to these changes.
This Is What No One Tells You About Going Through Menopause
Youve probably never turned on the nightly news and heard the anchors talking about menopause or gone to a charity event where all the women were discussing who was still getting their period.
Thats because menopause is something women go through mostly alone. And as our bodies and our hormones are unique to us, we dont all share the same experience when were going through it. While some women experience nothing other than their period ending, other women experience the full monty of side effects, including hot flashes, weight gain and hormone swings.;
Even knowing about the possible side effects, menopause was something I looked forward to. If my youth was going to go into retirement, not getting my period was a pretty good part of the severance package. Since theres no way to know for sure when youll start menopause, most doctors make an educated guess based on when your mother or grandmother went through it. My mother had a hysterectomy in her 40s, and there was a rumor in my family that my grandmother went through it in her 60s, but I was hoping that was apocryphal. I decided arbitrarily that at the age of 47, my period would be over.; Unfortunately, my body wasnt on the same page.;
Every year on my birthday, I would think: This has to be the year when my period will stop, but every year I was wrong. When I turned 50, my period still hadnt disappeared, but the very next day, hot flashes and night sweats invaded my life. Happy birthday to me!;
You May Like: How Old Do You Start Menopause
Home Remedies And Lifestyle
Eating a balanced diet may help with cramps.
Research has found that diets with high levels of;red meat, processed foods, sweets, dairy, and refined grains are associated with higher estrogen levels. These dietary patterns have also been associated with increased risks of breast cancer and obesity.
Try healthier eating, focusing on the following foods:
- Whole grains: brown rice, whole-grain bread, oatmeal
- Vegetables: broccoli, spinach, carrots, sweet potatoes, Swiss chard, Brussels sprouts
- Legumes: beans, peas, lentils
- Fruits: apples, mangoes, berries, oranges
You should also try to:
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol.
- Take a warm bath or place a;heating pad;on your lower abdomen or back to help alleviate the pain from severe cramps.
- Incorporate physical activity into your day as exercise improves blood circulation and reduces cramps.
What Are The Symptoms Of Perimenopause
During perimenopause, you can experience a variety of symptoms. The reason: Your ovaries have been making estrogen since your first period. During perimenopause, the estrogen production decreases substantially. Your body has to adjust to functioning with less of the hormone, putting you into estrogen withdrawals. The type and intensity of symptoms vary greatly among women some just feel a little off or don’t notice anything at all.
Others can experience perimenopausal symptoms including:
- Trouble sleeping
- Feeling irritable, anxious or depressed
- Night sweats
- Hot flashes
About 80 percent of women will experience some form of a hot flash during perimenopause or menopause. Hot flashes happen when your brain has trouble regulating your internal temperature, which is a common response to having less estrogen. The shift in temperature may not be noticeable. Or, it may feel like someone cranked up the thermostat on your core body temperature. You suddenly feel uncomfortably hot and sweaty, or you may wake up drenched in sweat .
Should I Be Worried About Late
;Posted4 years agobyAndreas Obermair
At what age do you expect menopause to occur?; How does it affect your health and cancer risk?
Menopause occurs when a womans ovaries stop releasing hormones. Naturally, ;a womans production of estrogen and progesterone hormones decrease in her late forties, which may cause menstrual periods eventually stopping. The age where most women become menopausal is between 50 and 54 years. In this context menopause is defined as not having a menstrual cycle for 12 consecutive months. As the hormone levels decrease, this may come with symptoms such as hot flushes, headaches, insomnia, mood swings and depression. Some women dont have symptoms at all. Others may have symptoms at;varying severity for 5 to 10 years.
Other Causes For Period Changes
The regular monthly period is not the only reason why people may bleed.
Because a persons periods are often irregular during perimenopause, they should pay extra attention for any abnormal symptoms particularly as some uterus-related conditions are more common during and after perimenopause.
People may bleed because of:
- Endometrial atrophy. Low estrogen in perimenopause and menopause can cause the tissue of the uterus to get very thin, which can cause irregular bleeding.
- Uterine polyps. These are benign growths that can grow inside the uterus and cervix. Polyps do not always cause symptoms, but some people notice bleeding after sex.
- Endometrial hyperplasia. Hormonal shifts can cause the lining of the uterus to thicken in perimenopause. When the body has too much estrogen without enough progesterone, this thickness may cause bleeding. Bleeding is its most common symptom. Endometrial hyperplasia is treatable but can increase a persons risk of cancer.
- Uterine Cancer. Uterine cancer happens when abnormal or atypical cells progress into cancer. Though rare, it generally presents with heavy bleeding or postmenopausal bleeding.
Perimenopause is not a disease and does not require treatment. It can, however, increase peoples risk of developing certain diseases. Moreover, the menstrual cycle can change for reasons other than perimenopause.
Anyone experiencing changes in their menstrual cycle should see a doctor for a diagnosis.
Don’t Miss: Does Menopause Make You Feel Crazy