What Should Women Do If They Have Menopausal Symptoms But Are Concerned About Taking Mht
Women who are seeking relief from hot flashes and vaginal dryness should talk with their health care provider about whether to take MHT, the possible risks of using MHT, and what alternatives may be appropriate for them. FDA currently advises women to use MHT for the shortest time and at the lowest dose possible to control menopausal symptoms. The FDA provides additional information about the risks and benefits of MHT use for menopausal symptoms on its Menopause & Hormones: Common Questions fact sheet.
How Does Progesterone Benefit A Womans Body
Like estrogen, progesterone is a hormone that your ovaries produce. These hormones work together to make it possible for reproductive-age women to conceive and carry a baby.
Estrogen plays an important role in a womanâs life. At puberty, it helps with breast growth and triggers the start of the menstrual cycle. Throughout your reproductive years, estrogen helps regulate the menstrual cycle and makes childbearing possible. This hormone also plays a role in controlling cholesterol, helping with mood, and protecting bone and heart health.
Progesterone helps prepare the endometrium for a potential pregnancy after ovulation . This hormone also stops the uterus from contracting, which could cause the body to reject a fertilized egg. During pregnancy, progesterone encourages the body to support the endometrium that nourishes the growing baby. This hormone also helps the body start producing breast milk.
Where Does Evidence About The Health Effects Of Mht Come From
The most comprehensive evidence about the health effects of MHT comes from two randomized clinical trials that were sponsored by the National Institutes of Health as part of the Womens Health Initiative :
- The WHIEstrogen-plus-Progestin Study, in which women with a uterus were randomly assigned to receive either a hormone pill containing both estrogen and progestin or a placebo. The median duration of treatment was 5.6 years.
- The WHI Estrogen-Alone Study, in which women without a uterus were randomly assigned to receive either a hormone pill containing estrogen alone or a placebo. The median duration of treatment was 7.2 years.
More than 27,000 healthy women who were 50 to 79 years of age at the time of enrollment took part in the WHI hormone therapy trials. The goals of these trials were to see if MHT prevents heart disease and bone fractures in postmenopausal women and to determine if MHT affects risks of breast cancer and, for women with a uterus, endometrial cancer. Both trials were stopped early , when it was determined that both types of therapy were associated with specific health risks, but long-term follow up of the participants continues to provide new information about the health effects of MHT.
Recommended Reading: Estrogen Dizziness
Exactly How Usual Is Bipolar Affective Disorder
Explained decreased gray matter in the appropriate inferior temporal and also boosted gray matter in the left temporal pole in medication-naÃ¯ve MDD patients compared HCs in a meta-analysis of 2124 structural imagines. Its most likely caused by a number of aspects, such as the atmosphere or a chemical inequality in the mind. For people, families hormones after menopause depression, close friends, individuals who have questions, or individuals that take care of someone with SMI, we offer access to sources and also answers from a nationwide network of experts. Depression is the primary root cause of disability worldwide, according to the Globe Wellness Company.
The Role Of Estrogen In Your Body
In its role as the major sex hormone in your body, estrogen does some pretty important things that arenât related to fertility. As a hormone, estrogen acts on the parts of your body that have estrogen-specific hormone receptors. Estrogen is involved with numerous important functions throughout your body.
Read Also: Causes Of Hot Flashes Besides Menopause
What Hormones Are Used To Treat The Symptoms Of Menopause
The hormones most commonly used to treat symptoms of menopause are estrogen and progesterone. . Often, these 2 hormones are used together, but some women are given estrogen alone. Its important to know which hormones you are talking about when looking at the risks.
Common estrogen preparations used to treat menopausal symptoms include conjugated equine estrogens and estradiol, but several forms or types of estrogen are available.
There are also many progestins available, but medroxyprogesterone acetate , is often used with an estrogen to treat menopausal symptoms. Some preparations contain both an estrogen and a progestin.
Androgens are also sometimes used to treat menopausal symptoms. This is not common, though, and because only a few studies have looked at this practice, it isnt clear how safe it is in the long run.
Tibolone is a synthetic hormone drug that can act like estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone in different tissues of the body. Because this drug isnt available in the US, its not discussed here.
Looking Beyond Our Diets To Balance Our Hormones
Our healthy lifestyle decisions dont need to end with food. Walking, gentle yoga and meditation are great stress reducers. Even getting out into the sun and listening to the birds singing can help your body in amazing ways. Dont forget that our stress hormones play a major role in making us unhappy after 60. They also prevent us from losing weight, which, in turn, stops us from exploring the world.
Finally, Julie reminds us to take the time to pamper ourselves. Take a hot lavender bath. Relax with some candles and appreciate some me time. Be kind to your body and it will pay you back with many years of healthy life on this amazing planet we call home.
What natural solutions have calmed your postmenopausal hormones? Have you found any specific foods that helped? What advice would you give to the other women in the community who are struggling with their postmenopausal hormones? Please join the conversation.
You May Like: Can Menopause Cause Dizziness And Lightheadedness
Side Effects Of Estrogen After Menopause
They may be benefits of taking estrogen after menopause, but check out this drawbacks:
1. Inceased Risks of Breast Cancer
It is already wide known that any therapy involving estrogen increases risks of breast cancer, especially in older women . Therefore, a woman who wants to consume estrogen therapy should consult her doctor to get precise dossage of estrogen that she has to take every day.
In developing or third world countries, estrogen replacement therapy is very expensive, because most of the time it is not covered by social security or general insurance companies. Only rich people can afford artificial estrogen. It is really not economical and can lead to poverty.
How Is Low Estrogen Treated
Women who have low levels of estrogen may benefit from hormonal treatment. Hormonal treatment is the standard for low estrogen. There are non-hormonal options to help relieve symptoms. Non-hormonal options are preferred for women at high risk for breast cancer, blood clots, stroke, or liver disease.
Donât Miss: Is Lightheadedness A Symptom Of Menopause
Read Also: Relactation After Menopause
What Are The Differences In Between Major And Consistent Depressive Problem
Treatment for SAD typically includes medication combined with light therapy. Light treatment is direct exposure to high strength brilliant lights, typically described as light or sun boxes. A private spends a period of time daily revealed to this light, and also therapy can last from half an hormones after menopause depression hour to 2 hrs per day. Much of these light boxes are portable as well as can be put on a desk or table in the workplace. Therapies include getting outside during daylight hours as long as possible, keeping a routine timetable, brilliant light treatment, vitamin D supplements, and reaching out to your assistance network.
What Are The Risks Of Hrt
The health risks of HRT include:
- Increased risk of endometrial cancer For women who have had a hysterectomy , this is not a problem
- Increased risk of breast cancer with long-term use
- Increased risk of cardiovascular disease
- Increase in inflammatory markers
- Increased risk of blood clots and stroke, especially during the first year of use in susceptible women
All women taking hormone replacement therapy should have regular gynecological exams . The American Cancer Society also recommends that women over age 50 should:
Recommended Reading: How To Increase Breast Size After Menopause
Are You Post Menopausal
The average age of menopause is 51 years. However, women who smoke often go through menopause earlier than nonsmokers. The average life expectancy for women in the U.S. is 84 years. This means that they spend about 50% of their adult lives in postmenopause.
A woman is post menopausal when shes had an entire year without her period. It brings on many unpleasant symptoms. Most improve by themselves within 2-5 years after your last period. But some women experience symptoms up to 10 years.
The symptoms of menopause and post menopause can be extremely uncomfortable. They include:
- Hot flashes and night sweats
- A change in the length and flow of your periods
- Lack of concentration
- Hair loss or more hair on the face
Hot flashes are the most troubling symptom when a woman is post menopausal. 75% of women have hot flashes. They are more severe in African-American women and smokers. Suddenly feeling overheated and sweaty drives many women to think about HRT.
How Your Estrogen Levels Affect You
During menopause, your estrogen levels can fluctuate wildly. Estrogen is the hormone that regulates your menstrual cycle and helps to regulate fluid and sodium retention. When levels of estrogen fluctuate, it can be the cause of a variety of menopause symptoms, like vaginal dryness, itchy skin, and irregular periods.
The simple remedy to this is to balance out your estrogen levels attain that ideal level where all your menopause woes disappear. Unfortunately, the science behind this is more complicated than the simple theory suggests.
Also Check: Menopause Dizziness Treatment
Which Foods Contain A Lot Of Estrogen
Examples of such foods include:
- Seeds: flaxseeds and sesame seeds.
- Fruit: apricots, oranges, strawberries, peaches, many dried fruits.
- Vegetables: yams, carrots, alfalfa sprouts, kale, celery.
- Soy products: tofu, miso soup, soy yogurt.
- Dark rye bread.
- Legumes: lentils, peas, pinto beans.
- Olives and olive oil.
Staying Healthy After Menopause
These tips will help you live a healthy life after menopause. Talk to your healthcare provider for more information:
If you are thinking about hormone replacement therapy, discuss the risks and benefits with your healthcare provider first.
Don’t smoke. Smoking is a major risk factor for heart disease.
Exercise regularly. Even moderate exercise, such as walking a half-hour, 3 times a week is beneficial.
Maintain a healthy weight through a balanced, low-sugar diet.
Control high blood pressure with medicine or lifestyle changes. This will help cut your risk for heart disease.
Reduce stress in your life through relaxation methods or regular exercise.
Read Also: Perimenopause Light Headed
Hrt: Benefits And Risks
Although there have been concerns raised about HRT and the potential risks to various aspects of womens health, more recently published findings show that although not entirely risk free, it remains the most effective solution for the relief of menopausal symptoms and is also effective for the prevention of osteoporosis. It may in certain age groups provide protection against heart disease.
This leaflet sets out the known facts about HRT. It summarises the results of studies regarding its safety and addresses the controversy that still surrounds it, together with current thinking about its suitability. It is written specifically for women wishing to know about HRT. Our medical advisory panel strongly recommends that you should discuss with your doctor both the benefits and the risks of HRT on an individual basis. The types of HRT available are listed below.
Menopause Symptoms And Hrt
Menopause symptoms that may be relieved by HRT include:
- hot flushes and night sweats
- vaginal dryness
- hair loss or abnormal hair growth
- dry and itchy eyes.
Other therapies, including vaginal oestrogen products, antidepressants or other medications, may be used depending on the symptoms and risk factors. Seek advice from your doctor.
You May Like: Can I Give My Cat Melatonin
Also Check: Tubal Ligation And Early Menopause
Low Estrogen Levels And Weight Gain: Is There A Connection
Sex hormones, such as estrogen, influence the amount of fat in the body. Estrogen regulates glucose and lipid metabolism. If your estrogen levels are low, it can result in weight gain.
If your estrogen levels are low and its affecting your weight, speak with your doctor. They can assess your symptoms and advise you on next steps. Its always a good idea to try to eat a balanced diet and exercise as often as possible. Talk with your doctor about developing a diet and exercise plan thats right for you.
What Are The Side Effects Of Hrt
About 5 to 10 percent of women treated with HRT have side effects which may include breast tenderness, fluid retention and mood swings. In most cases, these side effects are mild and do not require the woman to stop HRT therapy.
If you have bothersome side effects from HRT, talk to your doctor. He or she can often reduce these side effects by changing the type and dosage of estrogen and/or progestin.
If you have a uterus and take progestin, monthly vaginal bleeding is likely to occur. If it will bother you to have your monthly menstrual cycle, discuss this with your health care provider.
Recommended Reading: Tubal Ligation Early Menopause
Pros & Cons Of Replacing Hormones
Since menopause is caused by a decrease in estrogen and progesterone, why not just replace them and continue on? Hormone replacement therapy is an option for many women who wish to combat the health risks that increase during their postmenopausal years. But this therapy may have its own risks.
Benefits: Estrogen therapy may relieve hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness and protect against bone loss.
Risks: Estrogen-only therapy may increase your risk of breast and uterine cancer, stroke, heart disease, and deep vein thrombosis. Combine hormone therapy could cause an increased risk of breast cancer, stroke, heart disease, deep vein thrombosis, and gallbladder disease.
Talk to your doctor about the right approach to managing your health changes after menopause.
Do You Need Progesterone Therapy After Menopause
Hormone replacement therapy with progesterone can be a great option to address common postmenopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes and night sweats. Another one of the benefits of progesterone after menopause is that it can also help with other symptoms and concerns.
- Vaginal symptoms, including dryness, itching, burning, and painful intercourse
- Bone loss and fracture due to osteoporosis
- Heart disease and stroke
- Mood changes and disorders like depression and anxiety
Researchers have also found several other possible benefits of progesterone after menopause.
- In one study, taking progesterone at bedtime was associated with a higher quality of deep sleep and less severe night sweats.
- Another study found that taking progesterone may improve visual and verbal memory in menopausal women. However, other studies didnât find these same cognitive benefits.
While estrogen is often the primary ingredient in many forms of hormone replacement, youâll also want to consider including progesterone to reduce menopausal and postmenopausal symptoms.
This is especially true if you still have your uterus. Progesterone helps thin the uterine lining and prevents endometrial hyperplasia . Doing so helps reduce the risk of developing endometrial, or uterine, cancer. Thereâs also evidence that taking estrogen and progesterone together may reduce the risk of getting colorectal cancer.
You May Like: What Causes Hot Flashes Besides Menopause
How Long Can Post Menopausal Women Use Hormones
Are you post menopausal and suffering from unbearable hot flashes or mood swings? Treatments for symptoms are available. Hormone replacement therapy helps to the body replace hormones it no longer produces.
But HRT has been controversial for many years. How long can post menopausal women safely take them to reduce their symptoms?
Read further for information on the latest findings.
Signs You Need Hormone Replacement Therapy
Hormone replacement therapy is not for everyone, but some people find the treatment provides relief from the symptoms of menopause.
Signs that you may need hormone replacement therapy include:
Other conditions caused by hormone deficiency may also benefit from hormone replacement therapy.
Also Check: Does Menopause Cause Dizzy Spells
How Can I Reduce These Side Effects Of Hormone Therapy
In most cases, these side effects are mild and dont require you to stop your HT. If your symptoms bother you, ask your healthcare provider about adjusting either the dosage or the form of the HT to reduce the side effects. Never make changes in your medication or stop taking it without first consulting your provider.
Is It Safe For Women Who Have Had A Cancer Diagnosis To Take Mht
One of the roles of naturally occurring estrogen is to promote the normal growth of cells in the breast and uterus. Some cancers also use estrogen to promote their growth. Thus, it is generally believed that MHT may promote further tumor growth in women who have already been diagnosed with breast cancer. However, studies of MHT use in breast cancer survivors have produced conflicting results, with some studies showing an increased risk of breast cancer recurrence and others showing no increased risk of recurrence .
Don’t Miss: What Helps With Dizziness During Menopause
Understanding The Benefits And Risks
Recent findings show that although not completely risk-free, HRT remains the most effective solution for helping with symptoms of menopause and is also effective for the prevention of osteoporosis. It may also provide protection against heart disease.
When deciding whether to have hormone replacement therapy , it is also important to understand the risks.
You may have heard about a link between breast cancer and HRT. Guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence say that HRT is effective and recommend that it should be offered to women with menopausal symptoms.