What Medications Are Used To Treat Postmenopausal Symptoms
Hormone therapy could be an option, although healthcare providers often recommend using it for a short amount of time and in people under the age of 60. There are health risks associated with hormone therapy like blood clots and stroke. Some healthcare providers do not recommend using hormone therapy after menopause has ended or if you have certain medical conditions.
Some medications your healthcare provider may consider helping with postmenopausal symptoms are:
- Antidepressants for mood swings or depression.
- Vaginal creams for pain related to sexual intercourse and vaginal dryness.
- Gabapentin to relieve hot flashes.
Oftentimes your provider will recommend lifestyle changes to help manage your symptoms.
Discussion Point : Cht Is A Broad Term That Includes Both Bioidentical And Nonbioidentical Hormones
It is widely believed by women that all prescription hormones are synthetic. This is a myth. Conventional products are available as both nonbioidentical hormones and bioidentical hormones. For example, Cenestin and Enjuvia are synthetic estrogens. Premarin is a nonhuman, nonbioidentical estrogen, which is conjugated equine estrogen derived from pregnant mare urine. The equine estrogen metabolites in Premarin do not resemble what women produce endogenously hence, it is not a bioidentical hormone. FDA-approved, bioidentical estrogen products include pills patches and E2 gels spray and creams. Progestogens are also available as synthetic and bioidentical products. Synthetic progestin includes Provera and Micronor , whereas bioidentical, FDA-approved progesterone is available as Prometrium .
Different types of hormone formulations are preferred for different purposes and different individuals. For menopausal symptom relief, bioidentical E2 and progesterone are available as FDA-approved products, when preferred.
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 didnÃ¢t find these same cognitive benefits.
While estrogen is often the primary ingredient in many forms of hormone replacement, youÃ¢ll 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. ThereÃ¢s also evidence that taking estrogen and progesterone together may reduce the risk of getting colorectal cancer.
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Get Help Staying Healthy After Menopause
If youre feeling fatigued, dont risk a trial and error approach trying to fix the problem on your own. And please dont supplement iron without a doctors advice! Instead, come to Renew Woman for help. We can run tests to check your levels of vital hormones and nutrients and provide a treatment plan that will help you bring everything back into a healthy balance that is appropriate for your new phase of life.
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 dont 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 .
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Reducing The Cancer Risks Of Hormone Therapy
If you and your doctor decide that MHT is the best way to treat symptoms or problems caused by menopause, keep in mind that it is medicine and like any other medicine its best to use it at the lowest dose needed for as short a time as possible. And just as you would if you were taking another type of medicine, you need to see your doctor regularly. Your doctor can see how well the treatment is working, monitor you for side effects, and let you know what other treatments are available for your symptoms.
All women should report any vaginal bleeding that happens after menopause to their doctors right away it may be a symptom of endometrial cancer. A woman who takes EPT does not have a higher risk of endometrial cancer, but she can still get it.
Women using vaginal cream, rings, or tablets containing only estrogen should talk to their doctors about follow-up and the possible need for progestin treatment.
For women who have had a hysterectomy , a progestin does not need to be a part of hormone therapy because theres no risk of endometrial cancer. Adding a progestin does raise the risk of breast cancer, so ET is a better option for women without a uterus.
Women should follow the American Cancer Society guidelines for cancer early detection, especially those for breast cancer. These guidelines can be found in Breast Cancer Early Detection.
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.
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Venous Thrombosis And Hrt
Venous thromboses are blood clots that form inside veins. Women under 50 years of age, and women aged 50 to 60, face an increased risk of venous thrombosis if they take oral HRT. The increase in risk seems to be highest in the first year or two of therapy and in women who already have a high risk of blood clots. This especially applies to women who have a genetic predisposition to developing thrombosis, who would normally not be advised to use HRT.
Limited research to date suggests the increased risk of clots is mainly related to combined oestrogen and progestogen in oral form, and also depends on the type of progestogen used. Some studies suggest a lower risk with non-oral therapy or tibolone.
How Does Menopause Affect The Ovaries
Ovaries have two main duties:
- Produce eggs , readying them for potential fertilization.
- Produce reproductive hormones.
Through these two main functions, the ovaries regulate the reproductive system. Unable to create new eggs, a woman is born with all the oocytes she will have throughout her life, approximately 1-6 million in all. A woman loses oocytes over time before puberty, with only 25% of them remaining when she reaches puberty . After puberty, the ovaries develop and discard eggs with every menstrual cycle until all the eggs are gone. This process could last for 30 to 40 years, differ from woman to woman. Eventually, all eggs are depleted until there are no more eggs available and estrogen is no longer produced in the same amounts leading to the cessation of a womans menstrual cycle. Thus, women transition to their next stage menopause. Womans ovaries start to age and stop estrogen and progestin hormones during menopause.
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What Are Some Commonly Used Postmenopausal Hormones
The following list provides the names of some, but not all, postmenopausal hormones.
- Pills, Brand names: Cenestin®, Estinyl®, Estrace®, Menest®, Ogen®, Premarin®, Femtrace®.
- Creams, Brand names: Estrace®, Ogen®, Premarin®.
- Vaginal ring, Brand names: Estring®, Femring® .
- Vaginal tablet, Brand names: Vagifem®. Imvexxy®
- Patch, Brand names: Alora®, Climara®, Minivelle®, Estraderm®, Vivelle®, Vivelle-Dot®, Menostar®.
- Spray, Brand name: Evamist®.
- Modest improvement in joint pains.
- Lower death rate for women who take hormone therapy in their 50s.
Can Your Ovaries Hurt After Menopause Why
Typically felt below the belly button in the lower abdomen, ovarian pain can start during the period before menopause occurs, called perimenopause. During perimenopause, the areas around the ovaries and the ovaries themselves can become sensitive and painful. However, ovarian pain may continue well after menopause starts. Ovaries hurt around menopause because of hormones called prostaglandins. Prostaglandins affect pain levels and inflammation, and estrogen levels can influence the amount of prostaglandins in the uterus lining. As estrogen levels fluctuate, so do prostaglandins, thus causing pain.
Breast Cancer And Menopause
Estrogen therapy is known to benefit postmenopausal women in a multitude of ways, mostly through the relief of vasomotor symptoms associated with postmenopause. Estrogen is also beneficial for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis.
Much controversy exists about the use of estrogen and breast cancer. Some studies show an increased risk of breast cancer with postmenopausal estrogen use others show a decrease. A possible link to cancer is also suggested by the finding that breast cancer risk is increased in women with an earlier age at menarche and a later age at menopause. However, a reduction in risk is observed with early age at pregnancy and the interruption of menstrual hormonal changes. The role of estrogen in the development of breast cancer continues to be studied.
In the Womens Health Initiative , the incidence of breast cancer increased in the estrogen-plus-progestin versus placebo arm of the study however, the incidence of breast cancer decreased in the estrogen-only versus placebo arm of the study .
Additional follow-up in patients from the WHI suggested similar results: Breast cancer incidence and mortality were increased in the estrogen-plus-progestin group as compared with the placebo group. The role of combined estrogen-plus-progesterone therapy continues to be puzzling in the development of breast cancer.
Hormone Imbalance & Menopause Are Normal
First things first, we need to redefine what normal hormone balance and imbalance means.
After all, hormonal imbalances are not always abnormal particularly for women during transitional times in their age, health and body.
For example, the first signs of normal hormone imbalance for women typically occur during the adolescent or teen years.
The woman is somewhere between ages 11 and 16, with the onset of Red Tide and an increase in estrogen levels around that time of the month.
From then on, other notable times of normal hormonal imbalances in a womans life include: Pregnancy, post-partum, peri-menopause and menopause.
During the menopausal years, the production of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone naturally decrease.
This is a normal hormonal imbalance that comes as a right of passage with age.
Concurrently during these years, a womans metabolic rate and bone density naturally decrease and body fat naturally increases .
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How Is Menopause Treated
The menopause is a naturally occurring event and many women do not require any treatment at all, or may be advised to make healthy lifestyle changes.
Menopausal symptoms can be treated with hormone replacement therapy . For women with a womb , HRT will contain both oestrogen and progesterone. For women who have undergone a hysterectomy, only oestrogen replacement is required. There are many different hormone replacement options but all contain oestrogens and, if needed, progesterone. They can be administered by pills, skin patches, skin gels or implants.
For most women, the benefits of taking short-term HRT to improve quality of life during the perimenopause usually outweigh the risks. An alternative form of treatment to HRT, particularly for the treatment of hot flushes, is non-hormonal medication such as paroxetine.
Vaginal creams, pessaries or a vaginal ring may be helpful for vaginal problems.
Women who show loss of bone density can be treated with vitamin D and calcium supplements and, for more severe cases, with drugs that prevent loss of bone mass, which weakens the bones. The most common drugs used are bisphosphonates.
How Do I Manage Symptoms Of Postmenopause On My Own
Certain lifestyle or at-home changes can help you manage symptoms of postmenopause. Some of these include:
- Using a water-based vaginal lubricant during sex to make it more pleasurable. Lubricating the vagina helps with dryness and pain.
- Regular exercise, meditation and other relaxing activities can help with depression and other side effects of postmenopause.
- Eating a diet rich in phytoestrogens such as whole-grain cereals, flaxseed, chickpeas and legumes. Reducing caffeine and alcohol intake has also been shown to help.
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The Gut Is The Gateway Health
The gut is the gateway to health.
Think about it: Every single cell in a womans body is nourished, fed and supported by what goes into the gut.
In addition, one of the major centers of hormone production occurs in your gut itself. In fact, the gut is now being termed an endocrine organ.
Thus, when we have a weak foundation in our gut , then the rest of our body takes a hit cortisol and hormone levels included.
Since essential nutrients are unable to reach these hormones or other cells that govern our metabolic processes, stress is much more likely.
Even if you do eat healthy, if you have an underlying gut imbalance or you are not supporting the health of your gut and digestion as a whole, then your body is simply not going to absorb and digest the foods you do feed it.
In short: A common reason why women experience all the usual symptoms of menopause goes back to the gut.
Heal the gut, reduce hormone imbalance
So what to do?
To get to the bottom of your own health or gut imbalances, its always advised you consult with a doctor or other healthcare practitioner trained in a functional approach for addressing the roots of these imbalances .
Much of our contemporary medical way of thinking is the replacement model.
This is simply replacing hormones or treating hormone imbalances with hormone replacement drugs and therapies before looking into the reasons why hormones are significantly out of balance in the first place.
What Happens To Our Bodies After Menopause
In truth, menopause, while it is usually thought of as a discrete period in our 50s, has long-lasting effects on our bodies. Many of the hormonal changes that take place, stay with us for the rest of our lives.
In my recent conversation with , a naturopath and nurse, we discuss some natural ways to get your hormones back in balance after menopause. I hope that Julies tips help you to understand what is going on in your body.
More importantly, I hope that her comments inspire you to give your aging body the nutrition and exercise that it deserves.
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Lifestyle & Symptoms Of Menopause
Coping with menopausal symptoms can be helped by a balanced and nutritious diet, exercise and relaxation. Women who try to make their lifestyle as healthy as they can appear to have fewer menopausal symptoms, and those symptoms are less severe. Women who are overweight may have more hot flushes than women of a healthy weight.
Some studies have suggested that exercise can reduce hot flushes, but overall there is insufficient evidence to show this.
Are Ovarian Cysts Common In Perimenopause
Ovarian cysts are more common during ovulation and menopause. Because of the significant fluctuations in hormones during perimenopause, high estrogen levels can result in an irregular menstrual cycle and ovarian cysts. Larger cysts can cause significant pain and push against other organs, like the bladder.
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What Happens After Menopause Top Concerns
There are a lot of misconceptions about what happens after menopause and what life will be like for women. Women fear menopause, and all the years after, because they feel as though their best years are behind them. Where does this notion come from? Often, its the cultural messages women are given. Just look at TV shows and movies how are older women portrayed? The show The Golden Girls helped push aside the notion that life ends after menopause, but that show was an exception, not the rule. Perceptions are shifting, but not quickly enough! Lets dispel some of these old ideas, then Ill tell you all the things to celebrate about life after menopause.
Its all downhill from here
Ill never feel good again
There are many uncomfortable symptoms associated with menopause, and some women feel like theyll never get past them. Indeed, for some women these symptoms can linger for much longer than necessary. For generations, women didnt talk about menopause in the autobiographies of many famous women that Ive read, its not ever mentioned. No wonder women are concerned that the hot flashes, headaches and fatigue will never end. But menopause is not a disease, regardless of how many medical professionals still treat it as such. These symptoms are a message the body is sending and when you stop and pay attention to that communication, there is so much that can be done about it!
My sex life is over
These feelings of despair will never fade