Hormone Replacement Therapy

Hormone Replacement Accent Image

Hormone Replacement Therapy

There’s no reason for women to suffer through unbearable hot flashes, interrupted sleep due to night sweats, mood swings or any other symptom caused by menopause. Hormone replacement therapy prescribed by the physicians at The Association for Women’s Health Care effectively relieves menopause-related symptoms. Schedule an appointment at one of our convenient locations in The Loop in Chicago and Northbrook, Illinois to learn if you’re a good candidate for hormone replacement therapy.

Hormone Replacement Therapy Q&A

What is perimenopause?

Levels of estrogen begin to drop in the years before menopause. During this transitional time, called perimenopause, most women experience changes in their menstrual periods.

Cycles may become longer or shorter than normal, flow may get lighter or heavier, and you may begin to skip periods. These changes are normal, but others may signal a health problem, so schedule an appointment if you experience:

  • Bleeding between periods
  • Bleeding after sex
  • Spotting
  • Any bleeding after menopause

Perimenopause ends and menopause begins after you’ve missed your periods for 12 straight months — as long as there aren’t any medical reasons why you didn’t have periods. Once you reach menopause, estrogen levels stabilize at a low level.

When do menopause symptoms begin?

The symptoms associated with menopause begin during perimenopause and continue after menopause. However, it’s important to remember that the experience is different for each woman. You may have a few symptoms or a lot, and they may be quite mild or severe. The classic symptoms include:

  • Hot flashes and night sweats
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Frequent urination
  • Urinary tract infections

What is hormone replacement therapy?

Hormone replacement therapy is a treatment in which you take estrogen with or without progestin, which is a synthetic form of progesterone. Progestin is usually taken along with estrogen in women who still have a uterus.

What are the benefits of hormone replacement therapy?

Hormone replacement therapy effectively treats menopausal symptoms, including hot flashes, night sweats, and mood swings. Replacing your estrogen also relieves vaginal dryness, dry skin, and irritable bladder symptoms.

Other benefits of hormone replacement therapy include:

  • Increased elasticity of blood vessels
  • Lower risk of osteoporosis and fractures
  • Possible improvement of glucose levels
  • Possible decreased incidence of Alzheimer’s disease
  • Decreased incidence of colon cancer

What forms of hormone replacement are available?

Short-term use of hormone replacement therapy is safe for most menopausal women, especially when it’s primarily used to relieve symptoms. It’s available in several different forms including pills taken orally, a patch placed on your skin, topical gels and creams, and vaginal suppositories.