Menopause Treatments

Due to your body changing through menopause, you may have uncomfortable symptoms. These menopause symptoms, will go away with time and treatment for many women, though, in certain circumstances, some women will benefit from the choice of treatments for their symptoms.

Treatments include prescribed medications containing certain hormones that the ovaries no longer make around the time of the menopause. Some hormone therapies contain estrogen alone or estrogen with progestin (for those women who still have the uterus or womb). Estrogen therapy can be taken in pill form, skin patch, as a gel or cream or by using an intrauterine device (IUD), or by a vaginal ring. The way that oestrogen is taken depends upon its purpose.

Hormone pills

These are usually prescribed and are probably the simplest way of taking Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). Hormone pills are a beneficial method to take HRT as they are very effective when processed by the liver.

Injections

These bypass the liver and the hormone shots are received directly into the muscle. The drawback of this method is that injections fail to maintain steady levels of hormone in the blood resulting in frequent, inconvenient visits to the doctor.

Implants

Surgically placed under the skin twice a year, due to their cumulative effect after several years the oestrogen levels were found to rise as much as two to three times. Insertion is often uncomfortable and can result in an infection. Oestrogen levels should be monitored regularly.

Estrogen filled patch

Patches can feed hormones directly into the bloodstream, bypassing the liver. They are usually placed on the upper arm or buttocks. Each patch lasts several days. This method does not benefit the same effects on HDL levels as oral oestrogen.

Creams

Creams containing oestrogen and progestin are applied to the skin of abdomen, arms or thighs and bypass the liver. Creams allow a balanced treatment as a specific dose is administered daily, although applications can be messy and it is easy to apply the incorrect amount. Blood levels should be monitored as in implants as creams too can produce higher blood levels.

Vaginal Creams

These can be of help to those women who are only suffering vaginal menopausal symptoms such as dryness, itching or pain during intercourse. The oestrogen enters the blood stream when applied vaginally.
A vaginal ring or cream is usually used to control vaginal dryness, urine leakage or urinary or vaginal infections, although it does not relieve hot flushes. If you are concerned about bone loss, you should discuss other medications other than hormone therapy that can reduce bone related problems.

Hormone therapy can provide menopausal women with a number of benefits including the reduction of hot flushes, remedy for vaginal dryness, slow bone loss and a decrease in depression and mood swings.
Like many medications, hormone therapy carries risks such as an increased risk of blood clots, heart attacked, strokes, breast cancer and gall bladder disease.

Hormone therapy is said to provide women with the best relief of their menopausal symptoms, however, there are risks. You should discuss the pros and cons with your doctor in order to decide which the best form of treatment for you.

A woman who still has a uterus, taking estrogen alone, without progesterone, increases the chance of developing endometrial cancer, or cancer of the uterus lining. By adding progesterone to the hormone therapy, the risk is lowered. Taking oestrogen alone when a woman has had a hysterectomy can increase the chance of a blood clot or a stroke.

There are certain side effects caused by hormone therapy such as bleeding, bloating, breast enlargement or tenderness, headaches, nausea or mood swings.

Hormone therapy for the purpose of menopause should not be taking by women who thinks they might be pregnant, has problems with vaginal bleeding, have had breast or uterine cancer, suffered a stroke, heart attack, blood clots, or liver disease.

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