If you’re facing menopause, then you may want to consider having hormone replacement therapy, or HRT. Click here to learn several reasons why you should use hormone therapy for menopause.
You’d be hard pressed to find a woman who was excited about going through menopause. You might be ready for your periods to be over, but menopause comes with more symptoms. Plus, the symptoms happen much more often than a monthly period.
No one can prevent menopause from happening. However, there is a way to reduce most or all of the symptoms at the same time: hormone replacement therapy. If you’re considering hormone therapy for menopause, there may be more benefits than you realize. Here’s what you need to know.
Benefits of Hormone Therapy for Menopause
While it isn’t without its risks, hormone replacement therapy has a variety of benefits. They range from simple comforts to lowering your risk for serious illnesses. Here are the benefits you should consider.
1. Fewer Hot Flashes
For many women it’s the first sign of menopause- you’re walking along minding your own business and all of a sudden you feel like you’re on fire. They seem to happen at the most inopportune times.
Hormone replacement therapy, however, can reduce your hot flashes. There’s no guarantee that they’ll disappear entirely, but you can expect them to become milder and less frequently.
2. A More Comfortable Vagina
Your vagina is one of those areas you don’t think about very often until there’s something wrong. When menopause happens, everything seems to get out of whack.
Every woman is different, but many experience dryness, itching, and/or burning in the vaginal area during menopause. While it’s uncomfortable on a regular basis, this issue can make sex downright painful.
Hormone therapy can normalize the hormones that control your vaginal environment, keeping you comfortable and letting you continue to enjoy your sex life.
3. Fewer Night Sweats
All someone needs to do to see the evidence of menopause is to compare how often you wash your sheets now to how often you washed them ten years ago. Waking up in the middle of the night drenched in sweat is never a pleasant awakening.
Like the other symptoms of menopause, night sweats are a byproduct of menopause’s hormonal changes. That means hormone replacement therapy can cut them to a minimum.
4. Protection Against Osteoporosis
Did you know about half of women over 50 will break a bone because of osteoporosis? Bone loss is a problem many women deal with, and menopause is a major culprit.
Hormone replacement therapy has shown to improve bone mineral density. This reduces the impact of osteoporosis and minimizes bone breaks.
5. Fewer Emotional Symptoms
In some ways, the emotional symptoms of menopause can be the worst ones. They affect your ability to be happy and enjoy your days. Some women experience extreme mood swings, while others find that menopause brings depression. Many women experience both symptoms at varying times.
Hormone therapy stabilizes your hormones. This cuts down on the emotional effects of menopause without the need for mental health medications.
6. Fewer Urinary Symptoms
For many women, menopause brings on urinary symptoms like heightened frequency. There’s evidence of a link between menopause and overactive bladder.
Frequent bathroom trips can interrupt any social gathering. Many menopausal women don’t dare to go out for a long hike or enjoy other situations with limited bathroom opportunities. Hormone therapy can cut back on menopausal urinary frequency.
7. Better Sleep
One of the frustrating problems with menopause is that the symptoms don’t stop while you sleep. Between the night sweats, urinary frequency, and other discomforts, it’s difficult to get a solid night of sleep.
Hormone replacement therapy may not affect sleep directly, but it reduces the symptoms that limit your sleep.
8. Better Sex Life
Vaginal discomfort takes away many menopausal women’s ability to enjoy sex. Some women also find that they struggle with a lack of arousal or sexual interest during menopause, even if they don’t have vaginal symptoms.
If you want to enjoy the youthful spirit of sex, hormone replacement therapy can enhance your libido. It can also reduce vaginal dryness or other vaginal discomfort, making sex more enjoyable.
9. Lower Risk of Colorectal Cancer
Hormone replacement therapy does more than reducing menopause symptoms. There is evidence that hormone therapy can reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.
Keep in mind that this is only the case with certain types of hormone therapy. Women who have had a hysterectomy receive estrogen only. However, in women with a uterus, estrogen alone can dangerously increase the growth of uterine tissue. For these women, hormone replacement therapy includes estrogen as well as progesterone. It is this second combination that appears to reduce the risk for colorectal cancer.
10. Fewer Migraines
Some women, especially women who are already prone to migraines, report more migraines during menopause. This can happen because of the hormonal fluctuation.
Hormone replacement therapy, however, can stabilize your hormones to keep the added migraines at bay. It’s worth noting that this only affects migraines that are increased by menopause. If you aren’t in menopause, hormone therapy isn’t a good treatment option for migraines.
11. Less Skin Aging
Skin aging happens to everyone, menopause or not. Skin aging is primarily caused when your body produces less collagen, the protein that makes skin firm and smooth.
Hormone therapy has the enjoyable benefit of enhancing your collagen production. This means fewer wrinkles, less aging, and even better wound healing for your skin. It’s always great to look younger without the need for anti-aging skin treatments.
12. Potential Lower Risk of Dementia
Another unique benefit to hormone replacement therapy is that it appears to lower your risk for dementia. This includes Alzheimer’s disease as well as dementia from other causes.
While the exact connection is unknown, this benefit is nothing you want to turn your back on. However, it’s also important to note that hormone therapy is more of a preventative measure than a treatment method. If you’re experiencing symptoms of dementia, you should speak with a doctor who specializes in the illness.
13. Possible Risk Reduction for Heart Disease
One of the most common reasons people are concerned about hormone replacement therapy is that some evidence suggests it can raise the risk for heart disease. However, there is also ample evidence that it does the opposite.
Most notably, hormone therapy appears to reduce the risk for heart disease if you take it early. The evidence appears in women who are under the age of 60 and who take hormone therapy within ten years of menopause.
It’s also important to note that lifestyle factors like diet, exercise, and weight are still more prominent risk factors for heart disease. It’s important to reduce these risk factors regardless of whether you’re taking hormone replacement therapy.
14. Potential Link to Muscle Retention
Most people see muscle loss as an inevitable part of aging. As we get older, it’s harder to build muscle and the muscle we have can fade. While that’s true, menopause can accelerate muscle loss even more.
Hormone replacement therapy, on the other hand, can counteract this effect. There is evidence that hormone therapy can help you maintain and even enhance your muscle strength and muscle mass. It can also improve the connective tissue around your muscles
For some women, this is the largest motivating factor behind hormone replacement therapy. The symptoms of menopause aren’t exactly a secret. When someone sees a woman of a certain age suddenly fanning herself, coming to the breakfast table drenched in sweat, or snapping into a sudden mood swing, they immediately think of menopause.
This is also true for younger women who have premature menopause. Suddenly everyone starts asking questions and you’re grilled about your entire medical history, whether you’ve had a hysterectomy and why, and more.
On top of the questions, everyone suddenly becomes a menopause expert. They tell you about the treatments they used, how their grandmother got through “the change,” and all the weird home remedies they have. All without being asked.
Part of the beauty of hormone replacement therapy is that it removes or reduces these obvious signs of menopause. Suddenly you don’t have everyone asking about your reproductive system and you have the freedom to keep your medical history to yourself.
How to Know if Hormone Replacement Therapy is Right for You
Hormone replacement therapy can offer many benefits to help you feel and look younger. The list above is just a starting point. Many women discover that hormone therapy helps them with aches and pains they forgot they even had.
Still, it’s a medical treatment and it isn’t a choice you should take lightly. To find out if hormone therapy is right for you, contact our anti-aging experts. We can evaluate your health, discuss your symptoms, and determine whether hormone therapy is the best way to address your needs.