Every woman eventually enters the time of life when menstruation stops. Once you haven’t had a period for 12 months or more, you’re considered to be menopausal. This can be a time in your life that causes much change and confusion, but it can also be a freeing, happy time.
Still, menopause causes your hormones to change, which can lead to a wide range of symptoms that impact your everyday life. That’s why, at Physicians for Women- Melius, Schurr & Cardwell, we offer hormone replacement therapy to help you feel like yourself again. Drs. Frederic A. Melius, Julie A. Schurr, and Michael C. Cardwell, as well as Dr. Kraemer and Nurse Practitioner Lainy Rosenberg, understand how hard it can be to look and feel your best when you have menopausal symptoms.
The signs of menopause
There are three stages of menopause: perimenopause, menopause, and postmenopause. It’s possible to experience hormonal changes — and their effects — during any of these stages.
Common menopausal symptoms associated with hormonal changes include:
- Hot flashes and night sweats
- Trouble sleeping
- Mood swings
- Depression and anxiety
- Frequent urinary tract infections
- Dry skin
- Irregular periods
- Hair loss
- Weight gain
- Vaginal dryness, burning, or itching
- Reduced sexual desire or discomfort during sex
- Loss of bone density
Even though the average age of menopause in American women is 51, you can begin experiencing the symptoms of perimenopause as early as your 30s. Sometimes these symptoms can make it hard to feel like yourself. When this occurs, we recommend a consultation with us to determine if hormone replacement therapy is a good option for you.
Choosing hormone replacement therapy
Hormone therapies suggested may include pills, patches or creams placed within the vagina. Bioidentical hormones that are compounded or pharmaceutical grade prescription therapies are fully discussed and can be prescribed.
How hormone replacement therapy can help you
Once taking your prescribed hormone replacement consistently, you'll begin to see a number of improvements to your body's symptoms, such as:
- Reduced hot flashes
- More energy
- Stronger sex drive
- More stable moods
The providers at Physicians for Women and Phases recommend patients take the lowest dose of HRT for the shortest duration of time. Typically after 6 months, patients may consider a trial off of hormone replacement therapy. If symptoms return, you can simply re-initiate them, but we review the pros and cons and risks to HRT annually with all of our menopausal patients and discuss discontinuance, especially after 5 or more years of use in order to reduce a small but statistically significant risk of breast cancer.
Want to learn more about hormone replacement therapy?
Everyone deserves to feel happy, comfortable, and healthy, and menopause can be a difficult time because of the hormonal changes. To see if hormone replacement therapy can help with your menopause symptoms, call our clinic in Madison, Wisconsin, at 608-218-4835 or use the online booking tool to make an appointment.