What Is Menopause Treatment With Hormone Therapy?

December 16, 2020
Happy middle aged woman with menopause treatment with hormone therapy.

Feeling blah, both in and out of the bedroom? For menopausal women, this is an all-too-common complaint. Night sweats, hot flashes, mood swings, low libido, weight gain - these famous symptoms of menopause are enough to leave even the most vibrant menopausal woman feeling frustrated and searching for relief. Hormone therapy for menopause is where most women finally find the “sweet spot” of dealing with their menopause symptoms. Here’s how it works. 

How hormone replacement therapy works for menopause patients 

The troublesome symptoms of menopause are caused by a decreased level of hormones like estrogen and progesterone. These hormones are responsible for a number of processes in the female body, and when levels start dropping, menopausal symptoms raise their ugly head. Menopause symptoms can start years before menopause actually hits, as these hormones can start to decline as early as the 20s. Hormone replacement therapy for menopause replaces the missing hormones, bringing them back to normal levels so women can feel “like their old selves” again. 

What are the signs that I need hormone replacement therapy? 

As early as our 20s, women’s bodies begin to produce less and less of the hormones that keep our bodies balanced, our minds sharp, and our energy level at its peak so we can deal with all the responsibilities of our busy lives. Once those hormone levels start to dip, you’ll likely see a host of changes in the way you feel during a normal day. Some of the signs that you need hormone replacement therapy include:

  • Low sex drive 
  • Dry skin 
  • Mood changes
  • Fatigue 
  • Foggy thinking 
  • Hot flashes 
  • Night sweats
  • Bladder issues 
  • Losing muscle mass 
  • Bone loss 

Hormone replacement therapy and weight loss 

Ever heard of the “middle-age spread?” That’s what it’s called with middle-aged men and women start to gain weight as they hit the middle stage of their lives. This happens for a lot of reasons - lack of exercise, poor eating habits - but it is linked most critically to hormone imbalance. Even the most active, healthy women complain of having a hard time losing weight and staying at a healthy weight because their hormones (or lack thereof) are working against them. 

Perimenopausal and menopausal women also notice that not only are they gaining weight, but they’re gaining it in different places than they did when they were younger. Middle-aged women tend to gain weight mostly around the abdomen. 

Hormone replacement therapy replaces the lack of hormones that are telling a woman’s body to pack on the pounds around the midsection. Studies have shown that women who start hormone replacement therapy lower their BMI. Not only can HRT help women lose fat, but it also helps women maintain their muscle mass, which assists in the fight to keep off weight as muscle burns more calories resting than fat. 

Benefits of progesterone after menopause 

Estrogen gets all the attention when it comes to talking about natural hormone therapy, but its partner in crime, progesterone, is just as important to relieving menopause symptoms with hormone replacement therapy. 

Progesterone is known as “the pregnancy hormone,” but it’s responsible for much more than prepping your uterus for a possible pregnancy. A lack of progesterone during menopause can also be responsible for:

  • Migraines 
  • Bone loss 
  • Mood swings 
  • Irregular periods during perimenopause 

For women who still have a uterus, hormone replacement therapy that uses a combination of progesterone and estrogen is recommended to soothe the symptoms of menopause. A combination of progesterone and estrogen in hormone replacement therapy has shown to help with: 

  • Decreasing cancer risk 
  • Reducing the occurrence and intensity of night sweats 
  • Better sleep
  • Improved cognition and memory 

Types of hormone replacement therapy 

Hormone replacement therapy for menopause has never been easier. With so many options for how you actually take in the replacement hormones you need to feel younger, more vibrant, and more like yourself, it’s easy to find a delivery method for hormone therapy that’s easy to stick to. 

Your provider can help you choose which hormone replacement delivery method is right for you based on your lifestyle and needs. 

Estrogen Pills - The most common delivery method for hormone replacement therapy is estrogen pills. Several types of estrogen pills are available.

Estrogen Patch - The estrogen patch is designed to release a steady flow of estrogen into the bloodstream. An estrogen patch is usually worn on the abdomen and is changed every few days. 

Topical Estrogen Creams and Gels - Estrogen creams and gels are applied directly to the skin. The estrogen soaks in and delivers estrogen straight to the bloodstream. 

Vaginal estrogen - Menopausal and perimenopausal women who struggle with vaginal dryness, itching, and painful intercourse due to low hormone levels may benefit from vaginal estrogen creams, tablets, and rings that deliver estrogen into the bloodstream. 

Hormone replacement therapy pellets - For menopausal women who want the ultimate in convenience, hormone replacement pellets are an attractive option. Hormone replacement pellets are inserted under the skin in your provider’s office every three months. These pellets release a steady flow of hormones directly into the bloodstream. Patients love that they don’t have to remember to take a pill, put on a patch, or apply the cream all the time when they use hormone replacement therapy pellets. 

Ready to try hormone replacement therapy for your menopause symptoms? 

Schedule your complimentary consultation with one of our hormone replacement specialists to see if hormone therapy might be the right treatment for your menopausal symptoms. Click here to schedule your complimentary consultation today. 

Our staff of highly qualified Advanced Practice Registered Nurses, Nurse Practitioners, and Clinical Nurse Specialists are here to help you take charge of your health with hormone replacement therapy. MedStudio offers testing and treatment for hormone imbalances, micronutrient deficiencies, food intolerances and sensitivities, gut health, and more. All of our treatment plans are personally customized to you and your unique health to help you feel, move, and live your best life!