Hormone Replacement Therapy

Benefits of Hormone Replacement Therapy

hormone-replacement

Hormone replacement therapy, or HRT, can help women combat many of the symptoms associated with the natural decline of estrogen and progesterone as they age. At Women's Medical Care, women from Prescott and Prescott Valley, AZ, are provided with bioidentical hormone therapy adjusted specifically for their needs.

Hormone Replacement Therapy Q & A

What is hormone replacement therapy?

As women age, their bodies produce less estrogen and progesterone, the so-called sex hormones which play a major role in reproduction as well as other processes. Hormone replacement therapy, or HRT, uses lab-created bioidentical hormones to replace the hormones the body is no longer producing so women can avoid many of the symptoms and risks associated with declining hormones.

What symptoms are associated with declining levels of estrogen and progesterone?

The decrease in natural hormones that occurs with aging can cause a host of symptoms, including:

  • Vaginal dryness
  • Painful intercourse
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Facial hair growth
  • Thinning hair on the scalp
  • Night sweats
  • Hot flashes
  • Moodiness and irritability
  • Increased risk for osteoporosis (“brittle bones”)
  • Weight gain
  • Fatigue
  • Problems concentrating
  • Lack of interest in sex

Many of these symptoms occur along with menopause, and not every woman experiences these symptoms all at once.

What are bioidentical hormones?

Bioidentical hormones are synthetic hormones that are designed to act just like natural hormones. They represent an evolution in traditional hormone replacement therapy, which used hormone replacement products that were not easily eliminated by the body, resulting undesirable side effects. Bioidentical hormones are “recognized,” processed and eliminated by the body in the same way as naturally produced hormones for fewer side effects and greater benefits.

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What types of hormone replacement therapy products are available?

Systemic HRT to treat most symptoms associated with hormonal decline can be accomplished through the use of pills, sprays, creams, gels and patches. Vaginal estrogen-based creams are also available to specifically treat symptoms like vaginal dryness and painful intercourse, as well as providing some relief for urinary incontinence in some women; however, they do not provide relief for night sweats, moodiness, hot flashes, or osteoporosis.

Hormone Replacement Therapy Options:

Is HRT monitored?

Yes, women who have hormone replacement therapy will have regular blood tests to ensure the levels of hormones they receive are adjusted to their needs as they change over time. Dosing adjustments help ensure only the minimum amount of hormones are used to achieve optimal effects.