Menopause signals the end of your fertility, which means no more monthly periods, premenstrual syndrome, and pregnancy scares. Some women sail through menopause with minimal symptoms, but others find that the years before menopause — a time known as perimenopause — are fraught with unpleasant symptoms.
These symptoms result from the shifts in your hormones that occur with this change of life. You start to feel foggy-headed and bloated. Sex may be less arousing and uncomfortable because of vaginal dryness. Hot flashes and night sweats have you shedding clothes and blankets unpredictably.
At Health Solutions, we can help you navigate menopause with minimal life disruption. The medical team at our four greater Chicago, Illinois, offices offers hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to balance out your hormones to help you feel vital and energized even as your body changes.
Here’s when our specialists recommend you come in for a women’s health consultation to learn more about hormone therapy and how it may help you.
You have persistent menopause symptoms
Menopause isn’t a state you’re suddenly thrust into. It happens gradually as your reproductive hormone levels decrease in the years leading up to menopause — on average, four years. Some women only experience perimenopause for a few months, while others may struggle with symptoms for up to 10 years.
The shifting hormones during perimenopause cause various physical and emotional symptoms. Women’s experiences during this time vary. Some only experience hallmark menopause symptoms like hot flashes, mood swings, and low energy. Others face additional concerns like painful sex, vaginal dryness, regular sleep disturbances, a slower metabolism, and uncontrolled weight gain.
If you experience many of these symptoms regularly, hormone therapy can help. HRT rebalances your hormones and can stop hot flashes, regulate your mood and metabolism, restore your libido, and boost your energy levels so you feel more like yourself again.
Menopause symptoms disrupt your life
Even if just one or two menopause symptoms can be severe enough to notably impact your day-to-day quality of life. HRT can be extremely helpful in restoring a sense of normalcy to your days and your well-being.
Hot flashes are an example of a symptom that can seriously interfere with your life. Face it — you don’t want to be in a meeting or at a restaurant when your body suddenly heats up, your face becomes flushed, your skin becomes blotchy, and your clothes become drenched in sweat.
Frequent hot flashes are incredibly common in perimenopause, and some women continue having them well after they reach menopause. While we can suggest effective ways to minimize your chances of having hot flashes or manage them better when they occur, HRT can reduce or eliminate them.
You struggle with migraines
Chronic migraine pain can occur for a number of reasons, but women going through hormonal changes around the time of menopause are more susceptible to these debilitating headaches.
Fluctuations in estrogen are a significant migraine trigger for many women who have a history of getting such headaches. You may notice your migraine problems worsen during perimenopause as estrogen levels fluctuate through their gradual decline.
Even women who’ve never had a migraine may experience a severe, hormone-triggered headache for the first time. In either case, HRT can help balance your hormone levels and reduce instances or symptoms of migraines.
Lifestyle changes haven’t resolved your symptoms
Lifestyle changes can often improve the severity of menopause symptoms. We recommend getting plenty of exercise, drinking lots of water, and eating a healthy diet. But when these changes don’t do much to improve the severity and frequency of your menopause symptoms, consider HRT.
Are you a candidate for hormone replacement therapy?
HRT has long been used to treat severe or disruptive menopause symptoms. But not every woman is a good candidate for the treatment. Our team at Health Solutions may recommend that you avoid HRT if you have a personal or family history of:
- Hormone-related cancers (breast, ovarian, endometrial)
- Stroke, deep vein thrombosis, or a blood clot disorder
- Heart disease or its risk factors (high cholesterol or high triglycerides)
- Liver disease or gallbladder disease
We perform a complete medical exam and blood screening to assess your hormone levels so we can determine if it’s right for you and to set the exact supplemental hormone dose needed to restore your internal equilibrium and attain effective symptom relief.
To make an appointment and learn more about how you can find relief from disruptive menopause symptoms, call one of our locations of Health Solutions. You can also book a consultation online today.