It’s impossible to guess how menopause will affect you until you’re experiencing it for yourself. Common complaints include hot flashes, irritability, vaginal dryness, and more. However, you don’t have to just live with the symptoms. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can supplement your supply of estrogen, making menopause more manageable.
With offices in Bellingham, Snohomish, and Everett, Washington, House Call Doctors of Pacific Northwest PLLC, including our team led by Bernadette Kimemia, DNP, ARNP, FNP-C, and Phyllis Muthee, NP, ARNP, provide hormone level testing and can recommend hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to help reduce or even eliminate menopause symptoms.
The end of your period isn’t the only sign of menopause, and it’s rarely the first. Most women begin experiencing menopausal symptoms long before their menstrual cycle stops, but they might not realize what’s causing their problems.
Common signs of menopause include:
Typically, menopause occurs in your early 50s, though it varies from person-to-person. The most notable sign of menopause is an irregular menstrual cycle. Your periods might begin occurring on a faster cycle, skip months, and then return without warning. This is why it’s important to keep track of your periods.
Once your period has stopped for a full 12 months, you are formally considered menopausal. However, this does not mark the end of your symptoms, and you might struggle with menopause well after you’ve been diagnosed.
Menopause is a natural phase of life, and some women find that they feel freer and happier once they’ve come out the other side.
That does not make menopause any easier, and many women struggle to feel comfortable in their bodies while undergoing so much change. Thinning hair and sagging breasts can affect your body image, while vaginal dryness and a reduced sex drive can make it difficult to enjoy intimacy.
During menopause, your body begins producing less estrogen. This hormone imbalance is what causes many of the unpleasant side effects of menopause. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can provide your body with the estrogen it’s no longer making, thus reducing your menopause symptoms.
Before committing to any form of HRT, you should be made aware of the risks. Some kinds of hormone replacement therapy can increase your risk of breast cancer, though many feel that the benefits outweigh those risks.
In some cases, HRT might not be the right choice for you at all. Talk with your physician if you have a history of:
Once you’ve been cleared to undergo HRT, you’ll be given options on how to take it. If one method doesn’t provide the results you’re seeking, you can easily switch to another. House Call Doctors of Pacific Northwest offer HRT in the following forms:
Struggling with symptoms of menopause? To get started with hormone replacement therapy, book your walk-in appointment, house call, or virtual visit with House Call Doctors of Pacific Northwest PLLC with a phone call or a click of the online scheduling tool now.