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Benefits and Risks of Hormone Therapy

Hormone levels in our bodies tend to drop or become unbalanced as we age, especially for women around the age of 50 as they approach menopause. Female hormones, such as estrogen and progesterone, which are produced by a woman’s ovaries, are important to maintain because they help sustain many female body functions. Estrogen helps maintain healthy blood cholesterol levels, prevent osteoporosis, develop, and maintain a woman’s reproductive system and a woman’s physical development. Progesterone regulates blood pressure, can improve mood and sleep, and also helps to maintain a woman’s reproductive system.

To supplement the decreasing hormones, hormone therapy is commonly used to replace the estrogen and progesterone a woman’s body stops making during menopause.

To understand how hormone therapy can help, let’s take a step back to discuss what happens during menopause. The decreased production of estrogen and progesterone during menopause can cause the body to gradually stop monthly menstrual periods and the ability to become pregnant. The change in hormone levels can bring on other side effects for women, such as a sudden warm sensation, commonly referred to as a ‘hot flash’, change in sleep habits and night sweats. Some women may even experience vaginal dryness, reduced sexual desire and mood swings. Hormone therapy can be very effective in treating such menopause symptoms.

Cheyenne OBGYN offers BioTE® Hormone Replacement Therapy that can help alleviate symptoms from hormonal imbalance. This type of treatment uses small pellets that have been created to replicate the molecular structure of your body’s natural hormones. The process only takes a few minutes. A small incision is made in the skin and a pellet is inserted.  Sourced from plants, this natural pellet releases hormones into your system. Because the pellet is as small as a grain of rice, stitches aren’t needed, and the process is painless.

There are other options of hormone therapy. One is estrogen that is absorbed into the body through the form of a pill, skin patch, cream, or spray. The other is a vaginal product, such as a cream, tablet, or ring, that is usually used to treat vaginal and urinary symptoms of menopause.

Hormone therapy can increase the risk of certain conditions like heart disease, stroke, blood clots, dementia, and breast cancer. These risks will depend on your age, type of hormone therapy and your medical history. Risks can be reduced by finding the best type of hormone product for your body and dosage. Consistent follow-up care with your doctor is important, as well as a healthy lifestyle – not smoking, eating healthy, exercising, and managing stress.

If you are experiencing severe menopausal symptoms or have a risk of osteoporosis, your doctor may consider hormone therapy. To decide if hormone therapy is a good choice for you, consult a doctor about your symptoms and health risks.

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