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Your Guide to Hormone Replacement for Women

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November 22, 2023

When a woman gets older, her body will stop menstruating, which marks the start of menopause. During this transition into a new stage of life, certain hormone levels decrease, which can cause a woman to experience a number of symptoms. Nearly 85 percent of women have at least one symptom of menopause that negatively impacts daily life. The good news is there are safe treatment options such as hormone replacement therapy to address these symptoms. Here’s everything you need to know about hormone replacement for women.

What Is Hormone Replacement for Women?

women's hands holding a diagram of a uterus

Hormone replacement therapy, or simply HRT, is a treatment to help relieve menopause symptoms. Other terms for this therapy include menopausal hormone therapy and estrogen replacement therapy. As the name suggests, the purpose of hormone replacement therapy is to replace hormones that have decreased with the start of menopause. The hormones that are affected can include estrogen, progesterone, or both. Hormone replacement for women can be used to restore the balance of hormones in your body to alleviate uncomfortable and disruptive symptoms. Your healthcare provider will determine the right combination of hormones for your body’s specific needs.

The Role of Hormones in the Female Body

The hormones estrogen and progesterone play important roles in women’s bodies. Most people primarily associate estrogen with the menstrual cycle and reproduction, but also plays a role in bone health, helps lower cholesterol, fuels your brain, and keeps the vaginal lining healthy. Low levels of estrogen can lead to mood changes, cognitive decline, and increased risk of osteoporosis. The main role of progesterone is aiding in pregnancy and keeping the uterus healthy.

Signs That You May Need Hormone Replacement Therapy

menopausal woman lying in bed struggling to sleep

Hormone replacement therapy can help women whose quality of life is disrupted by menopause symptoms. Some signs and symptoms of menopause that may cause you discomfort or affect your quality of life include:

  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Hot flashes or night sweats
  • Low energy levels
  • Body, joint, or muscle aches
  • Memory problems
  • Bone loss
  • Discomfort with sexual activity
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Feeling unproductive
  • Getting upset more easily
  • Feeling out of control of your emotions or body

These are just some of the symptoms that can occur with menopause. They can range from very mild to extremely disruptive for different individuals. Thankfully, these symptoms can be managed with hormone replacement for women.

Benefits of Hormone Replacement for Women

Studies show that hormone replacement for women can help alleviate symptoms of menopause so that you can have improved sleep, sexual relations, and quality of life. Research has shown that hormone replacement therapy can reduce the risk of fractures in postmenopausal women aged 50 to 79. Hormone replacement may also protect nerve cells to support brain health. If you start hormone therapy before reaching menopause, it can reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by half. Other benefits may include a lowered risk of diabetes and colon cancer, decreased tooth loss, improved overall mental well-being, reduced joint pain, decreased risk of heart disease, and even a lower death rate.

Is Hormone Replacement Therapy Safe?

woman applying hormone replacement patch to her arm

Most women can safely use hormone replacement therapy. Like all medications and treatments, hormone therapy comes with a list of possible side effects. The most common side effects include headaches, stomach aches, and breast tenderness. Medical history can make you more at risk of developing serious complications. You may be more at risk if you have a history of blood clots, pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis, liver disease, or breast cancer. The form of treatment can mitigate some of these risks; for example, a hormone replacement patch has a lower risk of blood clots than other delivery methods. Your healthcare provider will be able to figure out the best option for you with the fewest risks.

Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy at Your Local Compounding Pharmacy

Here at Phipps Pharmacy, one of the compounding pharmacy services we specialize in is bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, or BHRT. We can compound hormones that are chemically identical to the ones your body makes. This makes it easier for your body to absorb the hormones it needs, helping to ease the unpleasant menopausal symptoms you may be experiencing.

Ask Phipps Pharmacy About Hormone Replacement for Women

Menopause can be a difficult transition for many women. You don’t need to suffer through unpleasant symptoms that interfere with your quality of life. If you are interested in hormone replacement therapy or would like to learn more about BHRT, our team of knowledgeable pharmacists can help. Contact Phipps Pharmacy today to learn more about hormone replacement for women so you can continue living your best life during this time of transition.