The main problem with menopause is that there is a drastic reduction in production of the female hormones. This is what causes all the physical discomfort and hot flushes in menopause. The popular line of treatment is to take menopause hormones externally. Substitution of menopause hormones can be in the form of oral medication or it can be local application in the form of topical ointments.
It is important to take these menopause hormones strictly under a doctor’s guidance. A doctor studies the patient’s symptoms and entire family history and then recommends the correct dose and combination of menopause hormones. This ensures that the patient is not at risk and is taking the right menopause hormone.
Women can take either one or both menopause hormones depending on their physical condition and age. Women who have undergone a hysterectomy must take both estrogen and progesterone. Such women have a greater risk of heart disease, blood clots and breast cancer. Women taking estrogen alone have a chance of suffering a stroke.
Menopause hormones give good relief from hot flushes and vaginal dryness. There is no proof that they prevent heart disease or improve one’s general health. The benefits of menopause hormones vary with age. Women with early menopause greatly benefit from a short course of menopause hormones. Older women who take menopause hormones have a greater risk of developing breast cancer or tumors.
Younger women do reduce their chance of heart disease by taking menopause hormones. A comprehensive study to determine the benefits and risks of menopause hormones in younger women is underway. The results of this study can provide vital clues for improving the health and quality of life of menopausal women in the years to come.
There is a need to regulate the duration of menopause hormones. One must take estrogen daily and progesterone about twice a week. The exact dosage varies with the patient’s symptoms and medical condition. However, it is worth taking menopause hormones for a short time and not on a continuous basis.
A woman must regularly review the dosage of menopause hormones with her doctor. If the hot flushes have ceased, she must stop taking menopause hormones gradually. She can also shift to other localized medication like creams and patches. Menopause hormones are not a cure for age related problems like osteoporosis and heart disease. They are the last step in therapy when other medications have failed for these medical conditions.
Thus, a doctor must prescribe menopause hormones only after a detailed study of the patient’s medical record. Menopause hormones are not a magic cure for the symptoms of menopause, but they do gradually lessen some of its symptoms like hot flushes.