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Hormone Replacement Therapy

OB-GYN Associates PC -  - Obstetrics

OB-GYN Associates PC

Obstetrics & Gynecology located in Cedar Rapids, IA

When your life is disrupted by hot flashes and you can’t sleep due to night sweats, hormone replacement therapy may be the solution you need. Therapy helps your hormone levels return to normal, so you get relief from menopause symptoms and prevent further health problems that may develop. The team at OB-GYN Associates PC have extensive experience in helping women manage menopause. If you have questions about whether hormone replacement therapy is a good choice for you, call the office in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, or book an appointment online.

Hormone Replacement Therapy Q & A

When do you reach menopause?

Your transition into menopause begins in the 3-5 years before your periods stop. During this time, called perimenopause, your hormone levels start to fluctuate, causing changes in your menstrual periods.

You reach menopause when your ovaries stop producing hormones and you don’t have a period for 12 consecutive months. Although the timing is different for each woman, the average age of menopause is 51.

What symptoms develop during menopause?

Your symptoms can begin during perimenopause, then they can continue for many years after menopause. The symptoms that develop when estrogen levels drop include:

  • Hot flashes and night sweats
  • Mood swings
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Low sex drive
  • Frequent urination
  • Urinary tract infections

Each woman’s journey is different, however. Some breeze through menopause with minimal symptoms, while others may develop severe symptoms.

What other health problems develop during menopause?

Estrogen has a broad influence throughout your body. It keeps your blood vessels elastic, regulates bone metabolism, and helps skin stay hydrated. As a result, a decline in estrogen increases your risk of developing problems like osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, and even gum disease.

Loss of estrogen also affects vaginal health. After menopause, about half of all women develop a condition called vaginal atrophy.

What is vaginal atrophy?

Vaginal atrophy occurs when vaginal blood flow diminishes and tissues in the vagina become dry and less elastic due to low estrogen.

Vaginal atrophy causes symptoms such as:

  • Vaginal dryness, burning, and itching
  • Painful intercourse
  • Less lubrication during intercourse
  • Pain or burning during urination
  • Genital itching

Tissues in the urinary tract are also affected after menopause, which may cause urinary incontinence.

How does hormone replacement therapy restore your health?

Your doctor at OB-GYN Associates PC works with you individually, developing a customized treatment based on your age, symptoms, and overall health.

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is the most effective way to treat menopause, as restoring hormones to normal levels effectively alleviates your symptoms and prevents health problems like osteoporosis and vaginal atrophy.

Your HRT may contain estrogen, testosterone, and/or progesterone, depending on your age and medical history. It’s also available in a variety of forms, such as oral pills and transdermal patches.

You don’t need to suffer through menopause ‒ hormone replacement therapy can relieve your hot flashes and other symptoms. To get started on HRT, call OB-GYN Associates PC or book an appointment online.