Menopause symptoms can be a disruptive and unwelcome guest in any woman’s life. If you’re going through it, you know how life-altering it can be. If you aren’t there yet, you’re probably dreading the thought of it. When that time comes, Dr. Leonardo A. Longoria K. of Longoria OBGYN in El Paso, Texas, is here to help. He’s an expert in helping women manage their menopause symptoms with hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
Believe it or not, some women sail through menopause with minor complaints, if any at all, while other women find it unbearable. Symptoms range from mild to severe, and may include the following:
- Hot flashes - one minute you’re fine, the next minute you’re burning up
- Night sweats - you wake up in the middle of the night soaked in sweat
- Sore breasts - just like they used to get at that time of the month
- Fatigue - unexplained tiredness or feeling like you need a nap
- Foggy brain - you have a hard time concentrating at work or on tasks
- Weight gain - the dreaded “menopot” around your middle that won’t budge
- Mood swings - crying at the drop of a hat or getting angry faster than normal
- Incontinence - urine leakage when laughing, sneezing, or bending over
- Constipation - you develop problems going to the bathroom
- Heavy or irregular periods - you never know what will happen each month
- Trouble sleeping - you toss and turn all night long or suddenly wake up at 3am daily
- Lack of interest in sex - you can’t even remember the last time you were in the mood
- Vaginal dryness - when you do have sex, it may be uncomfortable or painful
Any of these symptoms are considered normal as your estrogen levels drop and your ovaries stop releasing eggs each month. You may have one or two symptoms, or you may have most of them. Luckily, Dr. Longoria can provide some relief with HRT.
What is HRT?
HRT is using medication made of hormones to stabilize your estrogen and progesterone levels.
Depending on your health history, you may be prescribed estrogen only, or both hormones.
Stabilizing your hormone levels is an art and a science. It may take some trial and error to get your hormone levels to a place where your symptoms subside to a tolerable level or go away completely. Won’t it be nice to feel normal again? You’ll be able to sleep better, think more clearly, and not have to worry about hot flashes catching you at inopportune times.
HRT is available as:
- Pills taken orally
- Patches worn on the abdomen
- Creams, gels, or sprays placed on various parts of your body
- Vaginal creams or tablets
With so many choices, you’ll be able to find the treatment you like best. Usually, women are encouraged to take the lowest effective dose of HRT for the shortest amount of time needed.
HRT benefits versus risks
As with any therapy or medication, benefits and risks must be weighed to make an educated decision. Dr. Longoria evaluates your current health and your health history to determine if HRT is right for you. HRT isn’t recommended for women with a history of cancer (especially hormone-related cancers of the uterus or breast), blood clots, heart disease or heart attack, liver disease, or stroke.
Because quality of life can be severely impacted by menopause symptoms, women rely on HRT to help them get through this midlife transition. To find out if HRT is right for you, request an appointment with Dr. Longoria online or call 915-201-1165 today.