Women who are going through menopause may experience a variety of symptoms that negatively affect their quality of life. One way to relieve the symptoms is to take hormone replacement therapy (HRT) offered by Dr. Leonardo A. Longoria of Longoria OBGYN in El Paso, Texas. If you’re thinking about taking HRT, read on to learn if it's safe and what to expect if you take it.
What is hormone replacement therapy?
Hormone replacement therapy is the use of estrogen to boost your low estrogen levels and ease menopause symptoms like night sweats, hot flashes, and vaginal dryness.
Sometimes, another hormone called progestin is used in combination with estrogen. It all depends on your health history and whether you’ve had a hysterectomy (uterus removal). Dr. Longoria will discuss your HRT options with you and make recommendations based on the severity of your symptoms and your unique needs.
Types of hormone replacement therapy
There are two types of hormone replacement therapy. Systemic estrogen is absorbed and circulates throughout your body, and it works to improve most menopause symptoms. It comes in pills, patches, gels, creams, rings, or sprays. Vaginal estrogen is a lower dose that’s used to treat vaginal dryness. It comes in creams, rings, or suppositories applied directly to the vagina.
Is it safe?
Hormone replacement therapy is considered safe in women who don’t have health risks, like a history of blood clots, heart disease, or stroke. Ideally, you’ll take the lowest dose possible for the shortest amount of time to ease your symptoms. Otherwise, you’ll have a higher risk of developing blood clots or having a stroke.
We strongly believe the benefits of taking HRT outweigh the risks for most patients, but each situation is unique. Many of our patients report an improvement in their menopause symptoms, but working together is key.
Dr. Longoria monitors you at specific intervals to see how you’re feeling and makes adjustments to your dosage, if needed. Sometimes, it takes a while to get the hormone levels just right for your body.
What are the risks?
There are some risks associated with taking HRT.
- Heart attack, blood clots, or stroke
- Unexplained vaginal bleeding
- Breast or endometrial cancer
If you have any side effects or start to feel unwell, let us know right away.
How to reduce the risks
There are things you can do to reduce the risks of taking hormone replacement therapy.
- Losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight
- Getting enough exercise
- Stopping smoking
- Getting your stress levels under control
- Managing chronic health conditions like high blood pressure or high cholesterol
- Eating a healthy diet
It’s also important to be honest about how you’re feeling so Dr. Longoria can adjust the dosage or type of estrogen.
If you’ve been suffering from menopause symptoms and you’re ready to try hormone replacement therapy, request an appointment with Dr. Longoria today. Use our online booking tool or call 915-201-1165.