A little more than a decade ago, many women were scared by reports from the Women’s Health Initiative that hormone therapy might not be safe. The truth is that most healthy women with menopause can safely find relief of its symptoms with hormone therapy. Here, Marla Ahlgrimm explains the benefits and assesses the risks of using hormones to circumvent the worst of menopause.
According to Marla Ahlgrimm, hormone therapy is one of the best ways to reduce hot flashes, insomnia, brain fog, and night sweats. The right dose can also lessen the effects of vaginal dryness, which include feeling less pleasure during intercourse and itchiness. Many women also find relief of an overactive bladder by utilizing vaginal estrogen, something that has also been found to reduce recurrent urinary tract infections.
Marla Ahlgrimm further asserts that, under your doctor’s guidance, hormone therapy during menopause may also offer some protection against osteoporosis. For women who begin hormone therapy within a decade of menopause, a lowered risk of heart disease is another potential part. Those with a family history of or a lifestyle that might trigger diabetes may also receive protective benefits with hormone therapy.
Despite its benefits, Marla Ahlgrimm says that hormone therapy, like all other medicines, does pose some possible side-effects. Estrogen and estrogen/progesterone therapy may put some women at a greater risk of stroke. Certain types of cancer, including uterine and breast cancer, are also more prevalent in women taking certain types of hormone therapy. The good news here, especially for breast cancer, is that estrogen therapy has not been found to pose a risk unless taken for more than seven years.
Ultimately, Marla Ahlgrimm recommends that women discuss the benefits and consequences of hormone therapy with their doctors. Those experiencing severe menopause symptoms may find that getting relief now is worth the minor potential risks.