EDUCATE. ADVOCATE. EMPOWER.
Transitions can be tough. When your body is involved, the road can be even bumpier. We’ll get you on the path to feeling and looking your best as you reach menopause and beyond. Options today have greatly increased when it comes to treating menopausal symptoms and issues. We take the time to educate you and, with your input, develop a unique treatment plan that addresses all of your concerns.
MENOPAUSE AND HORMONES
Menopause describes the period of time in a woman’s life during which ovulation and menstruation begins to decline.
Menopause usually begins between the age of 45-55 and can last several years. As the levels of estrogen in the body decline changes in menstrual cycles and menopausal symptoms appear.
Perimenopause is the transition into menopause, or when menopause symptoms begin to appear. Usually this starts at around age 47, however for some it can begin as early as age 35.
BALANCING ESTROGEN AND PROGESTIN
The hormones estrogen and progesterone counteract and balance each other. When an imbalance occurs menopause symptoms can occur. Too little estrogen can cause hot flashes, breast tenderness, an increased risk of osteoporosis; whereas, too much estrogen is often caused by diet, lifestyle, and environmental factors.
The human body naturally makes more of the hormone cortisol when it is under stress. Cortisol inhibits the body’s ability to make progesterone. Progesterone regulates levels of estrogen, so there is a hormonal chain reaction that occurs when an individual is experiencing higher amounts of stress.
MENOPAUSE TREATMENT OPTIONS
A variety of treatment options are available to alleviate bothersome menopausal symptoms. Relief can come in the form of patches, pills, rings, creams and sprays:
Estrogen Patches Containing estradiol, estrogen patches may come with a lower risk of blood clots than estrogen pills, making them a good option for women experiencing menopausal symptoms and / or loss of bone density.
Estrogen and Progestin Combination Patches Combination patches of estrogen and progestin are available to treat menopausal symptoms. The addition of progestin decreases the risk of uterine cancer. There are a number of types and sizes to choose from when it comes to patches.
Estrogen Pills Estrogen pills come in different varieties as well. There are conjugated estrogen pills, for example Premarin. There are estradiol pills, which contain the same estrogen that ovaries make prior to menopause. There are also combination pills that deliver both estrogen and progestin, reducing the risk of uterine cancer for menopausal women with a uterus.
Vaginal Estrogen Vaginal Estrogen is typically used to treat dryness as a result of menopause. Vaginal estrogen works by increasing blood flow to tissue, providing stretchiness and immediate relief.
During menopause the ovaries produce less of the estrogen hormone. This decline can be as much as 90%, causing unpleasant symptoms. Therefore different forms of estrogen are given to help alleviate these menopausal symptoms.
There are many types of tests for measuring estrogen and progesterone levels in the body. These tests are performed initially to get a baseline picture of your current hormone health. After a treatment program is tailored for your specific goals and hormone needs you will be tested again to get an accurate assessment of how well the program is working for you.
NON-HORMONAL TREATMENT OPTIONS
Not all women are good candidates for estrogen therapy. Women with breast cancer, for example, should not take postmenopausal hormone therapy because the health risks outweigh the potential benefits. Although alternative treatments for menopause may not be as effective as estrogen, they still can provide relief from the bothersome symptoms associated with menopause. Here are just a few options we can discuss with you:
Brisdelle: Brisdelle, or the drug Paroxetine, is prescribed in low doses to treat hot flashes.
Phytoestrogens: Phytoestrogens are chemical compounds derived plants and similar in structure to estrogen. They are found in soybeans, chickpeas, lentils, flax seed, grains, fruits, vegetables and red clover.
Moisturizers and Lubricants: A variety of topical medicines can be applied to effectively treat mild to moderate vaginal dryness, which is common to menopause.
Probiotics: Probiotics help to metabolize and recycle hormonal balance, help to reduce estrogen dominance, and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.