When menopause begins and estrogen levels start to plummet, so does the imperviousness of your bones, energy levels, heart, and libido. And even though replacing estrogen and/or progesterone can relieve those symptoms, there many women who are hesitant to begin hormone replacement therapy due to studies that indicate it may increase their risk for developing cancer and heart disease.
Assessing Your Health Risks and HRT’s Role
It is highly advisable that you confer with your doctor to know which the best course of treatment for you based on your specific risk factors and preferences is. Dr. Fay Weisberg can help you deal with all your menopausal concerns and determine the treatment that is most suitable for you.
We have here some information, however, that could help give you a clearer look at what HRT offers (vis-à-vis all the health conditions post-menopausal women are at risk for having):
Initiating HRT within a year of developing menopausal symptoms can be good for your heart. But there are other studies suggesting that estrogen is only good for you if you have healthy arteries. They say that if you already have clogged arteries, estrogen may actually be harmful.
Estrogen in your body helps control loss of bones, so lacking estrogen also means losing bone mass. The best way for you to prevent osteoporosis is by reaching peak bone mass before you reach menopause by regularly exercising and consuming a diet that is rich in vitamin D, magnesium, and of course, calcium.
Breast and Uterine Cancer
Increased estrogen levels also increase the risk of breast, uterine, and endometrial cancer, which should be considered if you decide to take HRT. If your family has a history of any of these cancers, you might want to approach HRT with caution.
The structure of the vagina also changes when one reaches menopause. Tissues are more delicate, thinner, and less elastic. That means sex can be uncomfortable even with the use of lubrication. There are, however, some topical estrogens that you can apply to reduce vaginal atrophy, which can greatly improve your quality of life.
Managing the fluctuations of your hormones during menopause can be challenging. Too little estrogen can put you at risk of osteoporosis or some forms of heart disease and an estrogen increase can put you at risk of getting breast, endometrial, and uterine cancer. The key, therefore, is finding the right balance. Dr. Fay Weisberg can help you maintain your health and wellbeing during these times.