During the approximately 10-year transition to menopause, you’ll notice that perimenopausal symptoms frequently appear. They are essentially a less intense version of menopausal symptoms. You’ll notice changes and challenges happening in your body, from hot flashes and insomnia to mood changes, irregular periods, bone loss, conception issues, an increase in “bad” cholesterol, and even bladder issues, among others. These are all caused by hormone fluctuations in your body.
If you are experiencing these symptoms, either traditional or bio-identical hormone replacement therapy can be the key to reducing or eliminating the effects of perimenopause. Studies have shown that both kinds of therapies effectively help to reduce symptoms such as bone loss, intimate dryness, and hot flashes.
Bio-identical Hormone Therapy
While traditional, or synthetic, hormone therapy can be an efficient and helpful way to resolve perimenopausal symptoms, bio-identical hormone therapy can be even easier on your body. Discovered in the 1930s, this therapy uses a chemical compound crafted from wild Mexican yams that effectively imitates the progesterone your ovaries can produce. Whereas synthetic hormone replacements can contribute to causing certain forms of heart disease, cancer, and other side effects, bio-identical hormones mirror what your body does normally, making treatment even safer and simpler.
Benefits of Hormone Replacement Therapy
Resulting in improved energy, weight control, skin tone and sleep, hormone replacement therapy benefits your immune system, sleep cycle and metabolic rate, and helps to prevent diseases as well.
As your estrogen improves, you’ll also see an improved sensitivity to insulin, relief of many vasomotor symptoms, increased protection from excitotoxins and antioxidant relief, and even improved lipid profiles.
Of course, your first step is determining if you can indeed benefit from this type of treatment. Do you truly have an estrogen deficiency? One key test is whether or not you are still having a monthly period. If you are, you likely have a lot of estrogen in your body. If you are not, chances are you do have an estrogen deficiency. A new saliva hormone testing process is a reliable way to determine if a deficiency exists. If it does, treatment can be effective indeed. After all, hormones are so interconnected with the body that perimenopause sufferers are nearly as many as there are women.
To fully explore hormone levels, it’s not merely estrogen levels that should be evaluated. You should also take into consideration progesterone, testosterone, cortisol, and thyroid hormone levels as well.
Risks of Hormone Replacement Therapy
Naturally, along with the benefits of hormone replacement therapy, the risks should also be considered. Breast cancer, blood clots in the veins, and the necessity of prescribing progesterone along with estrogen to protect you from the possibility of uterine cancer must all be weighed. Another important consideration is age: Risks are greater for women over 60. Overall, consider the benefits versus risks and you’ll find that one way to beat the symptoms of perimenopause is to utilize hormone replacement treatment, whether synthetic or bio-identical.
Whether your symptoms of perimenopause are mild or severe, there are many ways to find relief — including hormone replacement therapy. Highly effective, this therapy can assist with fluctuating hormones and lower estrogen levels. If you’re experiencing symptoms of perimenopause, don’t wait, see a doctor to discuss your options for testing and treatment. To set up an appointment with Dr. Sarah Ghayouri with Dr. Sarah, call (858) 731-7601.