Perimenopause and Menopause – What you need to know about HRT
Every female will eventually pass through perimenopause and menopause.
There is no way to avoid it. However, how a woman experiences these phases of her life will vary significantly from no symptoms at all to major changes that have a dramatic impact on her quality of life. So what can be done to ease the menopausal transition and bring quality back to a woman’s life?
First, let’s define what perimenopause and menopause is.
Perimenopause is defined as the lead up to natural menopause and is when the ovaries are running out of eggs. Usually this occurs in a woman’s 40s and can be accompanied by major hormonal fluctuations. Yes, it can feel like you are on a hormonal rollercoaster!
Menopause is defined as a woman’s last period, however as periods can become erratic in perimenopause, the diagnosis is actually retrospective and can only be confidently pronounced after 12 months of no periods. In most women menopause occurs between the ages of 45-55 but in some women it can be earlier or later.
So now, let’s look at the symptoms of perimenopause and menopause:
- Hot Flushes
- Night Sweats
- Aches and Pains
- Crawling or Itchy Skin
- Dry Skin
- Vaginal dryness
- Loss of Libido
- Difficulty concentrating
- Change in memory
- Mood swings
- Low moods
- Early morning waking
- Weight gain
- Urinary problems
In a recent study, it was found that 29% of women under 55 years of age were having severe symptoms, and these were still occurring in 15% of women aged 55-59. It”s no wonder that some women feel that their life is spiralling out of control!
But, there is good news. You don’t need to suffer. Hormone Replacement Therapy & Treatments are available that can restore normality and sanity to your life through HRT – Hormone Replacement Therapy.
Not all HRT is Created Equal
As soon as HRT is mentioned, this conjures up fears of breast cancer due to media reporting of the WHI study in 2002. But let’s take a closer look at what the research to date has to say about safety of HRT.
First of all, it’s important to understand that there are different types of hormones and different types of HRT. Oestrogens used in HRT can be the same as that produced in the body – bio-identical, or sourced from pregnant mare’s urine.
Similarly the progestins used in HRT are synthetic progesterone like compounds, whereas progesterone is the same hormone as that produced in the body or bio-identical.
Why is this important to know?
There have been several significant studies looking at breast cancer risk and the different types of HRT. The good news is that the oestrogen- progesterone combinations of HRT did not increase the risk of breast cancer, unlike the oestrogen- progestin combinations. So there is a safer version of HRT!
And there is more good news about the use of progesterone containing HRT. It doesn’t have the antagonising action on beneficial cardiovascular effects of oestrogen that the synthetic progestins have.
But wait, there’s more! If you ever felt moody or irritable taking the oral contraceptive pill, chances are you will also with progestin containing HRT. But not with progesterone containing HRT! Progesterone is much better tolerated in these circumstances and also can be have a beneficial action on sleep.
So there is no need to suffer anymore with those incredibly annoying symptoms of menopause. Effective and safe treatment is available in the form of HRT using oestrogen- progesterone combinations. Not all HRT is created equal!