Hormones play an important part in the functioning of the human body. When hormones are unbalanced, it can cause a variety of unpleasant symptoms. Generally, hormones decrease around the age of menopause, but other conditions can also require the replacement of hormones artificially. Here are a number of questions that women often have about hormone replacement and its effects:
What Causes Hormone Imbalance?
Estrogen is the primary female hormone, which naturally decreases as women approach the age of menopause. Hormone deficiency can also result from surgical removal of the ovaries. In this case, a physician will prescribe hormone therapy to replace the estrogen that the woman would normally receive from her ovaries until the age of menopause. Genetics and high levels of daily stress can also affect hormone levels and may require hormone replacement therapy.
What Are the Symptoms of Low Hormone Levels?
Women entering menopause may suffer from hot flashes, disturbed sleep, mood swing and vaginal dryness because of decreasing hormone levels in the body. Low hormone levels can also cause fatigue, low libido, night sweats and other symptoms.
What Is Hormone Therapy?
Hormone replacement therapy is designed to replace the hormones that the human body normally produces. These hormones are synthetically produced in pharmaceutical laboratories and function much like natural hormones. Estrogen is often combined with progesterone for greater safety. Hormones can be administered in many forms such as pills, creams and patches.
What Are the Benefits of Hormone Therapy?
Hormone therapy can produce a number of beneficial effects, including:
* Relief from hot flashes
* Better sleep patterns
* Fewer mood swings
* Reduced risk of osteoporosis, a bone thinning that occurs with age.
Does Hormone Therapy Have Side Effects?
Some women may experience breast pain when under hormone therapy. Headaches and nausea have also been reported. Vaginal bleeding and blood clots can also occur. These side effects can often diminish after a few weeks or can be relieved by adjusting the dosage of hormone.
Is Hormone Therapy Safe?
Each patient should discuss the safety of hormone replacement therapy with their physicians before starting a course of treatment to ensure that she understands the risks. Experts recommend that each patient’s medical history be thoroughly reviewed before treatment to ensure safety.
Are Bioidentical Hormones Better or Safer?
Bioidentical hormones use both natural and synthetic hormones to match the hormone molecules in each person’s body. They can be customized to suit each patient’s needs. They are considered as safe to use as traditional hormone therapy.