If you're struggling with menopausal symptoms, your doctor may suggest that you consider hormone replacement therapy to help ease your symptoms. Luckily, there are several different options for hormone therapy, and your doctor can help you find the one that's the best fit for you depending on your situation. Here's a look at the hormone therapy options that you can discuss with your doctor.
Oral Estrogen Treatment
Oral estrogen treatments are typically administered in a tablet form and are taken once a day. In some situations, estrogen may be administered on a rotation where you take it for a few weeks and then skip it for a week to allow your body a break. For women at risk of osteoporosis, oral estrogen treatments can help to reduce those risks. Unfortunately, it can also increase your risk of heart problems and blood clots. If you haven't had a hysterectomy, you'll need to take progestin with this type of estrogen to avoid increasing your risk of uterine cancer.
Topical Estrogen Administration
A topical estrogen treatment is an alternative to the oral medications. Topical estrogen comes in several forms, including spray, gel and patches. You can even choose internal applications in the form of rings or creams. Your doctor may recommend that you use topical estrogen treatments daily or weekly depending on your condition. In the case of the internal ring, it should be replaced every few months. This type of estrogen carries many of the same risks as the oral treatment, and it also can cause skin irritation where you apply the patch or spray.
Progestin therapy is typically added with some forms of estrogen if you still have your uterus intact. If you've had a hysterectomy, it isn't necessary, but if you haven't, the progestin can help prevent the uterine lining from growing too thick. Thick uterine linings can increase your risk of cancer, so it's best to keep this at bay. You can take progestin as a separate supplement, or you can get an estrogen pill that includes progestin as well. Depending on your situation, your doctor may advise that you need to take progestin throughout the whole month. In other cases, you may be able to take it for part of the month in the same cyclical schedule as the estrogen. It's best to be attentive to your body's response to progestin. It can cause some swelling, breast soreness and weight fluctuations.
With so many options, your doctor should be able to find a therapy that works for you. In some cases, you may need to work with a hormone replacement clinic like Genemedics Health Institute where you can explore these choices and more.