Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) has been refined over the last decade to make it a safe, effective way to manage the symptoms of menopause and perimenopause. Hormone replacement therapy has been shown to alleviate many of the symptoms associated with menopause (when periods stop altogether) and perimenopause (in the years leading up to menopause). If a woman still has her uterus, estrogen and progestin are given via a pill, patch, gel, or spray. If she does not have her uterus, estrogen is given alone without progestin. Estrogen that is administered travels to the organs and tissues that need it while progestin helps reduce the risk of developing cancer associated with taking estrogen alone.
Estrogen has been shown to be the best course of treatment for hot flashes and night sweats that have been known to happen during perimenopause and menopause. It likewise prevents vaginal dryness and protects against the bone loss that commonly occurs in the early years of menopause. When combined with progestin, estrogen therapy has also been shown to reduce the risk of colon cancer.
In women who still have a uterus, estrogen-only therapy has been shown to cause thickening of the uterine lining and increase the risk of uterine cancer. There is a small risk of heart attack, stroke, deep-vein thrombosis, and breast cancer in women who are taking a combination of estrogen and progestin. These risks must be discussed with Dr. Ricci prior to beginning HRT as certain lifestyle factors can increase the likelihood of them occurring.
For more information on HRT or to discuss perimenopause or menopause symptoms and options for treatment, contact Newport Beach OB/GYN Medical Group, Inc. to schedule a consultation.
Feel free to email us regarding any scheduling or general questions!