Hysterectomy and Menopause
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When you go through menopause, you stop menstruating. And when you undergo a hysterectomy, the effect is the same. Yet a hysterectomy and menopause are distinctly different.
Transcript: Hysterectomy, which is the removal of the uterus, is the second most common surgery among women in the...
Hysterectomy, which is the removal of the uterus, is the second most common surgery among women in the United States. In fact, with 600,000 performed every year, it is only by cesarean section deliveries. The uterus, or womb, is the organ in the lower abdomen where a baby develops when a woman is pregnant, and it is the uterus that is removed during a hysterectomy. The ovaries, which produce eggs and female hormones like estrogen, may also be removed. This combination is called a hysterectomy and oophorectomy. A doctor decides that a hysterectomy should be performed for a number of reasons. In only ten percent of cases, the procedure is done to treat cancer of the reproductive organs. The remaining 90 percent of hysterectomies are performed for noncancerous conditions. Among them is endometriosis, where uterine tissue grows outside of the uterus, often leading to chronic pain. A woman who has had a uterine prolapse, wherein her uterus has slipped into the vagina, may also require a hysterectomy. Women who have fibroids, which are noncancerous tumors on the womb, often need hysterectomies as well, because the condition may cause severe pain or bleeding. In fact, fibroids are the leading cause of hysterectomy in the United States. But whatever the reason for a hysterectomy, the removal of the uterus itself will NOT trigger the start of menopause. This is confusing for many patients because menopause is technically defined as the cessation of the menstrual cycle for twelve consecutive months. Yet women who undergo hysterectomies will stop menstruating immediately after the procedure. However, menopause actually occurs when the bodys ovaries begin to produce less and less of the female hormones estrogen and progesterone. This natural reduction in hormones is the reason for many of the symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes, insomnia, and vaginal dryness. Because women who have hysterectomies alone still have their ovaries, they will not undergo menopause until their hormone production slows naturally as they age. Having a hysterectomy may actually speed this process by two or three years, but does not trigger an immediate onset of menopause. Researchers theorize that this may be due to a reduction in blood supply to the ovaries, which in turn diminishes their ability to make estrogen and maintain a normal reproductive cycle. Its important to understand that women who have had an oophorectomy are in a different situation. When the ovaries are removed along with the uterus, hormone production will stop and menopause will begin immediately after the surgery. If your doctor decides that you are a good candidate for a hysterectomy, or a hysterectomy and oophorectomy, make sure you discuss the procedures short and long-term effects on your body.More »
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The symptoms of menopause can be subtle, or sometimes overwhelming. Learn how to recognize when you might be starting the process.
Transcript: As a woman grows older, her ovaries gradually produce less of the hormone estrogen. This time, called...
As a woman grows older, her ovaries gradually produce less of the hormone estrogen. This time, called perimenopause, continues until menstruation ceases altogether. When a woman doesn't menstruate for twelve consecutive months, she has officially entered menopause. This "change of life" usually occurs between 50 and 52, although some women experience menopause as early as their 40s, and a small percentage do so in their early 60s. Estrogen depletion is a gradual process, which means perimenopause can last anywhere from mere months to several years. Perimenopause usually begins with a gradual decline in fertility. Women trying to conceive after the age of 35 may notice this symptom in particular. Fluctuating hormones can also cause a woman's periods to become irregular. She may have no period one month, or a particularly heavy one the next. Once periods stop completely and menopause begins, many women experience more symptoms. The most common among these are hot flashes, also known as vasomotor symptoms. A hot flash is a sensation of heat or feverishness, mostly in the face, neck and upper chest, which is often accompanied by reddened skin. Hot flashes may last from several seconds to a few minutes. A minority of women report heart palpitations and feelings of anxiety while having flashes, but more commonly they have sweats and chills when the episode is over. Although no one is exactly sure why hot flashes accompany menopause, it is speculated that the dwindling of estrogen causes the brain's temperature control system, located in the hypothalamus, to reset itself at a higher temperature. Because decreased estrogen also causes the vaginal lining to thin, secretions can diminish. This often leads to another common menopausal symptom: vaginal dryness and irritation. These symptoms, in addition to decreasing testosterone levels, which are vital to libido, contribute to the lowered sexual interest experienced by so many menopausal women. In addition, some women suddenly have difficulty remembering information and concentrating on tasks, perhaps, again, due to hormonal shifts. Insomnia is another common complaint during this time. Some experts attribute this to nighttime hot flashes, while others suggest that changes in sleep patterns are just a common sign of aging. During both perimenopause and menopause, many women suffer from mood swings, anxiety and bouts of depression. Current wisdom, however, suggests that an upbeat view of menopause as a time of new possibilities not only eases symptoms, but enhances this transition as a positive life experience. If you're experiencing problematic symptoms of menopause, please make an appointment to speak with your doctor about treatments which can help!More »
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Would you know the signs of menopause if you began experiencing them? Find out more about what menopause is and what signs to look out for.
Transcript: Unfortunately, the only SURE sign that a woman has entered menopause is that she has gone twelve months...
Unfortunately, the only SURE sign that a woman has entered menopause is that she has gone twelve months without a menstrual period, with no underlying medical reason. Thus, a woman whose menstrual periods have become irregular should start tracking them on a calendar to share with her doctor. Yet many women want more concrete (and quicker) evidence that they are indeed undergoing menopause. There are several tests that may help offer conclusive evidence. During perimenopause, which precedes menopause, the ovaries begin to produce less estrogen, in turn causing the vaginal walls to thin. A simple Pap-like smear will allow a doctor to diagnose vaginal atrophy, which is the thinning and drying out of the vagina. The results, in conjunction with careful menstrual cycle records, may help your doctor to identify menopause. Another test which may help in diagnosing menopause checks levels of follicle-stimulating hormone, or FSH. FSH is a hormone released by the brain's pituitary gland to trigger estrogen production. During perimenopause, FSH levels will fluctuate widely, as estrogen production cycles up and down. But during menopause, FSH levels become elevated as the body attempts to stimulate the ovaries to produce more estrogen and maintain the menstrual cycle. A doctor can determine how much FSH a woman has with a blood or urine test. Levels above 50 units per liter are usually indicative of menopause, as compared to the 5 to 30 units found in a menstruating woman. Home menopause testing kits are sold in drugs stores. These require a urine sample which also tests FSH levels. No matter where an FSH test is done however, it's important to remember that the results are just one component of identifying the onset of menopause. This means they only show elevated levels of FSH in the body, and are NOT 100 percent indicative that menopause has begun. To make that diagnosis, a doctor will also need to perform a complete medical history and physical, as well as study a woman's menstrual records and lab results. As a doctor runs tests to determine menopausal onset, he or she should also look into a woman's bone density. This is because lack of estrogen contributes to bone-weakening characteristic of osteoporosis. Unfortunately, symptoms of osteoporosis may not develop until bone loss is fairly extensive. For this reason, many doctors will also take bone mineral density tests at the time when menopause is approaching. A bone mineral density test, or DEXA, can quickly measure the amount of calcium in bones, in turn showing a doctor how strong they are. This test can be performed by several methods, including an x-ray or an ultrasound. While menopause can be a challenging time for many women, enlisting the aid of a support system including medical professionals and other women can help. If you have concerns about menopause or its symptoms, please make an appointment with your doctor today.More »
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Is hormone therapy right for you? Find out the pros, cons and details of the hormone therapy debate in this video.
Transcript: From the 1960s to the late 1990s, hormone replacement therapy, or HRT, was the gold standard for treating...
From the 1960s to the late 1990s, hormone replacement therapy, or HRT, was the gold standard for treating the hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, and other characteristic symptoms of menopause. Not only did HRT appear to alleviate menopausal symptoms, it was also found to help prevent the bone-weakening disease, osteoporosis, a particularly serious problem for post-menopausal women. Further research even suggested that estrogen therapy might lower the risk of heart disease. It was little wonder, therefore, that by 1990, the estrogen replacement drug Premarin, was the most frequently prescribed medication for menopause in the United States. Then, in 2002, a study by a group called the Women's Health Initiative, threw all the commonly held beliefs about hormone therapy into question. This study measured the long-term effects of estrogen-only hormone therapy, which was the treatment of choice for post-hysterectomy women, and the more commonly used combination therapy of estrogen plus progesterone. Surprisingly, both trials were called to a halt years before completion, because it appeared that the risks of hormone treatment significantly outweighed the benefits. The study found that in the group of 10,000 women taking combination hormone therapy, there were 18 more life-threatening blood clots, 8 breast cancer diagnoses, 7 more strokes, and 6 more heart attacks than in women taking placebos. At the same time, women using estrogen-only therapy did share the increased risk of strokes, but suffered none of the other negative consequences. The Women's Health Initiative study DID, however, have some positive findings. It showed that women utilizing combination therapy were indeed less likely to develop osteoporosis. They also had lower rates of colon cancer. But because the data were largely negative, an estimated 6 million women using hormones were urged to consult with their doctors, most of whom recommended hormone therapy cessation. Today, although HRT is no longer the mainstay for symptomatic menopause, for some women with severe menopausal symptoms, the benefits outweigh potential risks. For these patients, doctors seriously consider family history as well as personal risk factors, and then prescribe the smallest dose of hormone for the shortest possible time. Women with breast cancer or a history of blood clots, however, are strongly advised not to try HRT for menopausal symptoms. Using HRT is an individual decision for each woman. Many severely affected women are unwilling to forgo its benefits, while those with milder discomfort are reluctant to assume its risks. If YOU have troublesome menopausal symptoms, please discuss hormone replacement with your doctor. Together, consider your family history and personal risk factors, and assess the severity of your symptoms. And remember...there ARE alternative therapies that could be right for you!More »
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Hormone therapy can be effective in treating symptoms of menopause. Watch this video to learn about this treatment.
Transcript: Despite a few tough years in the media and in research studies, hormone replacement therapy remains the...
Despite a few tough years in the media and in research studies, hormone replacement therapy remains the most effective treatment for the hot flashes and vaginal discomfort which are characteristic of menopause. So how does it work? In the years prior to and during menopause, a woman's ovaries slowly begin decreasing production of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. Inadequate levels of these hormones are the cause of most menopausal symptoms. Hormone replacement therapy, or HRT, restores these hormonal levels, therefore causing a reduction in symptoms. There are two types of HRT. The first, estrogen-only therapy, is recommended ONLY for women who have undergone a hysterectomy, which is the surgical removal of the uterus. Although studies have found that estrogen-only therapy carries fewer risks of serious side effects, it should NOT be taken by women who have not had a hysterectomy. This is because the estrogen-only treatment can increase the risk of endometrial malignancy, or cancer of the uterine lining. Women with intact uteruses are advised to take combined hormone therapy, which adds the hormone progesterone to an estrogen regimen. The addition of progesterone to estrogen therapy is vital because this hormone promotes the sloughing of the uterine lining each month, thereby reducing the risk of endometrial cancer. Regardless of which type of HRT your doctor prescribes for you, you'll have many options for how the hormone is administered. The most common form is taken orally as a pill. Some tablets, like Prempro, combine estrogen and progesterone in a single pill, while others contain estrogen OR progesterone only. Women who prefer an alternative to pills may choose a transdermal patch, which delivers hormones gradually through the skin over several days. The patch can be placed on hidden areas such as the hips and buttocks, and the placement can be rotated with each change. Some estrogen therapy products, such as the vaginal ring, are inserted directly into the vagina and release hormones gradually for about three months before replacements are necessary. One brand of vaginal ring, called Estring, produces local effects only, meaning that it treats vaginal symptoms alone. Another form, Femring, alleviates hot flashes as well as vaginal discomfort. Creams and tablets are also inserted directly into the vagina to relieve localized symptoms. These contain estrogen alone, however, and thus are ineffective for relief of hot flashes. For this reason, women who have not undergone hysterectomy generally need to add a progesterone pill to complete their treatment. Whichever form of HRT you choose, it is vital to follow your doctor's instructions precisely, and to take the hormones only for the time prescribed. Hormone replacement therapy is a very individualized treatment. If you're experiencing symptoms of menopause and are interested in hormone supplementation, please speak with your doctor.More »
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Dealing with menopause doesn’t necessarily mean you have to opt for hormone replacement therapy or HRT. Watch our video on hormone therapy alternatives to explore your options.
Transcript: If you're experiencing any of the unpleasant symptoms of menopause, you're probably searching for relief....
If you're experiencing any of the unpleasant symptoms of menopause, you're probably searching for relief. Although hormone replacement therapy remains a popular treatment choice for some, other women are increasingly concerned about HRT's risks. These women may prefer to use one of several non-hormone prescription drugs that have been shown to be at least somewhat effective in preventing or relieving hot flashes. Two antidepressants, Effexor and Paxil, are reportedly effective at relieving the depression and mood swings which can accompany menopause. Finally, the anti-hypertensive medication clonidine can lessen the severity and frequency of hot flashes in selected healthy individuals by modulating blood vessel activity. However, potential side effects are serious and include agitation, anxiety, excess sedation and severe withdrawal, making this a last-choice medication for vasomotor symptoms. Some women suffering from more mild menopausal symptoms prefer to avoid prescription medication altogether and utilize natural remedies, such as over-the-counter herbs and plant estrogens. Some of the more popular herbal products include black cohosh, which is believed to relieve hot flashes and improve mood, and red clover, which may also reduce hot flashes and vaginal irritation. Women who prefer to take "natural" hormones may choose those derived from plants, or "phytohormones," which are found in wild yams. It's important to note that although many patients utilizing these natural products attest to their effectiveness, there are NO conclusive studies demonstrating efficacy for any of them! In addition, some of these alternative menopause treatments have been shown to have negative side effects ranging from excess facial hair to liver and kidney toxicity. For this reason, you should discuss any supplement program with your doctor. It's good to know that many women with mild to moderate symptoms can find relief with simple lifestyle changes. For example, some have found yoga and deep-breathing exercises helpful for mild hot flashes. Keeping track of hot flashes and identifying the factors that trigger them may also help. Some common triggers include stressful situations, spicy food, smoking, alcohol, caffeine, and hot air, hot water and hot weather. For women who suffer from vaginal discomfort, over-the-counter creams may make all the difference. If loss of libido is a problem, a woman may join peer support groups in real-time or on the internet. Peer support is widely accessible and has been repeatedly shown to be one of the most effective long-term 'therapies.' In general, treating the symptoms of menopause is a highly individualized process, and should include the input of a health care professional. If you're struggling with menopausal symptoms, speak with your doctor to discuss the best treatment plan for YOU!More »
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Menopause marks the permanent end of fertility. And that end typically comes around age 42, as estrogen and progesterone levels decline.
Transcript: You've heard about it for years. Grandmothers, mothers, aunts, all talking about it. Some may fear...
You've heard about it for years. Grandmothers, mothers, aunts, all talking about it. Some may fear it, some curse it, and others embrace it - it's The Change of Life - menopause. But all the buzz aside, do you really KNOW what menopause is? When it happens? And what to expect when it does? Menopause marks the permanent END of fertility. After about age 42, as estrogen and progesterone levels decline, the ovaries stop releasing eggs every month and the menstrual cycle becomes irregular. These years leading up to menopause are called perimenopause. That's when hot flashes, mood swings, heart palpitations night sweats, fuzzy brain and chronic sleep problems can make you feel like you've lost control of your life - and your mind. This can go on for 2 years, or as long as 8, until your periods disappear. Menopause is confirmed when you go 12 consecutive months without having a period. On average, a woman is 51 when this happens, but it can normally occur anywhere between the ages of 45 and 60. Sometimes menopause occurs earlier than expected. This is either because of early OR induced menopause. Early menopause is a result of genetic irregularities or an autoimmune disorder that attacks the ovaries. INDUCED menopause is triggered by medical treatments, such as chemotherapy or radiation, or surgical procedures such as a hysterectomy or removal of the ovaries. If perimenopause symptoms are making you uncomfortable, make an appointment with your gynecologist. She'll be able to help you get through the journey to menopause as comfortably as possible. For more information on the menopause journey, check out other videos in this series.More »
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Missed periods. Sporadic hot flashes. Sudden weight gain. Severe headaches. You've just entered perimenopause. Find out what this 2-8 year period is all about.
Transcript: Missed periods. Sporadic hot flashes. Sudden weight gain. Severe headaches. You're thinking, this is...
Missed periods. Sporadic hot flashes. Sudden weight gain. Severe headaches. You're thinking, this is menopause, ISN'T IT? Not so fast. Menopause is actually the permanent END of fertility. Meaning estrogen production levels have dropped and the ovaries are no longer releasing eggs. What you're experiencing is PERIMENOPAUSE -- the turbulent 2 to 8 year PREmenopause phase. It's during these years that reproductive hormone levels rise and fall, and you experience a variety of symptoms that affect your bodily functions and your mood. Here, we'll focus on the fluctuations in bodily functions that are common during perimenopause. Perimenopause can begin as early as your late 30s or as late as your mid-50s, but on average it makes its grand entrance at 42. During EARLY perimenopause, when there are often sudden surges of estrogen levels, you experience the first fluctuations in your menstrual cycle - they may become shorter or longer -- and some women get more frequent headaches. During LATE perimenopause, when estrogen levels plummet, other physical symptoms can begin. They include: Hot flashes and night sweats. They affect about 75 percent of women and often disrupt sleep. That leads us to the next symptom - fatigue. It can result from various symptoms, making it hard to fall or stay asleep - night after night after night. Other common symptoms are breast tenderness, urinary incontinence, vaginal dryness, thinning hair and skin, and weight gain. This so-called middle-age spread happens when fat cells in the body become the main producers of estrogen, and that adds extra pounds - and increases cholesterol levels. Other possible symptoms are: Muscle and joint aches and stiffness. They affect about 50% of women. And heart palpitations, which cause your heart to race or pound wildly. They are triggered by rising levels of follicle stimulating hormones as the body struggles to stimulate ovulation. To learn about the emotional ups and downs of the journey toward menopause, check out other videos in this series.More »
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Chances are you’re riding the emotional and cognitive rollercoaster that’s triggered by declining estrogen levels. Hold on! This perimenopause ride could last 2-8 years.
Transcript: If you're waking up soaking wet from dreams of plunging into a hot tub or your heart beats like a preteen...
If you're waking up soaking wet from dreams of plunging into a hot tub or your heart beats like a preteen at a One Direction concert, they're probably not the only PREmenopause symptoms you have to deal with. Chances are you're also riding the emotional and cognitive rollercoaster that's triggered by declining estrogen levels. PRE or perimenopause can last from 2 to 8 years. That's when declining estrogen levels eventually cause the end of ovulation and the onset of MENOPAUSE -- For most women it starts around the age of 42. And it ushers in a variety of emotional symptoms. Mood swings hit almost everyone - and they can make you feel on top of the world one moment and plunge you into depression, anger, and sadness the next. You may also find you're not so interested in sex - even if you always thought your partner was amazingly appealing. Ovulation is associated with increased arousal - and when ovulation is erratic or stops - well, so does the hormone-driven urge for romance. If it bothers you, talk to your doctor about ways to treat boost your libido. And talk to your partner - together you can find ways to stimulate your passions. There is also pre-menopausal brain fog to contend with. Your memory goes; you have trouble thinking clearly; you are less quick witted. And it is really irritating. If you have severe premenopausal symptoms-don't try to tough them out; ask your physician for help managing them with meds and lifestyle changes. You can find relief. To find out your treatment options for all the symptoms of perimenopause, check out other videos in this series.More »
Last Modified: 2012-10-02 | Tags »
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When your period stops, there can be noticeable shifts in how your body functions – from your sexual response to your cardiovascular system.
Transcript: When your period stops and your ovaries no longer produce much estrogen, AND progesterone , there can...
When your period stops and your ovaries no longer produce much estrogen, AND progesterone , there can be noticeable shifts in how your body functions - from your sexual response to your cardiovascular system. And although the SYMPTOMS of menopause usually fade, the physiological changes they usher in DO NOT. So, whether menopause is in FRONT of you, you're in the throes of it, or you've already GONE THROUGH the transition--LIKE ME--you want to take steps today to make sure you are healthy, happy and strong. Here are 4 effective ways to minimize or avoid the most common POSTmenopause health challenges. 50% of postmenopausal women have heart disease. Not surprising, as 60 percent of women are overweight, half have high blood pressure and 40 percent have HIGH cholesterol. To reduce the risk factors for heart attack, stroke, diabetes and dementia, maintain a healthy weight; get regular physical activity 5 days a week; eat a diet low in saturated fats and high in veggies and whole grains, and reduce stress as much as possible. And IF YOU SMOKE: QUIT!. Osteoporosis, or brittle bone disease, affects around 15% of women 50 and older. Post-menopause, your bone mass decreases 1-2% annually. Young or old, you need high intensity exercise that is weight bearing, LIKE strength training, and adequate calcium and vitamin D3 . Protect your urinary and vaginal tissue. 50% of women suffer incontinence or increased risk of bladder infections, and pain during intercourse because of thinning vaginal skin. Do Kegels, get an estrogen ring or use estrogen cream TO IMPROVE DRYNESS AND LUBRICATION. Keep skin and hair healthy. The combination of age and lack of hormones contributes to thinning, wrinkling, collagen-deprived skin and thinning hair. Running, biking, and fitness programs can increase circulation, AND improve muscle tone,. And upgrade your diet to include only lean proteins, LOTS OF OLIVE OIL, and plenty of anti-oxidant-rich vegetables. That'll help pump life back into your skin and hair. For more information on managing menopausal symptoms, check out other videos in this series.More »
Last Modified: 2013-06-13 | Tags »
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Forty to 60 percent of women experience some degree of vaginal dryness because of menopause. Find out what's affecting the moisture, acidity and elasticity of the vaginal tissues.
Transcript: Forty to 60 percent of women experience some degree of vaginal dryness because of menopause. Estrogen...
Forty to 60 percent of women experience some degree of vaginal dryness because of menopause. Estrogen is crucial in maintaining the moisture, acidity and elasticity of the vaginal tissues. When levels decline, the tissues thin. Intercourse may cause pain, a burning sensation, and an increased susceptibility to tears.The thinning tissue also increases your risk for yeast and urinary tract infections. Fortunately, this problem can be easily and safely treated. First you want to try using water-based lubricants and moisturizers, as well as vitamin E oil to hydrate vaginal tissues during intercourse. For longer-term improvement in tissue strength, try adding flaxseed and phytoestrogen-rich soy products, such as tofu, edamame and tempeh, to your diet. And try a little YOU time. YOU HAVE MY PERMISSION!-Having an orgasm through manual stimulation can help promote blood flow to the vaginal tissues, in turn stimulating natural lubrication. In addition, studies have shown therapies like acupuncture, biofeedback, massage, and hypnosis are beneficial for some women. Topical estrogen therapy is the most effective approach - and it is SAFE for most women. The low dose estradiol vaginal ring provides 3 months of protection from tears and irritation. You can also opt for prescription vaginal creams or tablets that contain estrogen. Dosing varies depending on what problems you are having. Regular hormone therapy taken orally will ease vaginal dryness, as well as other menopause-related symptoms, but this delivers a higher dose and carries more risks. However, if you don't have other symptoms, such as hot flashes, or sleep problems due to night sweats, you can stick with the topical options. For more information on how to alleviate other menopausal symptoms, check out more videos in this series.More »
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HRT -- hormone replacement therapy, or simply HT for hormone therapy, as it's now called -- effectively manages menopause symptoms, such as hot flashes, mood swings, AND vaginal dryness. Find out how.
Transcript: When searching FOR menopause symptom relief, you've probably considered it all - exercise, diet, natural...
When searching FOR menopause symptom relief, you've probably considered it all - exercise, diet, natural supplements - but what about HRT? HRT -- hormone replacement therapy, or simply HT for hormone therapy, as it is now called -- effectively manages menopause symptoms, such as hot flashes, mood swings, AND vaginal dryness. These symptoms develop because of a decline in estrogen during the 2 to 8 years leading up to menopause. HT is also prescribed for women who go through menopause before the age of 40 or have induced menopause. THE hormone therapy replaces the estrogen and progesterone THAT"S MISSING FROM THE BODY, AND eases symptoms. Depending on the form and dose prescribed, length of use will vary. But most medical organizations agree that oral hormone therapy is safe to take for 5 years for women in the early stages of post-menopause without added risk for heart disease or breast cancer . Intravaginal delivery of the hormones is localized, not systemic, so much smaller doses can be given for extended use. But as with any medication there are side effects. Oral HT can cause bleeding, bloating, breast tenderness or enlargement, headaches, mood changes, and nausea. If this happens to you, try a lower dose! If you do decide to take oral HT, re-evaluate your dose and whether you need to continue it every six months. For more information on menopause, view the other videos in this series.More »
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While HT, or hormone therapy, as it is now called, certainly came with its benefits, it does have it's risks. See what they are
Transcript: When menopause symptoms hit actress Jane Seymour, they hit her hard. So at age 47 she weighed her options:...
When menopause symptoms hit actress Jane Seymour, they hit her hard. So at age 47 she weighed her options: diet, exercise, natural supplements, or hormone replacement therapy. She went with hormones. While HT, or hormone therapy, as it is now called, certainly came with its benefits, seven years down the line Seymour stopped because of what she feared to be risks of the therapy -- blood clots, stroke and breast cancer. But within months Seymour was back on hormones, this time at half the dose and taking it in a different form - a patch, rather than tablet. What worked for Seymour doesn't work for every woman. In fact, your best choice for HT depends on your age, health history, how long you've been having symptoms and what they are, and when your periods stopped. But the news is, you have a choice. After several years in which women were really SCARED away from considering hormones to treat symptoms , new recommendations have surfaced. Fifteen major medical and health organizations, including the North American Menopause Society and the Endocrine Society have joined together to advocate that up to FIVE years of HT is safe and effective for women who are NOT at increased risk of breast cancer or heart disease AND who are no more than 10 years past their last period. It is also recommended for women who have EARLY menopause, before the age of 40, or induced menopause because of a hysterectomy, for example. Determining what form of HT you will use, should be done in consultation with your doctor. You may only need topical preparations such as a vaginal estrogen ring to ease urinary problems and vaginal dryness. For hot flashes and heart palpitations or other persistent symptoms, oral hormone therapy that combines estrogen and progesterone or delivers estrogen alone -that's only for women who have had a hysterectomy-- can be very effective. Or you may opt for a patch or creams. There's also a progestin IUD that is used in conjunction with estrogen preparations. For more information on managing menopause symptoms, check out other videos in this series.More »
Last Modified: 2013-06-13 | Tags »
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