If you’re in your fifties or sixties, you may have noticed you’ve started getting hot flashes from time to time. Your mood may shift faster or more dramatically, or you may have more trouble having sex. If any of this sounds familiar, it could mean you’re entering menopause, the period of your life when your body shuts down its reproductive systems.
Hormone therapy can help make menopause easier and more comfortable for you. Read on to discover five of the most popular forms of hormone therapy types and how you can pick the right one for you.
What Is Hormone Therapy?
Hormone replacement therapy is a treatment used to help relieve some of the symptoms of menopause. During menopause, your estrogen and progestin hormones begin decreasing. This can cause some of the symptoms you get with menopause – hot flashes, mood swings, etc.
Hormone replacement therapy helps to raise the levels of these hormones. This can make menopause easier as you’re going through it. It can improve your physical comfort, as well as keeping your sex life healthy and happy throughout your golden years.
One of the most popular forms of hormone therapy is an estrogen pill. Estrogen is one of the primary hormones female-bodied people have. It helps to regulate your periods, control vaginal lubrication, and contribute to the growth of secondary female sex characteristics.
Estrogen pills can be an easy, convenient way to regulate your hormone levels. Most of these pills are taken once a day with no food, though some have more complex dosing schedules. Make sure you talk to your doctor before beginning any form of estrogen dosing to make sure you’re managing your levels correctly.
Another popular way to raise your estrogen level is with a patch. These medicated patches stick onto the skin of your abdomen, and you usually wear them for a few days or up to a week at a time. They slowly release estrogen into your system without you having to remember to take a pill on schedule.
How long you wear an estrogen patch will depend on what sort of dose it offers. This method can also be a good option for people who are looking for a lower dose of estrogen. Some patches are so low dose that they are used only for osteoporosis treatment, rather than menopause management.
There are a few different estrogen preparations that are applied topically as well. Many of these gels, creams, and sprays are applied to the arms and legs to help estrogen absorb into your bloodstream through your skin. Some are applied once daily, although you should talk to your doctor about what dosage is right for you.
Some topical estrogen treatments can be applied vaginally. These are best for people who are dealing specifically with vaginal dryness, itchiness, or pain during sex. You can also get vaginal rings and tablets that combat the same problem and will need to be changed anywhere from every day to every three months.
Progestin is one of the other popular hormone therapy options. Most of the time, progesterone or progestin is taken in combination with estrogen. Pure estrogen can slightly raise your risk of uterine cancer, but taking estrogen with progesterone or progestin can help to mitigate that risk.
Like estrogen, progestin therapies come in an oral pill form. Most doctors will prescribe natural progesterone rather than synthetic progestin because it doesn’t cause as much weight gain as synthetic progestin can. Natural progesterone can also be a good option for people with high cholesterol.
There are a few intrauterine progestin treatment options that can work well for people who don’t want to take a daily pill. Your doctor inserts these devices into your uterus through your cervix, where they can stay for years. These will slowly release estrogen and progestin into your system and can be a good way to manage your symptoms through perimenopause.
It is important to note that progestin IUDs are not approved for menopause management in the United States. However, they are sold as birth control options and are safe and well-tested. If you have a Liletta, Kyleena, Mirena, or Skyla IUD, your doctor may recommend you keep it in through perimenopause.
Picking the Right Option for You
Choosing which of these hormone therapy types is right for you is a very personal decision. The first thing you should do when considering this is to talk to your doctor. They’ll be able to advise which option is best considering your risk of cancer, blood clots, high cholesterol, and other conditions.
You’ll also need to think about which treatment option will work best for your lifestyle. If you don’t want to live your life by a daily pill, a patch or cream may work best for you. But if you want a consistent, convenient dose of hormone therapy, oral treatments can be a great option.
Discover Different Hormone Therapy Types
Different hormone therapy types can be a great way to ease the symptoms of menopause as you go into your golden years. Estrogen and progesterone are the most popular hormones, but there are many different dose forms you can use. Talk to your doctor about which treatment option will work best for your body and your lifestyle.
If you’d like to rejuvenate your reproductive health, check out the rest of our site at NuFemme. We specialize in hormone replacement therapy, sexual health, medical weight loss, and more. Contact us today and start embracing the Nu you in the best years of your life.