Although we women may wish longingly for the day when our periods stop — and all the PMS, cramps, and other often unpleasant business that occurs with our menstrual cycle — menopause can present a host of new issues and things to worry over. It can be unsettling at first — many women experience perimenopause, which is a period in which your menstrual cycles are odd or different than they usually are. Almost 90% of women experience this and perimenopause can occur for at least four years before actual menopause begins. For some women, menoapuse can be incredibly uncomfortable and they may seek means of relief. One such menopause treatment is HRT (hormone replacement therapy).
What is Menopause?
As most women know it, menopause is simply the time when you stop having periods and stop being able to get pregnant. Women may experience symptoms such as vaginal dryness, mood swings, hot flashes, and an irregularity in periods.
Some Facts About Menopause
Did you know that things like your economics and overall mental and physical health can contribute to when your menopause may start? Statistics show that chronic depression or trouble with money can lead to early menopause, according to two studies tha were conducted in 2003. The Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health also released a report that showed women who had undergone long times of financial difficulty were more likely to enter menopause earlier.
Interestingly enough, even though our life expectancy has continued to increase over the years, the average age of menopause has not followed that trend. Women are experiencing the first stages of menopause at about the same time they were twenty or even fifty years ago.
My Symptoms Are So Bad. What Can I Do?
If you’re looking for menopause solutions, some doctors may recommend HRT, which is a relatively safe menopause treatment that women can use for at least five years. Despite concerns, it has not been shown to be associated with increased risk of heart disease — although, as ever, you should get regular screenings and monitor your blood pressure.
HRT can help relieve your symptoms and in some cases, even help defend you against osteoporosis. It can also help boost your sex drive — an extra bonus, if you’ve been anxious about it waning.
There also isn’t one blanket type of HRT for everyone — it’s tailored to you and your body. You and your doctor can decide how much you take and what kind of hormones you’re putting in your body. You might choose to take just estrogen, a combination of estrogen and progesterone, or tibbolone, a man made hormone. You should talk with your doctor before making your decision, as he or she is certainly better equipped to advise.
If you’re squeamish about needles — no fear! You can take HRT in tablet form, adhesive patch, or nasal spray. For less bother, you can even get it inserted under the skin for a longer term solution.
Don’t be worried about feeling anxious about menopause. It’s a big topic in womens health and you want to feel as informed about it as possible.