If you’re experiencing menopause symptoms, our providers may recommend estrogen replacement therapy to alleviate your symptoms. Many women find relief from bothersome symptoms like hot flashes, mood changes, and sleep disturbances commonly caused by menopause. This has led to many women wondering if estrogen replacement therapy actually stops or delays menopause. The short answer is no, but we’ll explore this more in this blog.
If you’re suffering from menopause symptoms, our team provides personalized treatment plans to help you feel your best. Make an appointment today to discuss your symptoms with our healthcare providers.
Since estrogen replacement therapy can often stop a lot of the symptoms of menopause, you might be wondering if it actually stops menopause. The answer is no. Estrogen replacement therapy doesn’t stop or delay menopause. Menopause is a natural process that women go through, not a condition that you can “cure.” So, even if you use HRT to help with menopause symptoms, you’re still technically in menopause.
Think of it like people with diabetes. They use insulin to control blood sugar levels. However, they are still diabetic even when they use insulin, as the medicine just helps control the effects and symptoms of diabetes. Menopausal women use estrogen replacement therapy to increase estrogen levels so they feel better during menopause and combat their symptoms.
To understand why estrogen-based hormone therapy doesn’t stop menopause, it’s important to first explain exactly what menopause is. You might know that menopause is when your periods stop for 12 consecutive months and that you can no longer get pregnant after reaching menopause. You might also know a lot of the common symptoms of menopause, like hot flashes, mood changes, and vaginal dryness. However, let’s explore exactly what menopause is.
Menopause typically occurs between ages 45 and 55. It happens when your ovaries stop producing female hormones estrogen and progesterone. This stops your menstrual cycle, so you no longer release eggs for fertilization. So, menopause is determined by your ovaries, not by the amount of estrogen and progesterone in your body. Low estrogen and progesterone levels are just a side effect of menopause.
If estrogen replacement therapy doesn’t stop menopause, then why do so many menopausal women use it? The primary reason you might use HRT during menopause is to fight common symptoms that can interfere with your life and make it difficult to engage in your daily activities. Low estrogen levels in your body cause most of the symptoms you might associate with menopause. With estrogen replacement therapy, you can increase the amount of estrogen in your blood to relieve these symptoms. Having more estrogen in your body can also reduce several health risks associated with low estrogen levels.
There are many symptoms you might experience during menopause, including:
A lot of these symptoms can be attributed to declining estrogen levels in your body during menopause. Since estrogen plays important roles throughout the body, it can throw a lot of things out of whack, which explains a lot of the symptoms you might experience. However, the good news is that hormone therapy can bring your hormones back into balance to help with a lot of these symptoms so you can live your life without many of these often debilitating symptoms.
Another reason you might consider starting estrogen replacement therapy during menopause is that it may reduce some of the health risks of menopause while you take it. It’s important to note that most of the time doctors will only prescribe HRT if you’re experiencing symptoms that bother you, but another potential benefit is that increasing estrogen in your body may reduce risks for common conditions during menopause like osteoporosis. Of course, like other medications it can also increase your risks for some health issues, so it’s important to weigh the benefits and risks with our healthcare professionals. However, if you’re healthy and a good candidate for HRT, then you may notice some health benefits during menopause as well.
If estrogen replacement therapy doesn’t affect when menopause starts, then what does? There are many different factors that can affect the age at which you hit menopause. However, you don’t have a lot of control over it. For instance, a lot of it comes down to genetics. You’re pretty likely to reach menopause at the same age as your mother did. Lifestyle factors can also play a role. For example, women who smoke tend to hit menopause earlier than women who don’t, while women who have a high BMI might reach menopause a little later because fat can produce some estrogen.
With the symptoms you might experience, it’s understandable if you’re looking for a way to delay menopause. However, keep in mind that that might not be the best option. Delaying menopause past the age of 55 is also known as late onset menopause. Late onset menopause comes with many potential health consequences. For instance, it can increase your risk for breast cancer, endometrial cancer, and ovarian cancer.
Instead of looking for ways to delay menopause, talk to our providers about how you can reduce your symptoms during menopause instead. As we’ve mentioned, hormone replacement therapy can be a really effective tool for managing your menopause symptoms so they don’t interfere with your everyday life. Increasing your estrogen levels won’t stop menopause, but it can help reduce or relieve symptoms like hot flashes. We use FDA-approved bioidentical (not synthetic) hormones to treat menopause symptoms and help you feel your best.
Our team at HerKare offers healthcare solutions for menopause. We work with you to find the root cause of your symptoms and provide treatment customized to you. Through bioidentical hormone replacement therapy solutions, you can enjoy symptom relief during menopause so you can live your best life. As a clinic operated by women for women, we’re dedicated to finding options that are convenient and easy for you. We listen to your concerns and then work with you to find solutions that fit your needs. Get started today – book an appointment to talk to our providers about your symptoms.