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    Estrogen replacement therapy is a medication commonly prescribed during menopause. For many women, the benefits of hormone replacement outweigh the risks, which is why our providers may prescribe estrogen for your symptoms. As with any medication, it’s important to understand the potential risks, side effects, and the benefits. This can help you and the doctor make an informed decision about your treatment plan. Talk to one of our treatment providers about the pros and cons of estrogen injections for you specifically. In this article, we’ll talk about some risks and benefits in a more general sense.

    Estrogen Replacement Therapy for Menopause Symptoms

    woman swimming and smiling after estrogen replacement therapy helped relieve menopause symptoms

    Estrogen replacement therapy can help relieve menopause symptoms.

    Hormone replacement treatment is typically prescribed to women who are experiencing symptoms of menopause. As we enter perimenopause, our bodies produce less and less of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. Hormones can also start to fluctuate more during this time. Eventually, our ovaries begin to produce only low levels of estrogen and progesterone, which causes the menstrual cycle to stop, also known as menopause. 

    Unfortunately, many women experience serious symptoms during perimenopause (before the end of menstruation), menopause (12 months after your last period), and post-menopause (the period after menstruation stops). Some of these symptoms include:

    • Hot flashes
    • Night sweats
    • Mood changes
    • Vaginal dryness

    These symptoms can occur because of fluctuating and declining hormone levels that come with menopause. Most believe low estrogen levels are mainly to blame for these often uncomfortable symptoms.

    For some women, these symptoms can be so severe that they interfere with normal life. Symptoms typically begin around perimenopause and can last well into post-menopause. However, estrogen replacement therapy may help relieve menopause symptoms. 

    Types of Menopausal HRT

    The goal of menopausal hormone therapy is to help balance out hormones to help reduce symptoms. Most health experts recommend using the lowest dose of hormone imbalance treatment for the least amount of time. 

    Generally, there are two basic options for menopausal HRT: estrogen-only and combination (estrogen and progesterone) therapy. Estrogen-only medications are used for women who have had a hysterectomy and therefore don’t have a uterus. If you still have a uterus, the doctor may recommend combination hormone therapy. This is because progesterone can help balance out the estrogen to help reduce the risk of thickening of the uterine walls and the potential risk of uterine cancer.

    There are also several different options for the type of medication you use, such as pills, lotions, patches, and injections. Estrogen injections can help with dosage control and provide hormones to your whole body. These are injected into the muscle by one of our treatment providers, and the medication then enters your bloodstream. This may help reduce or alleviate bothersome symptoms of menopause. For most menopause treatment plans, you will need regular injections to help with your symptoms. 

    Estrogen Replacement Therapy Offers Many Benefits

    As you may have guessed, estrogen replacement therapy can offer many benefits for a lot of women. In many cases, the benefits outweigh the risks of taking estrogen replacement treatment. Several studies have found that this is the case for most healthy women who start estrogen at age 59 or younger or who are within 10 years of menopause. 

    Estrogen during menopause can help with some common symptoms like hot flashes that can be frustrating, uncomfortable, and even interfere with day-to-day life. Hormone replacement treatment can help improve quality of life for many women during menopause. This is one of the main benefits of starting an HRT regimen. If you are experiencing menopause symptoms, talk to one of our treatment providers to see if estrogen injections may be a treatment option for you.

    Potential Side Effects of Hormone Replacement Treatment

    Just like any other medication, hormones for menopause can also cause side effects for some women. Fortunately, for most women that experience side effects, they notice they go away after a short period of time once they “get used to” the medicine. However, if you notice side effects that are severe or don’t go away, then it’s usually a good idea to check in with the doctor to see if you’re still a good candidate for HRT. 

    Here are some of the potential side effects of estrogen injections for menopause:

    • Headaches
    • Breast tenderness
    • Nausea
    • Nervousness
    • Acne
    • Bloating
    • Dizziness
    • Swelling in the hands, feet, or ankles
    • Changes in menstrual cycle
    • Spotting
    • Vaginal itching or discharge
    • Changes in sex drive
    • Difficulty wearing contact lenses

    Potential Risks of Estrogen Replacement Therapy

    In addition to potential side effects that may go away with time, estrogen replacement therapy can also increase your risk for some health conditions. Your risks are based on many different factors, like your medical history, genetics, and other factors. However, there are a few things to be aware of.

    Some risks of taking estrogen or estrogen and progesterone therapy include:

    • Estrogen-only therapy for women who still have their uterus can increase the risk for endometrial cancer. 
    • Hormone imbalance treatment during menopause may increase the risk for stroke, though some studies suggest the risk is lower if you begin HRT within 5 years of menopause.
    • Hormone therapy also increases the risk for breast cancer. For women taking estrogen-only therapy, the risk increases after 7 years. Those on combination therapy have an increased risk after 3 to 5 years. 

    Therefore, it’s important to talk to the doctor about your individual risk factors to help you decide if estrogen is right for you.

    Potential Estrogen Injection Interactions

    Also, just like other medicines, estrogen injections can interact with other things, such as medicines, herbs, and even foods you eat. That’s why it’s important to talk to our provider about everything you take, including non-prescription herbs and supplements. 

    A few examples of estrogen interactions include:

    Therefore, keep in mind that estrogen replacement therapy may interact with foods, drugs, and other substances which can cause health issues, increased risks, or side effects. 

    Get High Quality Care from HerKare Women’s Clinics

    Our team at HerKare believes women should be empowered to take care of their health. We are a women’s health clinic by women for women to help you feel your best. We listen and understand to help create personalized treatment plans for your symptoms. Our treatment providers can discuss different treatment options and provide support to help you make informed decisions about your wellness. Whether you’re dealing with uncomfortable menopause symptoms or need to talk about other health concerns, we are here for you. Make an appointment today!