by Phoebee Johnson | Feb 20, 2023 | Hormone Replacement Therapy, Menopause, Wellness
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.
Estrogen replacement therapy won’t stop menopause, but it can stop your menopause symptoms.
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.
Can Estrogen Replacement Therapy Prevent or Delay Menopause?
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.
Understanding Menopause and What Estrogen Replacement Therapy Is
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.
What is Estrogen Replacement Therapy Used for in 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.
Hormone Therapy Helps with Symptoms Associated with Low Estrogen
There are many symptoms you might experience during menopause, including:
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Mood changes
- Weight gain
- Vaginal dryness
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.
Estrogen Replacement Therapy Can Reduce Health Risks During Menopause
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.
What Affects Menopause Age?
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.
Why You Might Not Want to Delay Menopause
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.
Fight Menopause Symptoms with Our Team at HerKare
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.
by Phoebee Johnson | Jan 24, 2023 | Hormone Replacement Therapy, Menopause, Wellness
Hormones play a critical role in the body. While you might know about estrogen and progesterone, it’s important to also know about how testosterone affects us as women. Even though it’s known as the male hormone, our ovaries actually produce both estrogen and testosterone. In fact, testosterone does many important things in our bodies. Unfortunately, women can suffer from low testosterone just like with any other hormone and it can cause a lot of problems. In these cases, testosterone replacement therapy may prove really beneficial for your health and symptoms. Keep reading to learn how testosterone therapy may help you feel your best.
If you’re suffering from menopause symptoms, make an appointment with our team today to discuss hormone care solutions.
Menopausal Women Can Benefit from Testosterone Replacement Therapy
Testosterone replacement therapy can help with many of your symptoms during menopause.
As we enter menopause, our natural hormone production starts to decline for sex hormones like estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. This can cause many disruptive symptoms that can really affect your life and health. That’s why so many women begin hormone replacement therapy around the time of menopause so they can feel their best and reduce their risks for certain health conditions. Testosterone replacement therapy is one option for women suffering from low testosterone levels during menopause. Testosterone has been shown to improve many symptoms commonly associated with menopause, like low sex drive and increased belly fat. Our providers will work with you to find the right dose to help you feel great again.
How Much Testosterone is Normal for Women?
Many women don’t even know that they have testosterone because it’s so closely associated with men. However, there are normal ranges for testosterone in women. Our bodies produce about one-tenth to one-twentieth of the amount of testosterone that the male body does. This means that the normal testosterone range for women is between 15 ng/dL and 70 ng/dL. If you have less than this in your body around perimenopause and post menopause, then we may recommend testosterone replacement therapy to boost levels into that healthy range.
Symptoms Testosterone Replacement Therapy May Improve
Low testosterone in women can cause many symptoms and changes in the body. Testosterone is responsible for many things. Testosterone receptors can be found throughout our bodies, so low testosterone can really wreak havoc on our health. Some symptoms that testosterone replacement therapy may help in women include:
- Low sex drive
- Vaginal dryness
- Low bone density
- Low muscle mass
- Increased fat mass
- Mood changes like depression and anxiety
Testosterone May Increase Sex Drive
Testosterone plays a really important role in sex drive for both men and women. In fact, testosterone replacement therapy is commonly used to treat hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD), which is a type of sexual dysfunction many women suffer from. HSDD is a condition where you have low or no libido, so you may not experience any sexual thoughts or fantasies, feel disinterested in sex, lose interest during sex, have a hard time reaching orgasm, and may even try to avoid sex altogether. Testosterone has been found to increase libido in women. Therefore, if you’re experiencing low sex drive during menopause, then testosterone replacement therapy may be an option to improve your sex life.
Testosterone Replacement Therapy Can Improve Vaginal Health
Another common symptom you might notice during menopause is vaginal dryness. This is where you have less natural lubrication. The tissues of the vagina may also begin to thin. This creates the perfect recipe for tearing and discomfort from sex or even just from everyday activities like walking. Studies have found that testosterone can help improve vaginal lubrication so it’s less dry and prone to tearing.
Testosterone Hormone Replacement Therapy Can Improve Bone Health, Muscle Health, and Fat Distribution
Another reason you might consider testosterone for menopause treatment is that it can improve your bones, muscles, and fat distribution. Testosterone affects how strong and dense your bones are, how big and strong your muscles are, and can even affect where you store fat. Low testosterone in women is associated with weaker bones, loss of muscle mass, muscle weakness, and more visceral (belly) fat, which is associated with a lot of metabolic issues. Increasing your testosterone to normal ranges with testosterone replacement therapy can reduce these risks. You may feel stronger, look leaner, and enjoy lower risk for issues like osteoporosis and metabolic issues tied to belly fat.
Testosterone Can Improve Mood and Energy
Many women with low testosterone levels experience debilitating fatigue and mood changes like depression and anxiety. In fact, low testosterone is often mistaken as depression or high stress because of these symptoms. However, the good news is that increasing testosterone levels to normal ranges can help you feel more energetic and may boost your mood so you can enjoy your everyday activities.
Misconceptions About Testosterone Replacement Therapy for Women
Unfortunately, there are a lot of myths and misconceptions about testosterone therapy for women. All the misinformation out there has made a lot of people afraid of starting testosterone replacement therapy, even if their blood tests show they have deficient testosterone levels. Here are some of the myths and facts you should know about testosterone for women:
Myth: There’s No Research on Testosterone Replacement Therapy for Women
Many people believe that no one has really studied testosterone replacement therapy for women. While it’s true that there’s less research into testosterone for women than for men, there is still a lot of really good scientific studies out there, with more being conducted as we speak. That’s how we know which symptoms TRT can relieve in women. Therefore, there is good quality research into testosterone for women, and we’ll only keep learning more as more researchers focus on this treatment option.
Myth: Testosterone Only Helps with Low Libido in Women
Another common misconception is that testosterone replacement therapy is only helpful for women suffering from low sex drive. While it’s true that testosterone has been shown to have a positive effect on low libido in women, the benefits don’t stop there. Many studies have found other improvements in symptoms like those we detailed above. Remember, there are testosterone receptors throughout the body and this hormone affects practically every tissue. There is a reason that our bodies produce it, and it’s not just for a healthy sex life. It can help with many parts of our health and overall well-being.
Myth: Testosterone in Any Dose will Cause Masculinization
Many women are afraid of starting hormone replacement therapy with testosterone because they’re scared of masculinization with things like facial hair, deepening voices, and other side effects. While it’s true that this can happen if you’re given really high doses of testosterone, low doses for women with low testosterone generally don’t cause these side effects. Keep in mind that our bodies actually convert a lot of testosterone to estrogen and that we need a certain amount of testosterone in the body. Our providers will work with you to find the right dose for you so you don’t need to worry about masculinizing side effects.
Get Comprehensive Menopause Treatment at HerKare
Our providers at HerKare are here to help you feel your best and live your best life through personalized healthcare. We make sure that our healthcare solutions are convenient and accessible so you can take care of yourself and your needs. If you’re experiencing menopause symptoms, know that help is available and we’re here to provide it. Our team works to identify underlying causes of your symptoms and provide customized treatments for symptom relief. Get in touch now to schedule an appointment!
by Phoebee Johnson | Jan 11, 2023 | Hormone Replacement Therapy, Menopause, Wellness
It’s officially 2023 and many of us are pursuing the goals we made for the new year. You might have several goals for this year, including becoming healthier, getting active, or losing weight. What you might not know is that hormone replacement therapy can help you achieve many of these goals. In this blog, you’ll learn exactly how HRT can help you with your New Year’s resolutions.
For quality care for menopause and other health concerns, contact us now to make an appointment.
How Hormone Replacement Therapy Helps You Achieve Your New Year’s Goals
Hormone replacement therapy can reduce the symptoms and risks of menopause so you can pursue your healthy New Year’s goals.
Now is the perfect time to start pursuing healthy lifestyle changes and making health goals. However, what you might not know is that menopause can hinder many of your New Year’s resolutions. Low estrogen levels during menopause can make achieving your goals difficult in many ways, especially if you’re suffering from hot flashes, mood changes, and other symptoms.
The good news is that hormone replacement therapy can alleviate many of these effects and make it easier for you to follow your New Year’s resolutions. If you want to change your lifestyle to become healthier overall, feel like a better version of yourself, improve your physical fitness, or lose weight, HRT can make all these things easier during menopause. Hormone replacement therapy is one of the approved treatments for menopause symptoms and can have many other beneficial effects for your health and life, including helping you attain your 2023 goals.
Hormone Replacement Therapy Can Improve Your Overall Health
Like any other medication, hormone replacement therapy comes with risks and benefits. For menopausal women who are good candidates for HRT, there are several ways that hormone therapy can improve your health. If you’re looking to live a healthier life in 2023, it may be time to talk to our providers about HRT.
Hormone replacement therapy supplements your natural hormone levels, which start to decline during menopause. Low estrogen and progesterone levels are linked to a number of serious health concerns. For instance, menopausal hormone changes can increase the risk for osteoporosis, heart disease, obesity, and even urinary tract infections. However, since hormone replacement therapy boosts your hormone levels, it can also help reduce many of these health risks during menopause. In this regard, it can help you lead a healthier life, which is a great goal to have for this year.
HRT Can Help You Feel Your Best
Maybe your New Year’s resolution is to become an overall better version of yourself and live a more vibrant life. This is another one of those goals that is an amazing pursuit and may also be assisted by hormone replacement therapy.
In menopause, you can experience a lot of different symptoms that can really affect your life. Some people even describe feeling like a shell of their former selves because of menopause changes to their body and mood. Common symptoms of menopause include:
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Mood changes
- Brain fog
- Vaginal dryness
- Low sex drive
As you can see, many of these symptoms can be life-altering and make it difficult to enjoy life. However, hormone replacement therapy can alleviate or even stop many of these symptoms. Part of living your best life is feeling your best, so HRT can be incredibly impactful in everyday life. With HRT, you can get a huge mood and energy boost and start living with a better quality of life.
Hormone Replacement Therapy Might Help with Exercise and Fitness
What about if you want to exercise more and get into better shape? This can be really difficult during menopause, but, once again, HRT can come to the rescue for this Near Year’s goal. A lot of your symptoms can make it difficult to want to go to the gym, which hormone replacement therapy can help with. However, it goes deeper than that.
Low estrogen during menopause can cause physical changes to our bodies that may make it more difficult to work out and stay injury-free. However, research shows that estrogen can improve performance and injury risk during physical activity. A study from 2019 looked at the effects of estrogen on exercise, specifically musculoskeletal performance and injury risk. The reason for this is that estrogen affects many different tissues in the body, including bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons. The researchers found that estrogen can increase muscle mass and strength. It also can increase collagen in connective tissues to reduce stiffness, which is also linked to fewer injuries. Therefore, hormone replacement therapy can make it easier to see gains and may just prevent some injuries when working out.
Hormone Replacement Therapy May Aid Weight Loss
Another really common goal you might have for the new year is losing some weight. This is important, as more and more Americans are overweight and obese, which can cause a lot of health problems, self-esteem issues, and even death. Losing some extra pounds is a good goal to have, but it’s hard when weight gain is a common menopause symptom. Hormone changes during menopause are connected to weight gain and fat distribution. Many women may notice they gain more weight and have more belly fat than before menopause.
However, hormone replacement therapy may help you control your weight. HRT can help counteract the effects of low estrogen on your body composition. Research from 2018 looked at the effects of hormone replacement therapy on menopausal body comp and found some interesting results. First, those using HRT had less visceral (belly) fat, which is linked to issues like insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, and heart problems. The hormone replacement therapy group also had slightly lower BMI and total fat mass. The study mentioned that these improvements may be direct, or they may be indirect through increases in metabolism or even improved mood. Whatever the case, the evidence indicates that HRT may help you achieve your weight loss goals this year.
Why Low Estrogen Can Hinder Your New Year’s Resolutions
What exactly about menopause makes it so difficult to achieve New Year’s goals like the ones above without hormone replacement therapy? Low estrogen can cause symptoms and physical changes that make it really hard to pursue your health goals. HRT can help prevent some of these symptoms and changes so that you can accomplish the results you want.
Menopause symptoms can affect your whole life. You might feel tired, depressed, anxious, and like your life has completely turned upside down. Obviously, this can be a serious obstacle to even daily habits you had before menopause, like taking a walk after work. Pair this with physical changes like weight gain, fat distribution, and health problems and it makes it even more difficult. Therefore, it’s not hard to see why you might be looking for help with your New Year’s goals during menopause.
Who is a Good Candidate for Hormone Replacement Therapy?
Hormone replacement therapy is a great option for many women to improve their health and lives during menopause. It’s one of the only approved options for treating menopause symptoms. Of course, like with any medication, it’s not right for everyone. To know if you’re a good candidate for HRT, schedule an appointment with our women’s hormone care providers to talk about your individual circumstances like health status, risks, and symptoms.
Generally speaking, you might be a good candidate for hormone replacement therapy if:
- You suffer from menopause symptoms
- You’re in good overall health
- You’re under age 60 or within 10 years of menopause
- You don’t have a history of breast cancer, heart disease, stroke, liver disease, endometrial cancer, or unexplained vaginal bleeding
Quality Women’s Hormone Care from HerKare
Get quality healthcare for women from HerKare. We are a team of professionals run by women for women to help you feel your best at all times. Our providers are here to help you improve your health and well-being, whether you’re suffering from menopause symptoms, sleep apnea, or high blood pressure. Schedule your appointment today to learn how we can help you be a healthier, happier version of yourself.
by Phoebee Johnson | Nov 18, 2022 | Menopause, Wellness
As you reach 40s and 50s and enter perimenopause, you might be wondering if it’s time to stop your birth control. The best place to find the answer to that question is our women’s health care providers, who can talk to you about your individual circumstances like current symptoms and medical history. However, there are some general things you should know about taking birth control as you reach the average age for menopause. In this article, we’ll explore birth control during perimenopause and menopause so you know what to expect.
Talk to Our Women’s Health Care Providers About Whether You Still Need Birth Control
Talk to our women’s health care providers about birth control options in perimenopause.
Any time you’re thinking about starting, stopping, or switching birth controls, you should talk to an experienced women’s health care provider like those at our clinics. We can provide you with the birth control counseling you need to make the right choice. This includes discussing risks, benefits, and different options that are available. Even if you think you’re in perimenopause or have reached menopause, talk to our providers about how to stay healthy and protect yourself against unplanned pregnancy.
What Age to Stop Birth Control
There is no exact age when women should stop birth control. Instead, most experts recommend using birth control until you reach menopause, which is when you have had 12 consecutive months without a period. The average age of menopause is 51 years old, with over 50% of women reaching menopause by this age. By the time you reach 55, 90% to 95% of women are menopausal. Therefore, our providers may recommend stopping birth control between ages 51 and 55 because you’re most likely to have reached menopause and no longer need birth control to prevent pregnancy.
Yet, before this time, we may recommend changing birth control methods to manage your personal health risks and side effects, so you should be talking to our providers about birth control regularly to see what’s right for you. For instance, hormonal birth controls may not be a good idea for you personally anymore, so you might need to switch to a barrier method like condoms.
Birth Control After 40: Pros and Cons
Once you reach your 40s, you’re most likely in perimenopause, which is the lead up to menopause. During this time, you can still technically get pregnant, but it’s much less likely because your fertility naturally starts to decline. However, this is also a time of a lot of fluctuation in your hormone levels and menstrual cycle, making it hard to predict when you’re ovulating and when you’re not. These hormone changes can also cause a lot of the symptoms we typically associate with menopause like mood changes, hot flashes, and night sweats.
There are many pros and cons to using birth control after 40 as you lead up to menopause. Birth control helps prevent pregnancy during this time, which comes with many health risks. Hormonal birth controls can also even relieve some of the symptoms you might experience during perimenopause. However, keep in mind that hormonal birth control methods also come with health risks that you need to discuss with our women’s health care providers.
Birth Control Can Prevent Pregnancy During Perimenopause
One reason to continue birth control during perimenopause is to prevent pregnancy. While you lose fertility pretty quickly after 40, it is still possible for you to become pregnant until you have reached menopause. Pregnancy at this age also comes with a lot of health risks, including:
- Blood clots
- Fetal complications
Therefore, using birth control during perimenopause can help you avoid unplanned pregnancies that can result in these serious complications.
Birth Control Can Alleviate Some of the Symptoms of Perimenopause
Not all birth control helps with your perimenopause symptoms. For instance, using condoms is a form of birth control that likely won’t relieve your symptoms. However, hormonal birth controls like the pill often do lessen perimenopause symptoms because they prevent wide hormone fluctuations and provide you with a steady amount of estrogen and progesterone. For some women, hormonal birth control can even mask the symptoms of menopause completely, making it hard to know whether you’ve reached menopause or not.
Talk to Our Women’s Health Care Providers About Birth Control Risks
Keep in mind that a lot of birth control options do come with risks, especially as we get older. Hormonal birth controls in particular can increase your risks for many health issues, including:
- Blood clots
- Heart attacks
- Breast cancer
If you’re over 35, you shouldn’t take estrogen-based birth control like the pill if you smoke or have a history of heart disease, high blood pressure, blood clots, or diabetes, as the health risks are usually too great. Instead, our women’s health care providers may recommend a different form of birth control, like an IUD, a progesterone-based birth control, or a barrier method.
Types of Birth Control Our Women’s Health Care Professionals May Recommend
If you still need to take birth control, then visit our women’s health clinic to discuss your options. There are many different types of birth control you may be able to take safely before menopause. Some of the options include:
- Oral contraceptives like the pill and the mini-pill
- Vaginal rings
- Sterilization (getting your tubes tied)
- Male or female condoms
- Cervical caps
The withdrawal method is not recommended as a stable form of birth control at any age because your partner can release sperm before ejaculation and you can become pregnant.
Also, during perimenopause, the rhythm method, where you track your cycles and don’t have sex during your fertile window, isn’t recommended because your cycles can become irregular and unpredictable. Our women’s health care providers can help you decide which birth control method is right for you.
How to Tell If You Have Reached Menopause While On Hormonal Birth Control?
Once you reach menopause, you can stop using birth control to prevent pregnancy. However, it’s often hard to tell if you’ve reached menopause if you’re using a hormonal contraceptive like the pill. These birth control methods often mask symptoms and can cause withdrawal bleeding that mimic periods even if you’ve reached menopause. There are a few ways to tell if you have reached menopause while taking hormonal birth control, including pausing birth control and getting a blood test. Our women’s health care providers can recommend a course of action based on your personal situation.
Our Women’s Health Care Providers May Recommend Stopping Birth Control to See if Your Periods Return
If you and our women’s health care provider suspect that you might have reached menopause while taking hormonal birth control, they may recommend pausing birth control to see what your body does. This means going off the pill or any other hormonal method you’re currently using to see if your periods return within 12 months. If they don’t, you’ve reached menopause. However, keep in mind that you should still use another birth control method until you’ve confirmed that you are in fact menopausal. We may recommend using barrier methods during this time so you can prevent unplanned pregnancy in case you have not reached menopause.
There are Some Tests That May Point to Menopause
There is no definitive test for menopause except waiting until you’ve gone 12 months without a period. However, there are some blood tests that may point to you being menopausal. For instance, testing the amount of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) in your body. FSH is a hormone that helps your body release eggs and produce estrogen. When your ovaries can’t produce the same level of estrogen due to menopause, the amount of FSH in your blood rises because there aren’t enough follicles to use the hormone. An FSH test can be an indicator of menopause, though it’s not absolutely certain.
Our women’s health care providers may use this test in addition to other things like talking about your symptoms and looking at your menstrual history. Even still, you may want to stay on the safe side and use barrier method birth control even after a FSH test until you’ve gone 12 months without a period.
HerKare: A Women’s Health Clinic That Cares
Get quality care at every stage of life from HerKare. We are a clinic operated by women for women to help you feel your best and find compassionate health care solutions. Our team listens to you and helps you find solutions for improving your health. Whether you need to talk about birth control during perimenopause or you’re suffering from a health condition like diabetes, we are here for you. Make an appointment today to take the first step toward feeling better.
by Phoebee Johnson | Nov 4, 2022 | Hormone Replacement Therapy, Menopause, Wellness
It’s common for women to pack on a few pounds around the time of menopause, but there are several ways you can lose that weight and maintain a healthier weight during and after menopause. Hormone replacement therapy can help in many ways with your weight loss goals if you’re suffering from symptoms of menopause. Several studies have found that menopausal HRT can have a big impact not only on weight loss, but also how much fat your body stores and where. Let’s talk about how hormone replacement therapy can help you lose weight.
What Causes Weight Gain During Menopause?
Hormone replacement therapy can make it easier to lose weight during and after menopause.
Menopause brings about a lot of changes that can lead to weight gain and higher fat content in your body. As hormones like estrogen and progesterone fluctuate and decline, you might notice it’s harder to keep the weight off. There are several reasons for menopausal weight gain, including:
- Body Fat Distribution: With low estrogen levels during menopause comes changes in how your body distributes fat and muscle. It can lead to your body creating more fat and also increasing fat in your stomach area.
- Age: Our metabolisms and energy levels tend to get lower with age. As you approach middle age, which is also the average time of menopause, it can be harder to keep your weight under control.
- Hormone Imbalances Affect the Metabolism: Your metabolism controls how many calories you burn at rest and during activity. Slower metabolism means you burn fewer calories overall and, therefore, are more likely to store those extra calories instead of burning them. Low estrogen levels due to menopause may slow down your metabolism and lead to weight gain.
- Menopause Symptoms: Symptoms of menopause like hot flashes, sleep disturbances, mood changes, and fatigue can all play a role in weight gain. These symptoms make it hard to engage in healthy habits like exercise and maintaining a balanced diet.
Therefore, there are many reasons why you might notice you’ve gained extra weight during menopause. The good news is that you can typically lose it with the right strategies.
Six Ways Hormone Replacement Therapy Can Help with Weight Loss
Hormone replacement therapy is a common treatment option for menopause. This essentially supplements your natural hormone levels during menopause to help ease many of the symptoms and health consequences of menopause, including weight gain. Here are six ways that hormone replacement therapy can help with weight loss:
1. Hormone Replacement Therapy Improves Body Composition
Because low hormone levels can cause changes in how your body stores and distributes fat, it can also lead to gaining extra weight. Hormone replacement therapy can prevent this issue by keeping your estrogen levels high enough to stop body composition changes.
In fact, a recent study found that women who used HRT had one point lower on the BMI scale and also about three pounds less of body fat compared to women who didn’t use hormone replacement therapy. This is particularly important, as extra body fat, even if your weight stays about the same, is also associated with other metabolic changes like insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome. Not only does this increase your risk for becoming overweight or obese but can also lead to other health issues like heart problems and diabetes.
2. Estrogen May Boost Your Metabolism
Estrogen also plays an important role in your body’s metabolism. Metabolism is the rate that you burn calories at. There are many factors that affect your metabolism, including age and genetics. However, there is evidence that low estrogen levels can also slow down the metabolism, which can make it harder to lose weight. In these cases, the only option is to either exercise significantly more or to eat fewer calories to adjust for your slow metabolism. Basically, you either need to take in fewer or burn more calories.
Hormone replacement therapy increases your body’s estrogen levels, which can prevent menopause related changes to your metabolism. This allows you to burn more calories both at rest and during exercise, so you don’t store them as extra pounds in your body.
3. Menopause Treatment with HRT Can Increase Your Energy Levels
Fatigue is a common symptom of menopause that can make it really difficult to lose weight. Feeling extra tired all the time can have you reaching for calorie-dense comfort foods in your body’s attempt to get more energy. Also, if you’re feeling fatigued, the last thing you want to do is go out and get a workout in. This often means you’re eating more calories while burning less, which can lead to weight gain.
However, HRT is a menopause treatment that can help increase your energy levels. Most of your menopause symptoms are due to fluctuating and decreasing hormone levels. If you have fatigue due to menopause, hormone replacement therapy can help relieve your symptoms so you feel more energetic and can better manage your weight through diet and exercise.
4. Hormone Replacement Therapy Alleviates Hot Flashes
Hot flashes are another menopause symptom that can interfere with your weight loss plans. Hot flashes can strike at any time and often make it feel like your body is on fire. Naturally, that can make it difficult to go get a workout in. In fact, exercise can even be a trigger for hot flashes, since a good workout will increase your core temperature.
Hormone replacement therapy is one of the most effective treatments for vasomotor symptoms, which is the medical term for hot flashes and night sweats. Therefore, taking HRT during menopause can relieve your hot flash symptoms and make it easier to burn that extra fat through a healthy exercise regimen.
5. HRT Can Improve Mood Changes & Depression Symptoms
During menopause, you might also be struggling with mood swings and even depression, both of which can make it hard to maintain healthy diet and exercise for weight loss. Depressive symptoms in particular can make it hard to get out of bed, let alone exercise. Depression can lead to overeating for many people, which can lead to weight gain.
If your mood changes are due to hormonal changes during menopause, then hormone imbalance treatment with HRT can help. Keeping your hormones in check with hormone replacement therapy can also help stabilize and even boost your mood so you can eat healthy and workout for weight loss.
6. Hormone Replacement Therapy Helps with Sleep Disturbances
Another issue many women face during menopause is sleep changes, particularly sleep disturbances. You might experience insomnia, disturbances from night sweats, and other issues that make it almost impossible to get a good night’s sleep. This, in turn, can make it hard to lose weight.
If you’re constantly tired because of sleep deprivation from menopause, your body is more likely to crave fast energy sources that also happen to have a lot of calories, like sugary foods and drinks. Also, if you’re tired and can’t sleep well at night, it’s significantly less likely you’ll hit the gym after work. Hormone replacement therapy can help solve many of these sleep issues during menopause, which can help you with weight loss by making it easier to make healthier diet and exercise choices.
Hormone Imbalance Treatment from HerKare
Our team at HerKare is here to help you feel your best during menopause. Our hormone replacement therapy solutions are personalized to you to help you feel your best and treat your symptoms. We work with you to improve your overall health, including maintaining a healthy weight, getting enough sleep, and ensuring that you get the preventative care you need. We help you take care of your body so you can take care of those you love. Contact us now to book an appointment and learn how our providers can make a difference for your health and life.
by Phoebee Johnson | Oct 20, 2022 | Menopause, Wellness
Getting all the vitamins and nutrients your body needs is essential for your health and feeling your best. That’s why it’s important to discuss your whole health with our women’s health care team. We can help you identify vitamin deficiencies and find personalized ways to treat them. One common vitamin deficiency you might experience as you reach menopause is vitamin D deficiency. This is a serious issue because low vitamin D levels can seriously endanger your overall health and quality of life. Read on to learn about how you can get enough vitamin D during menopause.
Why Talk to Our Women’s Health Care Providers About Vitamin D?
Talk to our women’s health care providers about how to get enough vitamin D to stay healthy.
Vitamin D deficiency is a common but treatable condition that many women experience. Unfortunately, many go without treatment and face serious consequences. We’ll get into some of the health risks of low vitamin D later in this article, but it’s important to note that vitamin D plays an important role in many parts of your body, including your bones, muscles, cardiovascular system, and immune system. Therefore, if you do have vitamin D deficiency, working with our women’s health care providers to get enough of this vitamin can help you protect yourself from many health risks.
Up to 80% of Women Have a Vitamin D Deficiency
Experts estimate anywhere between 20% and 80% of women have a vitamin D deficiency. Therefore, your risk for low vitamin D levels is quite high when you look at that statistic. What’s worse is that many people don’t realize they have low vitamin D.
Vitamin D deficiencies may be increasing due to many factors. One is that people on average are spending less time outside in the sun than they did before. Sunlight helps your body produce its own vitamin D from cholesterol. Additionally, more widespread sunscreen use can actually block the sun rays needed for vitamin D production. Another potential contributing factor would be poorer overall diets, which means most of us get less vitamin D from the things we eat than our ancestors did.
You May be More at Risk for Low Vitamin D During Menopause
Menopausal women in particular may have a higher risk for vitamin D deficiency. This is because our bodies don’t absorb as much vitamin D as we get older. Therefore, as you reach your 50s and 60s, when most people experience menopause, your risk for low vitamin D increases. Along with menopause comes many other health risks, like for cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis. Vitamin D deficiency can lead to further or worse health risks as well. Therefore, it’s important to discuss your health with our women’s health care providers and see what you can do to stay healthy during and after menopause.
Risks of Vitamin D Deficiency Without Treatment from Our Women’s Health Care Providers
If you have untreated vitamin D deficiency, there are many potential health risks you might experience. Our women’s health care team can help you determine if you have low vitamin D levels and create a treatment plan to help you get enough vitamin D to reduce these risks. Here are some of the potential health effects of vitamin D deficiency:
Vitamin D May Reduce the Risk for Pelvic Floor Disorders
Many people are surprised to learn that vitamin D deficiencies are associated with a higher risk for pelvic floor disorders. Remember, vitamin D is important for keeping your muscles strong, and since the pelvic floor relies on strong muscles to support your organs, it makes sense that vitamin D can play a role in pelvic floor health. This is especially important for menopausal women to understand, as around this time your risk for both pelvic floor disorders and vitamin D deficiency increases.
Why Pelvic Floor Disorders Need Women’s Health Care Solutions
Pelvic floor disorders can cause a lot of different issues for your health and everyday life. Yet, many women don’t seek women’s health care treatment for them. Pelvic floor disorders commonly lead to pelvic pain and painful sex. In addition, weak pelvic floor muscles may increase your risk for urinary incontinence, fecal incontinence, and pelvic organ prolapse. Some studies suggest that getting enough vitamin D can reduce your risk for these common but life-altering conditions. There may also be other things you can do to strengthen your pelvic floor to reduce these risks, so talk to your women’s health care providers about your individual circumstances.
Vitamin D is Important for Healthy Bones
Vitamin D is also necessary for keeping your bones strong and healthy and reducing the risk for osteoporosis. As we reach menopause, our risk for osteoporosis increases due to low hormone levels like estrogen and progesterone. However, making sure you get enough vitamins and nutrients can help protect your bones despite these risks. Vitamin D is a key vitamin for bone health because it helps your body absorb calcium. Additionally, vitamin D can help maintain muscle strength to reduce the risks for falls which can cause fractures if you have low bone mineral density or osteoporosis. Therefore, if you have vitamin D deficiency, talk to our team about how to get enough vitamin D.
Other Health Risks of Vitamin D Deficiency
Of course, there are many other potential risks of vitamin D deficiency. For instance, vitamin D may play an important role in your immune system, so you may be more likely to get sick or experience slow healing.
Low vitamin D levels can also increase your risk for cardiovascular disease. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to higher blood pressure and increased risk for heart attack, heart failure, and stroke.
Some studies have even found that low vitamin D can increase your risk of developing depression symptoms. In some cases, treating your vitamin D deficiency can improve your symptoms.
Signs to Ask Our Women’s Health Care Team About Your Vitamin D Levels
Often, vitamin deficiencies are undetectable without help from your women’s health care provider because they don’t cause symptoms. However, there are some symptoms that low vitamin D may cause.
Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency to look out for include:
- Low back pain
- Muscle weakness
- Muscle aches
- Hair loss
- Weak bones
If you notice these symptoms, visit our women’s health clinic for diagnosis and treatment for vitamin D deficiency.
Women’s Health Care Solutions for Low Vitamin D
Treating vitamin D deficiency involves increasing the amount of vitamin D in your body. There are several ways to do this, so our women’s health care providers will recommend a treatment based on your specific circumstances and lifestyle. Some ways to increase vitamin D include:
- Going outside in the sun for 10 to 15 minutes a day
- Eating a vitamin D rich diet with foods like:
- Egg yolks
- Foods fortified with vitamin D:
- Milk alternatives like soy and almond milk
- Some yogurts
- Orange juice
In other cases, you may need a supplement to increase vitamin D levels in your body to healthy ranges. Our team can use a simple blood test to look at your vitamin D levels and suggest the right dose for you.
Complete Health Care Solutions from HerKare – A Women’s Health Clinic Managed By Women for Women
Our team at HerKare is dedicated to helping you improve your health as a whole. We make healthcare easy and affordable so you can take care of yourself and feel your best. Whether you want to learn how you can prevent common health risks as you reach menopause or are experiencing symptoms that interfere with your everyday life, we have solutions to help. Make an appointment today at a location near you to learn how we can help you feel better.