There is that joke naming symptoms of menopause after seven dwarves: itchy, bitchy, sweaty, sleepy, bloated, forgetful and psycho.
Though women are experiencing unpleasant effects of postmenopause probably it won’t find it so funny as expected since it reflects the actual state.
Menopause is the last period in every woman’s life followed by a postmenopausal period of life when the reproductive system starts to shut down.
The ovaries are not functioning anymore. This means that not only egg cells are not being produced anymore, but also ovarian hormones, estrogen, and progesterone.
Depleting hormone levels are at the root of all symptoms, many health risks, and problems women face during postmenopause.
Hot flashes, night sweating, troubles sleeping, mood swings, various body reactions to hormonal changes are just some of the most frequent symptoms women struggle with that can truly influence the quality of their lives.
In a long run, estrogen deficiency causes bone thinning, so called osteoporosis and many vaginal symptoms.
For decades, doctors have been trying to treat and prevent all of these effects by applying artificial hormones, and it did help.
The problem occurred when large-scale studies found long-term side effects and some serious health risks caused by this hormone replacement therapy.
So, nowadays, hormone replacement therapy remains the best treatment for all menopause symptoms, but the indications for its use are more rigorous. Not all the women should go for this therapy as a solution or prevention.
When hormone therapy is the good guy
There are women truly struggling with severe symptoms of estrogen deficiency, and their postmenopausal life can lose its quality significantly.
Either they experience very unpleasant hot flashes, troubles sleeping, troubles concentrating or their mood swings and depression can impact their career and family life.
Some women show significant and fast thinning of bones which could easily lead them to bone fractures.
When all this becomes tough to cope in any way other than therapy, hormone supplementation is recommended.
This particularly stands for women whose menopause occurred at an early age, before 45, because they are at high risk of all these complications. In all these cases, benefits of hormone therapy are higher and more important compared to potential health risks.
When hormone therapy is the bad guy
The greatest problems and health risks coming with hormone products are possible malignant diseases, especially breast cancer, as well as cardiovascular problems.
This includes heart attacks, strokes, atherosclerosis, blood clotting and thrombosis, usually in the veins of low extremities or lungs.
All the women who previously suffered any of these conditions or they report positive family history referring these illnesses, should not be treated with hormone replacement therapy.
Some other methods are available. These approaches are not as effective as estrogen and progesterone supplements, but they are less threatening to patient’s health.
Osteoporosis can be prevented with bisphosphonates and physical therapy. Some radical lifestyle changes can also be very useful.
Either way, you should consult your doctor, analyze your condition and lab results carefully and make the right decision according to highly personalized approach to the problem.