Going through menopause is not always easy. The physical changes can be tough to manage, and the mental changes can be just as difficult. There are many ways that women can address these changes. One of the most common options is hormone replacement therapy, which replaces estrogen, progesterone, or both. Is hormone replacement right for you?
Here are some of the pros and cons to consider as you make a decision.
Pro: Hormone replacement can be customized for you.
Years ago, there were two or three hormone replacement pills to choose from. These days, the options are seemingly endless. Your doctor can recommend the exact dose of various hormones for you. They can also recommend the type of product that best suits you. For instance, you may prefer a hormone patch that slowly releases hormones through your skin. Or you might prefer an injection you can give yourself at home. Hormone replacement is quite customizable to your lifestyle and your hormone levels.
Con: Hormone replacement can cause side effects.
While your doctor will do their best to recommend hormones that minimize your side effects, there is a chance of side effects. Some women experience an increase in bloating, headaches, nausea, and breast tenderness when taking hormone replacement supplements. Adjusting your dose may minimize these side effects, but there are times that they linger.
Pro: Hormone replacement addresses multiple menopause symptoms at once.
There are things you can do for hot sweats. There are things you can do for mood swings and for vaginal dryness. But hormone replacement does all of these things at once. You can take one medication, and it will address all or most of your menopause symptoms. This is easier than juggling five separate remedies for five different symptoms.
Con: Hormone replacement can take time to adjust to.
Whether you choose a hormone replacement patch, injections, creams, or pills, it can take some time to get used to it. Taking the medication will have to become part of your routine. You may need to have a conversation or two with your doctor along the way in order to adjust your dose and the time you're taking the medication.
Hormone replacement does have its downsides and challenges. But for many women, it is the best way to manage multiple menopause symptoms at once.
Talk to your doctor to learn more about your options for hormone replacement therapy during menopause.