Menopause and Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)
Considered a normal consequence of aging, menopause is the time in women’s life when the production of hormones in their body decreases to a point that causes normal or physiologic menstrual bleeding to stop. Menopause usually occurs between the ages of 45 and 55, when a woman’s ovaries run out of available follicles or eggs (a natural process) or when her ovaries are removed surgically. In the absence of these estrogen-producing follicles, estrogen levels fall below the point necessary to trigger ovulation and cause physiologic uterine bleeding.
Effects of Menopause
The symptoms of hormone imbalance are unmistakable for most, but women do have different experiences during the menopause process. Approximately 10 to 15% of women go through menopause with little or no symptoms, while others experience severe problems. The most common symptoms of menopause are:
- Hot flashes, which occur in more than 60% of cases
- Night sweats and sleeplessness
- Vaginal dryness, painful intercourse
- Painful urination, more frequent urinary tract infections
- Headaches and joint pains
- Increased anxiety, mood swings and depression
- Reduced sex drive
The long-term health consequences of hormone deficiency include the thinning and weakening of the bones (osteoporosis) which is aggravated by menopause, leading to an increased risk of fracture. Women also become more vulnerable to heart disease, stroke, high cholesterol and memory disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.
A program of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is a way of replacing lost hormones to counteract the negative effects and consequences of menopause and hormone deficiency. It is a proven remedy for hot flashes and sleep disturbances, and also alleviates vaginal discomfort. Studies have also shown that HRT can help maintain bone density, but its effect on heart disease and stroke is less certain.
The traditional HRT regimens consist of first the administration of a synthetic estrogen and if indicated a progestin and/or testosterone. However, we now know from the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) that synthetic hormones (Premarin and Prempro) appear to provide greater risks than originally thought.
In the shadow of the WHI results, over 50 million American women are now making major health decisions about the best way to optimize health during the changes of menopause. Many physicians and their patients are now choosing bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) instead of conventional, synthetic therapies to treat peri-menopausal or menopausal symptoms, PMS and sexual dysfunction.
At Economy Drugs, our goal is to help women feel their best as they live through this transitional time. One of the primary ways we have done this is by implementing a comprehensive BHRT program. We spend time with each patient in order to understand the causes of their symptoms and educate them about the solutions that are available. We also listen to their unique description of symptoms and then recommend the appropriate natural hormones to achieve hormonal balance in order to resolve your symptoms.
In addition, pharmacists at Economy Drugs, have achieved the highest levels of training and recognition in prescription compounding so you can be assured that your BHRT medication is precisely created and personally tailored to meet your needs. For women experiencing menopause or other hormonal disorders, Economy Drugs has the expertise, the knowledge and the advanced training needed to provide the highest quality care and customized prescription compounding to improve your quality of life.
For more information concerning BHRT or to begin the process of getting started with Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement, please visit the following links: