Menopause is a natural occurrence that takes place in women as they age. Menopause, a naturally biological process which is simplistically described as the reduction of hormone processes in women in their 40s and 50s, marks the end of menstrual cycles. While women in their 40s and 50s are most likely to begin going through menopause, the average age for menopause is 51. Similarly, menopause can take place before a woman’s 40s, but cases such as this are considered to be early menopause.
The process of menopause, in which your menstrual cycle comes to an end, starts to begin in women between their 30s and 40s. This process begins once estrogen levels begin fluctuating regularly, wherein menstruation will go from happening regularly to irregularly. And by the time a women begins going through menopause, their ovaries will only be producing one-third of the amount of estrogen that they had produced prior.
For those women dealing with menopause, they know that the side effects can be quite bothersome. These side effects can run the gamut from hot flashes to night sweats, vaginal dryness to bone density loss, and inability to sleep and decrease in sexual interest. However, these side effects can be sidelined through the effective use of menopause therapy.
The primary forms of menopause therapy come through hormone therapy. Hormone therapy for menopause can come in two forms:
Estrogen-Only Therapy (ET)
Estrogen, the hormone that is produced naturally by the ovaries, has been shown to provide the most relief from menopausal symptoms (relieving the specific need and searches for hot flashes therapy and night sweats therapy).
This type of estrogen replacement menopause therapy is used primarily for women that have had a hysterectomy (wherein the uterus is surgically removed from the body).
Estrogen plus Progestogen Therapy (EPT)
Progestogen, a type of steroidal hormone that activates progesterone receptors (natural hormone receptors involved in the menstrual cycle), is added to ET to protect women that have their uterus from uterine cancer. The reason being is that estrogen-only menopause therapy for women with an intact uterus can cause complications, which has been shown to lead to cases of uterine cancer.
These forms of menopause therapy can be given in two forms: (1) Products that introduce ET or EPT through the bloodstream through the use of an oral tablet, patch, gel, or more, and (2) nonsystemic products that are applied to specific areas of the body, such as creams or rings that can be used specifically for the vagina.
The benefits of these methods of menopausal therapy are endless, in the effect that they can practically nullify/lessen the side effects of menopause, whether that be vaginal dryness, hot flashes, or night sweats, along with increasing physical drive and sexual interest. However, long-term use of ET or EPT can lead to worsened side effects and other health symptoms, so your medication should be regular distributed by your doctor to ensure that your overall health is of primary concern.