No More Hot Flashes! Is Hormone Replacement Therapy Right for You?
When menopause hits, about three-quarters of all women experience hot flashes, brief spells where their body temperature rises uncomfortably. Fortunately, for out 80% of those affected, hot flashes clear up within two years. For those who aren’t so lucky, hot flashes seem linked to further decreases in estrogen production.
There are treatments for many symptoms of menopause, including hot flashes and night sweats. Perhaps the most effective is hormone replacement therapy (HRT). The team at Dr. Kochert Pain & Health recommends bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) for their patients seeking relief from hot flashes.
Estrogen and hot flashes
Reproductive hormones, namely estrogen, and progesterone start declining about your late 30s. This continues into and beyond menopause, and hot flashes begin for many women.
The theory behind HRT and BHRT holds that supplementing estrogen, and sometimes progesterone, could level out some menopause symptoms, particularly hot flashes. This is indeed the case, and hormone supplements remain the most effective treatment for hot flashes.
The bioidentical difference
The manufacture of supplemental hormones in a lab uses a variety of source materials. While any artificial estrogen product should produce the desired symptom-reducing effects, some formulations more closely match the estrogen produced by your body, and these are called bioidentical estrogen replacements.
Though there aren’t yet large-scale studies that verify bioidentical estrogen performs better than other formulations, it’s thought that some of the side effects that occasionally accompany HRT may not develop with BHRT.
The safety of hormone replacement therapy
When hot flashes become severe enough to disrupt daily life, your best solution remains hormone therapy, but unlike in the past, you’ll likely be on the lowest effective dose for a limited time. Every woman has her own hot flash symptoms and intensities, as well as her own response to HRT, so customizing treatment is now the standard of care.
Dr. Carolyn Kochert recommends BHRT delivered using implanted pellets. Your estrogen therapy enters the bloodstream without passing through your digestive system, as oral forms of do.
Pellet BHRT typically lasts 3-5 months for women, providing consistent levels of supplemental estrogen, so you can expect relief from both hot flashes and night sweats, the overnight version that can leave your bedclothes and linens soaked with sweat.
BHRT provides relief from other symptoms besides hot flashes. Vaginal discomfort and dryness may also improve with hormone supplements, as will some menopause-related urinary issues.
Contact our office in Lafayette, Indiana, by phone or use the “appointment request” button to schedule your personal consultation.