Estrogen Replacement Therapy for Women
Doctors today prescribe estrogen replacement therapy for women for a number of reasons, particularly when the signs and symptoms of menopause are creating problems in daily life. This report will focus on the use of estrogen for the treatment of menopause.
As a woman ages and reaches the time that her body will go through its change of life as it is often termed, her ovaries begin to decrease the production of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. Each of these three hormones is also produced in a small amount elsewhere in the body:
- progesterone and testosterone by the adrenal glands
- estrogen by fatty tissue
Belly fat helps to ensure that a female still has a supply of estrogen fueling her body. The problem here is that the levels of progesterone and testosterone drop significantly, creating an imbalance that can lead to estrogen dominance. That becomes an issue for many women who will find that weight gain and other problems can only be fixed by using one of those two hormones as a form of HRT.
The use of estrogen for women has received quite a bit of press coverage in the last decade. On one hand, some studies tout the benefits of estrogen for heart health, and to protect against conditions such as osteoporosis and cancer. Counter to that is research that claims the use of supplemental estrogen can increase a woman’s risk of developing certain cancers, heart attacks, stroke, and blood clots. This can make it difficult to know who and what to believe. That is where the expertise of a knowledgeable hormone replacement therapy is invaluable.
Purpose of Estrogen Therapy
The reason estrogen therapy for women is prescribed is to help with the maintenance of proper bone density, keeping the vagina lubricated and moist, protecting against urinary problems, and many other health related issues. Unfortunately, part of the problem that we see in the field of hormone replacement therapy is that some doctors do not run adequate blood tests to help diagnose hormone deficiency. HRT is not a treatment that should be prescribed blindly – meaning blood analysis results are the only way to determine what type, if any, of chemical decline has occurred.
If needed following this testing procedure, estrogen replacement therapy for women can be safely prescribed to result in the following benefits:
- Reducing Symptoms of Menopause
From hot flashes to night sweats, mood swings to weight gain, painful intercourse to vaginal dryness, the proper use of estrogen therapy can help alleviate these symptoms.
- Improves Muscle Function
Estrogen has been shown to play an important role in muscle repair and muscle regenerative processes. This can help protect the skeletal system from injury.
- Protects the Heart
The WHI (Women’s Health Initiative) study has long been cited as a reason to withhold hormone replacement therapy. However, that is misguided for many reasons. First of all, the biggest concerns occurred in women receiving the combination of estrogen and progestin, not estrogen alone. It turns out that fewer women died from heart disease in the groups that received estrogen only therapy than those who did not receive this treatment following hysterectomies. The use of estrogen by itself is believed to protect overall heart health.
It is clear that estrogen therapy for women does have its proper place, so long as it is prescribed as needed following blood testing and analysis.
Estrogen Therapy Risks for Women
The use of estrogen replacement therapy for female menopause symptoms is not without reproach. Much of the concern that we have for adverse risks and reactions is based on the use of combined estrogen and progestin. Progestin is the biggest factor as it has been shown to increase the following risks in women:
- Breast Cancer
- Blood Clots
Hormone replacement therapists understand that there is a difference in prescribing estrogen for women in conjunction with bioidentical or natural progesterone replacement therapy. This is a much safer alternative that other doctors do not always consider.
To find out more about how to receive safe hormone therapy for the treatment of menopause, or for any other conditions resulting from hormone deficiency, please contact Kingsberg Medical for a no cost, no obligation consultation.Brian Leeber