Are Your Hormones Out Of Balance? Read Time: 3 minutes
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is a treatment that involves balancing hormone levels. For women approaching menopause, taking estrogen can help reduce uncomfortable menopausal symptoms, including hot flashes. Because the aim of HRT is to balance hormone levels, the therapy may be the solution for other hormone-related disorders. One of these disorders is polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a disorder that is marked by hormonal imbalance.
Stop sweating: the best treatment for hot flashes
Hot flashes are among the most common and long-lasting symptoms of menopause, along with vaginal dryness and mood swings. Experts agree that HRT is the most effective treatment for menopausal hot flashes. HRT for hot flashes typically includes a high dose of estrogen. If a woman has had a hysterectomy, that woman can take estrogen alone. However, if a woman still has a uterus, a doctor will prescribe progesterone in combination with estrogen to lower risk of uterine cancer.
Typically, women shouldn’t be on HRT for more than five years. Any time a woman is undergoing HRT, that woman should have regular check-ins every couple of months with a healthcare provider. This helps to ensure that the HRT is effective and safe.
Can menopause cure PCOS?
PCOS is a disorder that is characterized by imbalanced hormones. Women with PCOS typically have more male hormones, including testosterone, and lower levels of estrogen. During menopause, women naturally start to produce less estrogen. The hormonal changes that occur in menopause don’t necessarily cure PCOS. But women who undergo HRT for menopause may see an improvement in PCOS symptoms.
Some women can effectively improve both menopause and PCOS symptoms with some lifestyle changes. Managing weight, improving sleep habits, and wearing lightweight, breathable clothing can all make hot flashes and PCOS symptoms easier to deal with.
HRT is a personal choice
HRT is extremely effective for many women. However, those who are considered high-risk should avoid HRT. If a woman is prone to blood clots, has a history or family history of breast, uterine, or endometrial cancers, or has heart disease, that woman should avoid HRT. Every woman should discuss the pros and cons of HRT with a healthcare provider, taking into account individual medical history.