Every day thousands of women in the United States are going through a very important milestone in their life – the dreaded menopause. Or is it? During this transition period, ovarian hormone production decreases and menstruation ceases! Since the average age of menopause is 51, most women will live 1/3 of their lives during their “golden years” . My responsibility is to make sure those years are productive and healthy, without the troublesome, aggravating and bothersome symptoms of menopause that plague 80% of women. These signs and symptoms include some or all of the following: hot flashes, sweating, fatigue, irritability, sadness, depression, vaginal dryness, painful intercourse, lack of desire for sex, forgetfulness, hair loss, lack of energy, infrequent or irregular menses and weight gain. Is it any wonder that my patients desperately seek help and relief from all these miserable changes going on in their lives? Even though there will always be controversy concerning the use of hormone replacement therapy, it is undeniable that estrogen and/or progesterone supplementation can effectively improve the quality of life for most women for many years following menopause.
Estrogen taken wither in a pill, patch, or gel helps what I like to call the four “s” of life – sleep, skin, sex and sanity! Appropriate doses of estrogen and progesterone (if a woman still has her uterus) will reduce the frequency and severity of nightly hot flashes. This occurs particularly at night, when women typically throw the covers off the bed in the middle of the night when they are too hot and sweaty. Estrogen will help ensure a great and uninterrupted night’s sleep. Also, estrogen can keep skin smooth and moist and enhance the collagen and elasticity underneath; this will delay the inevitability of unsightly facial wrinkles (“crows feet”) and give your face a more youthful appearance! Estrogen also maintains the moisture, thickness and elasticity of the vagina making intercourse more enjoyable without pain or discomfort. Finally, estrogen keeps your brain razor sharp with less forgetfulness and better concentration. Mentally you will have more energy and be less moody and cranky. In the end you will feel a more robust sense of well being and happiness with more joy and rapture and most important of all – peace of mind. If you have any questions or concerns about taking hormones, jot them down on paper – feel free to discuss them with me at your next appointment; after all, there are also many other non-hormonal products out there that can make your “golden years” truly golden with more happiness and peace of mind.
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