Women considering hormone replacement therapy at our Baton Rouge and Metairie, LA, clinics typically have quite a few questions about HRT and how it can help them. Many of the questions are specific to the patient’s unique situation, but some are more universally shared questions.
Here are answers to 5 of the most common questions women ask our hormone specialists in the Baton Rouge area:
What’s the best age to start HRT?
There isn’t a specific optimal age to begin HRT for women. There is evidence that women who begin hormone replacement therapy before age 60—or within 10 years of menopause—minimize any of the potential risks associated with HRT.
Will HRT provide relief from hot flashes?
One of the most common and bothersome symptoms of menopause are hot flashes, which can be so intense that they disrupt a woman’s quality of life. Untreated, they can last for several years and cause a rapid heartbeat, anxiety, profuse sweating, and chills, in addition to the flashes of warmth that spreads from the face through the neck and chest. Hormone replacement therapy steadies the levels of estrogen and progesterone in the body and is an effective treatment for hot flashes.
Can a woman remain on HRT forever?
HRT that involves the correct dosing and which is monitored closely by a hormone doctor who consistently evaluates a patient’s lab work and response to treatment can continue indefinitely. If there does come a time that a patient, for whatever reason, needs to discontinue the treatment, we can safely stop treatment.
How long after starting HRT will I notice changes?
As you might imagine, pinpointing a specific time that someone notices HRT-related changes is difficult. HRT produces change gradually, relieving symptoms sometimes in a way that you don’t notice—until you do. Patients sometimes say the quality of their lives changed overnight, but it typically can take weeks or months to reach that point. We like to remind patients that the important question isn’t how long HRT takes to work, but how long will you continue noticing its benefits. For many people, that can be years or even indefinitely.
Can HRT help if I went through early menopause?
Some women go through menopause prematurely—which is typically defined as having their periods stop before they turn 45. Women may also require having their ovaries surgically removed before age 45 or lose the normal function of their ovaries before turning 40. In these situations, the women’s bodies don’t get exposed to as much estrogen as women who experience menopause later in life. Estrogen therapy, which is a specific type of HRT, can not only help alleviate menopause symptoms but also lower the risk of certain health conditions. These include osteoporosis, heart disease, stroke, dementia, and mood changes.
Women with questions about bioidentical hormone replacement therapy travel from New Orleans and throughout Louisiana to one of our clinic locations to ask our hormone specialists about HRT. You can contact us using the online form or by calling us at one of our locations: (225) 960-1580 (Baton Rouge) or (504) 252-9579 (Metairie).