Hormone Therapy & Alternative Therapies
Hormone therapy can relieve the symptoms of perimenopause and menopause. It can also address the risk of bone loss and supports heart health when used with healthy habits of a balanced diet and exercise.
Hormone therapy helps address the deficiencies of estrogen and progesterone. Estrogen and progesterone can be given in a pill, patch, or topical form. They can be used systemically to address overall symptoms or locally to address vaginal symptoms. A discussion with your doctor regarding the type and dose of hormone supplementation can help meet the individual needs of each patient.
Alternatives to hormone therapy in the forms of antidepressants, anti-seizure medication, and antihypertensive medication have favorable effects on the menopausal symptoms and can be used when a patient does not choose to use hormone therapy or when the patient is not a candidate for hormone supplementation.
Botanical supplements include plant estrogens and progesterone. These are derived from wild yam, red clover, soy and black cohosh. This type of supplementation is challenging since the products are not regulated and you would want to discuss options with your doctor to guide this option.
Compounded hormone supplementation are hormones derived from plants and involve a detailed prescription of the individual types, doses and forms of the hormones needed for your care. These medications are then created by a professional compounding pharmacist. The dose and drugs are not regulated. This form of medication allows for dose options that pharmaceutical medication may not manufacture and can help patients that cannot tolerate generally prescribed hormone.
The risks of hormone supplementation are infrequent but must be weighed against the potential benefits. These risks include cancer of the uterus, heart attack, stroke, DVTs (deep venous thrombosis) and gallbladder disease. The risks are not the same for all patients. Your doctor can help assess your risk as you decide what therapy is best for you.