MENOPAUSE & HORMONE THERAPY
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WHAT IS MENOPAUSE?
Menopause is the name given to the period of natural change in a woman’s life when she stops producing functional reproductive eggs. Her body goes through a lot of hormonal adjustment at this time, and the symptoms can be challenging to live with. The symptoms differ from woman to woman but typically include variations on mood swings, anxiety, irritability, night sweats, hot flashes, loss of libido, and vaginal dryness. Dr. Vanderloos helps her patients to manage their hormonal changes and symptoms to live more comfortable lives.
WHAT TREATMENTS ARE USED TO MINIMIZE SYMPTOMS?
Dr. Vanderloos will work closely with her patient to ensure that the best menopause treatments are applied to reduce the uncomfortable symptoms many women experience. She may suggest alternative therapies including meditation, relaxation techniques, and acupuncture to reduce symptoms. Many women benefit from merely taking enough time to themselves for self-nurturing. Dr. Vanderloos may also suggest some lifestyle changes including dietary variations and increased activity levels. Sometimes spicy foods and caffeine can trigger hot flashes or sleeplessness and increased activity not only helps to maintain a healthy weight but also boosts the feel-good chemicals in the brain like serotonin. In some cases, hormone therapy may be suggested as medical treatment. Depending on the individual, Dr. Vanderloos may prescribe a combination of estrogen and progesterone or estrogen on its own. Testosterone is yet another hormone that declines with menopause and replacing it can make a huge difference for some patients. We take a careful history and check lab values and make recommendations based on each patient’s needs.
HOW DOES HORMONE THERAPY WORK?
When a woman goes through the natural changes of menopause, her hormone levels will fluctuate and eventually decrease. While these changes are completely normal, some women would prefer to reduce their symptoms. Hormone therapy (HRT) replaces those no longer made by the body and can reduce hot flashes and vaginal dryness. HRT can be taken in pill, skin patch, gel, cream, spray form or pellet form. There is also an option for low-dose estrogen to be applied directly to the vagina in a ring, tablet, or cream form to address dryness issues and we have non-hormonal management of vaginal symptoms including medications and Mona Lisa Touch. Hormone therapy can help many women but will need to be discussed in detail with Dr. Vanderloos to determine if it is the best choice for each patient. While the symptoms can be similar, each woman has a unique experience during menopause. Dr. Vanderloos, a leading gynecologist based in Shreveport, LA, can help women manage their symptoms and cope with hormonal fluctuations associated with this time of life.