Menopause and the changes it brings aren’t widely discussed in our culture, despite the fact that each year about 1.3 million women in the United States reach this stage of life. Menopause, when you’ve been period-free for at least 12 months, occurs on average at age 51.
Menopause doesn’t happen all at once. Your hormones begin their downward shift around 10 years or more before you cease menstruating. This time of life is known as perimenopause.
Just as entering puberty brings physical and emotional changes due to an influx of hormones, entering perimenopause and menopause brings physical and emotional changes due to a dampening of those same hormones.
Instead of worrying about leaking and cramps, now you worry about hot flashes and insomnia.
At Dragon Healthcare Services & Med Spa, Joseph Dragon, FNP-BC, provides customized bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) to women who want relief from menopause symptoms. Here’s why he and our team offer BHRT at our Springville, Utah, office.
Without estrogen and progesterone, your body can’t self-regulate temperature. You may suddenly become so hot that you must remove items of clothing, such as scarves and sweaters. Or you may need to drink an iced beverage to lower your temperature.
Hot flashes at night are called night sweats. You may wake up several times, drenched in sweat. Night sweats aren’t just uncomfortable, they also disrupt the sleep you need to make the most of the hormones you have and feel alert the next day.
Once your body adjusts to BHRT, you find these uncomfortable symptoms diminishing. Your body temperature stays stable. You’re no longer drenched in sweat during the day or night.
Whatever type of BHRT we recommend is synthesized from high-quality vegetable sources. The hormones have an identical chemical structure to human hormones, so your body recognizes and uses them easily, without side effects.
Sex hormones also influence your brain’s function. As your hormone levels decrease, you may find it hard to focus or remember things. Many women describe that state as “brain fog.”
In addition, when your sleep is disrupted by night sweats, or if you have menopause-related insomnia, your brain can’t function the way it should. BHRT helps lift the brain fog and relaxes your body so that you can sleep without the disruption of night sweats.
Estrogen isn’t just involved in menstruation and pregnancy. It also protects major organs, including your brain and bones, helping them create healthy new cells to replace the old ones.
When your body produces low levels of estrogen, your bone cells don’t readily renew themselves. That’s why women in menopause are at high risk for dangerous bone loss, known as osteoporosis, which puts them at increased risk for fractures.
You may have noticed that your attitude toward and feelings during sex have shifted. You may have lost interest in sex entirely. Or, intercourse could now be extremely painful due to vaginal atrophy and lack of lubrication.
Even the way you feel about your mate or potential partners may have become more negative.
With BHRT, your hormones are amped up again and so is your sexuality. Your vagina becomes more lubricated, and your labia are fuller, too. Orgasms are easier again. Increased lubrication makes intercourse exciting and pleasurable, not painful.
You may also notice positive changes in your appearance. When you lose too much progesterone, estrogen may dominate and cause you to gain weight. You may also lose hair and notice more wrinkles and sagging in your skin.
BHRT reverses those changes so that you look more like your “old” self.
Depending on your health and needs, you may need to replace estrogen, progesterone, or both. We customize your treatment based on your exam, medical history, and bloodwork. We help you decide on various forms of BHRT, including:
If you want to feel comfortable in your own skin (and with a romantic partner’s skin too!), contact us today about customized BHRT. Phone our friendly team or book an appointment online.