At Best Healthcare of Arizona, we strive to offer top-notch care to patients of all ages, including those going through menopause or other bodily changes that tend to throw hormones out of whack. To meet the needs of these particular patients, our team offers hormone replacement therapy, a treatment regimen that includes the prescription of female hormone medications designed to replace the ones our patients no longer produce on their own after life-changing events, like menopause. However, our Phoenix, AZ, healthcare professionals understand that not every woman is an ideal candidate for hormone replacement therapy, which is why we value meeting with our patients face to face to discuss the benefits and risk factors and to determine whether the treatment will be a good fit.

Benefits of Hormone Replacement Therapy

 

The benefits associated with hormone replacement therapy vary depending on the type of hormone therapy being applied. There are a couple primary hormone therapies that our Phoenix team might suggest to patients, including systemic hormone therapy and other low-dose vaginal products.

 

  • Systemic Hormone Therapy: This type of therapy is often prescribed in the form of a pill, gel, skin patch, cream, or even spray. Today, it’s the most effective option available to relieve the nagging symptoms associated with menopause, such as night sweats and hot flashes. Additionally, it can relieve vaginal symptoms, such as itching, dryness, and burning sensations.

 

  • Low-Dose Vaginal Products: Oftentimes, these products are prescribed in the form of tablets, creams, or rings, and they are designed to combat such symptoms as vaginal dryness and itching. They can also treat urinary symptoms, but they are not effective at easing night sweats and hot flashes.

 

It’s also important to note that our skilled Phoenix healthcare professionals will typically prescribe other hormones along with estrogen therapies, such as progesterone or something similar. Why? Well, research suggests that, when taken alone, estrogen can actually cause the uterine lining to grow, increasing the likelihood of a patient developing cancer down the road.

Are There Risks?

 

 

As with most things, hormone replacement therapy comes with its share of risks. For example, some widely used estrogen-progestin medications can increase the risk of developing serious conditions, such as:

 

  • Breast Cancer
  • Heart Disease
  • Blood Clots
  • Stroke

 

Additionally, some estrogen-progestin medications can cause breasts to appear denser during mammogram screenings. This could make it more difficult to detect cancer. At the end of the day, however, hormone therapy risks vary depending on a patient’s age, medication dose, type of medication being taken, and a number of other factors that will be carefully examined and discussed when determining a treatment plan for you.

 

 

Who Is a Good Candidate?

 

 

Despite the various health risks associated with hormone replacement therapy, estrogen, especially systemic estrogen, remains the most effective course of treatment to combat the symptoms of menopause. Additionally, the benefits of the therapy may even outweigh the risks for healthy women, especially for those who experience the following:

 

  • Hot Flashes and Other Symptoms of Menopause
  • Decreased Bone Mass
  • A Loss of Periods Before 40 Years of Age

 

If you think you might be a good candidate for hormone replacement therapy, give our Phoenix, Arizona, office a call today. During a consultation with one of our caring physicians, you can discuss any personal risks and a plan of action for your unique situation.