Each woman’s experience of menopause is highly individual; while some women may experience few to no symptoms, others may suffer from physical and psychological symptoms that are distressing to deal with. Some of the most common symptoms include irritability, hot flushes, sleep disturbance, vaginal dryness, low libido and memory loss.
Depending on what your symptoms are, treatments range from hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to antidepressants. HRT can be administered through vaginal topical agents, tablets or patches. While on HRT, it’s important to have regular health checks including breast checks, mammograms, cervical screening and blood pressure monitoring.
The appropriate treatment should be discussed with your doctor.
There are a few things you can do to help reduce risk whilst on hormonal replacement therapy. HRT comes in gels, pills, patches, creams, suppositories or rings. Choosing the right HRT method can help reduce risk. For example, if you are experiencing vaginal symptoms you might choose a vaginal cream or ring over an oral pill or patch.
It’s also important to maintain a healthy lifestyle, which includes exercising, eating a healthy diet, controlling your weight, not smoking, reducing stress and managing any chronic health conditions you might have, such as hypertension or high cholesterol.
To ensure any benefits outweigh risks, you should also seek regular follow-up care.
There are risks associated with HRT, but these risks depend on the type of hormone therapy, how long the medication is taken for, and your individual health.
Your doctor will tailor your HRT treatment and review your progress to ensure the benefits outweigh the risks.