By Annette M. Baggott, MD
If you’re having hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, anxiety or vaginal dryness, there’s no need to suffer. These symptoms can be helped with hormone therapy (HT). HT is medicine that replaces hormones women lose during menopause.
Fears about HT are based on outdated, misleading information. In fact, the benefits outweigh the risks for healthy women under age 60 who are within ten years of menopause. This was the conclusion of the North American Menopause Society last year.
Currently, HT is the most effective way to relieve menopause symptoms. Benefits include:
- Fewer aches and pains
- Better sleep, mood and overall quality of life
- A lowered risk of type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, colon cancer and gum disease
HT also protects the joints and improves bone density. (It’s sometimes used in place of the standard medicines that treat osteoporosis.)
HT comes in pill form. It’s also given as a cream, tablet or vaginal ring to help with vaginal and urinary problems.
Hormone therapy may not for everyone. Women who’ve had breast or uterine cancer, heart or liver disease and blood clots should not use HT. Each woman should work with her doctor to decide if HT is right for her.