Hormone replacement therapy, or HRT, consists of a variety of ways to replenish some of the female hormones that are lost during the transition into menopause, mainly estrogen. It has been refined over the last decade to make it a safe, effective way to manage the symptoms of menopause and perimenopause. Hormone replacement therapy has been shown to alleviate many of the symptoms associated with menopause (when periods stop altogether) and perimenopause (in the years leading up to menopause). If you still have your uterus, estrogen and progestin are given together via a pill, patch, gel, or spray or combination. If you do not have your uterus, progesterone supplementation is not required.
What are the symptoms that Hormone Replacement Therapy treats?
The loss of estrogen and progesterone causes a number of symptoms:
HRT has minimal risks if given to the right candidate, in the appropriate dosing, for the appropriate amount of time. This is why it’s important to get your hormones from a trusted North American Menopause Society certified gynecologist such as Dr. Sodhi. She will consider your needs, your medical history, your family history and your habits before recommending a particular regimen for you, if at all. Hormone replacement does confer a small risk of heart attack, stroke, deep-vein thrombosis, and breast cancer in high risk women who are taking a combination of estrogen and progestin.
You should start taking HRT when you begin to experience symptoms that affect your quality of life. There are many benefits to HRT, but some data point to greater benefit when starting HRT early in perimenopause versus past the age of 60, particularly when it comes to its role in improving cardiovascular health.
While some women avoid hormonal therapy altogether, others prefer to use it in the short-term to tackle the worst symptoms of perimenopause, whereas some choose to remain on therapy forever.
At Bloom, Dr. Sodhi understands there is no one perfect solution, and every woman’s lifestyle and history is different. She and her team use a whole-body, whole-mind approach to customizing your menopause care plan to you.
Dr. Sodhi will also re-evaluate your HRT and response periodically to make sure you are getting maximum benefit with lowest risk.
Dr. Sodhi and her team offer a variety of effective, non-hormonal options for the treatment of several perimenopausal and menopausal symptoms. Any of the below can be used in place of or in conjunction with hormonal therapy as needed.
MenoCare: an Ayurvedic herbal supplement formulated to help relieve mild menopause associated symptoms.
Ashwagandha: also known as Indian Ginseng: an adaptogenic herb meant to stimulate without being a cardiac stimulant. Clinical studies support that Ashwagandha works better than a placebo in treating sexual dysfunction in women without pre-existing medical conditions.
IsoRel: Soy Isoflavones clinically studied to relieve hot flashes.
Turmeric: Curcumin for joint inflammation.
TheraCal and Companion: Calcium, vitamin D, and mineral supplements to reduce bone loss.
Theratonin: NSF certified melatonin supplements to help with mood and sleep disturbances. Clinical research has also found a link to menopausal bone loss and age-related melatonin decrease.
Dr. Sodhi also offers ThermiVA, a radiofrequency heat therapy proven to increase natural lubrication, vaginal tightness, and increase sexual sensitivity. She has used ThermiVA with great success off-label, as a non-surgical, non-hormonal, but very effective option to treat certain sexual dysfunctions, vagial atrophy or dryness, minor stress urinary incontinence as well as minor bladder prolapse. Many of her patients have also reported improvements in their overactive bladder, reducing their nightly trips to the bathroom and improving their sleep.
Know that Dr. Sodhi will treat your individual concerns with compassion and care. At Bloom, we believe that common concerns unite us with the common experiences of womanhood, but we are also mindful of individual differences and preferences.