Hormone Therapy for Women - K&K Pharmacy
Hormone Therapy For Women
Hormonal changes in men, women, and even animals are normal to some degree, especially as we age. This can lead to a substantial amount of discomfort for many people, and women are guaranteed to encounter this issue down the road, especially when the stages of menopause start to occur. There is a wide range of natural hormones, each serving a unique person. From progesterone, testosterone, and estrogen, to name a few, men and women can’t ignore them as they have the power to change their mood, physical condition, and many other aspects of the human body.
Since the mid-1900s, hormone therapy has become an increasingly common practice as it has proven to not only be effective but offers many improvements for the body that make patients feel much better physically and mentally. Considering the fact that every woman’s body reacts differently to hormonal changes and the treatments they receive, it’s vital that any prescribed medication is as customized and effective as possible.
What is Hormone Replacement Therapy?
As women get closer to the stages of menopause in their life, there are a significant number of symptoms that can be extremely uncomfortable. From hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, fatigue, and weight gain these are referred to as vasomotor symptoms, and many women are bound to experience them.
Although medical experts have explored a wide range of treatments for such symptoms over the years, it has become apparent that hormone therapy is one of the most effective. This is due to a number of reasons, but women stop producing certain hormones during menopause, and hormone therapy is quite helpful with the uncomfortable symptoms that women experience at this stage in their life.
The treatment offers much more than hormone replacement, as it can also aid in the mitigation of bone loss and fractures. With any medication or treatment, there are always a handful of risks that should be considered, and regarding hormone therapy, the risks lie in the dosage, method of administration, when it's initiated, and a range of other factors. This is why it's vital for medical professionals to thoroughly review a patient's current health conditions in addition to their family medical history.
Many medical professionals also note that it's important for older women to pursue hormone replacement therapy earlier on, as the risks can increase with age. It's optimal for women to be proactive about hormone therapy before menopause is in full effect. Nevertheless, treatment can still be effective before or after menopause; it's just essential to remember the heightened risks of hormone therapy for those 60 or older. This type of treatment also requires fairly consistent check-ups, which can be a long-term endeavor that sends the body through periodic changes. Unfortunately, hormone therapy is not an immediate fix, but its effectiveness relies on consistency from both the patient and their doctor.
To help summarize hormone therapy, it aims to replace the estrogen that women's bodies no longer produce as they age. The loss of estrogen is a significant player in the uncomfortable symptoms they're bound to endure. It's also important to mention that there's more than one type of hormone therapy, such as systemic hormone therapy and low-dose vaginal products. Each comes with its own method and administration of medications, which can come in the form of a gel, cream, skin patch, pill, and even spray formulations.
Heightened Risks With Avoiding Hormone Therapy
A lack of estrogen can develop risks to women’s health that are much more damaging than the vasomotor symptoms alone. A study from the early 2000s, conducted by the Women’s Health Initiative, found that older women who avoided hormone therapy were at an increased risk of premature death. Not only did this scare many women all over the world, but it propelled research forward with hormone replacement therapy and why it’s so vital for many people.
At the same time, the study showed that a combination of different hormone therapies could also add to these risks. Those who utilized hormone replacement therapy with a combination of estrogen and progestin could lead to an increased chance of coronary heart disease and breast cancer in women.
Not only did this help medical professionals refine their therapy treatments, but it also led to women becoming more educated on how they should approach hormone therapy for their overall health. It should be noted that it isn't guaranteed women will encounter these health complications, but they should be considered when choosing which avenue to take with hormone therapy. To help simplify the associated risks, it comes down to whether women take estrogen alone or in combination with progestin, in addition to the type of estrogen and the dosage that's administered. Below is a brief list of who would be considered a good candidate for hormone therapy.
- Those who need to prevent fractures or issues with bone loss. This is where synthetic estrogen can be pretty helpful as it works against osteoporosis. Although, it's common for doctors to explore both medication and hormone replacement therapy as a solution to this issue.
- Women who experience hot flashes, whether mild or severe. With the help of hormone replacement therapy, administering estrogen has been proven to be one of the most effective solutions for managing vasomotor symptoms.
- Individuals who are dealing with menopause early on or suffer from a deficiency in estrogen. Sometimes, women experience a drop in estrogen a little earlier than others, and this can happen as early as 35 to 45 years old. This could be due to a number of factors, such as loss of ovary function, periods ceasing before the age of 45, or ovaries being surgically removed. All of these can have a significant effect on the estrogen levels in women's bodies, and this would make them a great candidate for hormone therapy.
- Some end up having to manage vaginal symptoms that can be quite uncomfortable due to a lack of estrogen. A few include dryness, burning sensations, and even itching. Hormone therapy can help with this as well as these symptoms are known to be related to a lack of estrogen in the body.
Like any medical treatment, there are always a number of pros and cons, and hormone replacement therapy may not be suitable for everyone. It requires a thorough discussion with a healthcare professional and a customized regimen that’s catered to the individual in need. There are a few ways women can minimize the potential risks of hormone therapy. Taking the least amount of medication necessary, improving healthy lifestyle habits, using the best administration method, and follow-up with their doctors on a regular basis. One of the most challenging aspects of hormone therapy pertains to the medications that are required, as each person may respond to them in their own way.
Pharmaceutical Compound for Hormone Therapy Medications
Over the years, medical professionals have found an array of positives and complications related to hormone replacement therapy. It has become evident that the method of administration and the medications used along the way should be specific to each woman's case. This can make treatment a bit complicated in some cases, as it's vital that risks such as heart disease, stroke, vasomotor symptoms, or genitourinary symptoms are avoided.
Working in conjunction with medical professionals and patient prescriptions, our skilled compounding pharmacists can curate a customized approach to their medicine. This helps to ensure the trajectory of their hormone replacement therapy goes in the right direction without causing any adverse side effects along the way.
It's known that low-dose vaginal estrogen is one of the most effective types of treatment as it comes with minor side effects in comparison with other types of hormone therapy. Even if that's the case, refining prescription medications to perform optimally and improve compliance will only benefit the patient in the long run. It's understood that hormone therapy for women can come with increased risks if starting at an older age, and compounding their medications will help minimize these risks.
From optimizing the effectiveness of the medication to making it easier to administer when needed, pharmaceutical compounding can help take some of the weight off hormone replacement therapy. This gives each woman a customized approach to their healthcare as we're able to create an array of compounds that are fitted to their body's exact needs. In turn, this will improve the results of their treatment while reducing the amount of trial and error they may encounter with commercial formulations.