Fluctuating levels of estrogen, which are particularly common during menopause, can have difficult and uncomfortable side effects. During menopause, you may experience hot flashes, night sweats, irregular periods, and mood swings as a result of your fluctuating estrogen levels.
Estrogen Replacement Therapy
Estrogen replacement therapy (ERT) can be a quick and effective way to level out your body's estrogen and combat the symptoms of menopause. ERT is the introduction of external hormones into your body, which can be done in a number of ways. The estrogen products available vary from patches to rings, from creams to gels. To figure out which ERT product is right for you, read the following guide to estrogen patches, rings, and creams.
Like a nicotine patch, estrogen patches are discreetly applied to the skin on the stomach or buttocks. They can be conveniently worn for three to seven days. They will suit the active woman, as they can be worn during sports, activities, swimming, and showering.
Estrogen rings are inserted into the vagina, where they can remain out of sight and out of mind, for three months. It releases estrogen and is particularly effective for women suffering from poor vaginal health as a result of low estrogen levels.
Estrogen creams are also helpful in combating problems around the vaginal area, such as urinary infections and vaginal dryness. Estrogen creams are inserted into the vagina or around the problem area.
Estrogen pills are the most common form of ERT. They are taken orally on a daily basis but, while they are convenient to carry in your handbag, they may not be suitable for the more forgetful woman.
Transdermal gels are rubbed into the arm once a day and the estrogen is absorbed into the blood stream through the skin.
In addition to ERT, there are other types of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) available. In these treatments, estrogen may be mixed with progesterone. Alternatively, progesterone replacement therapy (PRT) might be the one that is most suited to your hormonal needs. If you are considering HRT, speak to your doctor about which type of hormone, and which form of administration, might be right for you.
However, it is important to be aware that there are certain health risks associated with estrogen and other hormone replacement therapies. These include an increased risk of cancer, heart attacks, and strokes. Speak to a doctor, and explore other ways of supplementing your estrogen levels, to ensure that you make an informed decision.