Hormone Therapy

Hormone Therapy

Hormone Therapy gwinnettDuring your childbearing years, monthly changes in the body’s production of two hormones, estrogen and progesterone, control the menstrual cycle as well as a number of related physical traits. In the years leading up to menopause, most women experience a transitional phase called perimenopause, when the changing levels in estrogen and progesterone can bring about a variety of physical and emotional symptoms, including hot flashes, sleep changes, night sweats, instability of mood, or vaginal dryness. In order to manage these symptoms, some women choose to undergo hormone therapy, a form of treatment that uses medications containing estrogen and/or progestogen to replace the ones that the body no longer makes and to reduce or stop short-term changes associated with menopause.


Hormone Therapy Treatment

Patients undergoing hormone therapy regularly take medications that are carefully formulated to replace hormones that are no longer being produced by the body. By maintaining hormone levels, this form of therapy may help relieve hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness or dyspareunia (pain with sexual activity). Studies have also found that hormone therapy may reduce your chances of developing osteoporosis, a debilitating condition wherein the bones become thin, brittle, and easily broken. Hormone therapy can be administered in a variety of different ways:

  • Systemic Therapy: Hormones are released into your bloodstream through pills, skin patches, or gels/sprays that are applied directly to the skin. If progestin is necessary, it can be prescribed separately or combined with estrogen in the same pill or patch. The frequency that these treatments need to be applied or taken can vary from every day to every three to four months, depending on the specific medications involved and the individual needs, wants, and health condition of the patient.
  • Local Therapy: Women who only have vaginal dryness may be prescribed “local” estrogen therapy in the form of a vaginal ring, tablet, or cream that release small doses of estrogen directly into the vaginal tissue. The estrogen helps restore the thickness and elasticity to the vaginal lining while relieving dryness and irritation.


As with all forms of medication, hormone therapy is not necessarily suitable for all patients. Talk to Dr. Gould or your provider at Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett about your specific requirements in order to determine whether hormone therapy is right for you and, if you decide to use hormones, use them at the lowest dose that helps and for the shortest amount of time that you need them.


Hormone Therapy FAQs

Are there any risks associated with hormone therapy?
As with any medicine or treatment, hormone therapy is not without risks. In some rare cases, hormone therapy has been found to increase the chances of developing blood clots, heart attacks, strokes, breast cancer, and gallbladder disease. For a woman with a uterus, estrogen may also increase the chance of getting endometrial cancer (cancer of the uterine lining). Adding progestin has been found to lower this risk.

Are there any women who should avoid hormone therapy?
Hormone therapy is only suitable for women who are significantly bothered by menopause symptoms and who require the treatment in order to alleviate potential health concerns. It should be avoided by women with current or a past history of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer, blood clots in the legs or lungs, or stroke. If you are not a candidate for hormone therapy you should instead talk to your doctor about strategies that can help reduce the risk of conditions like osteoporosis and heart disease, which may include lifestyle changes and medications other than hormone therapy for long-term protection.


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Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett
601 Professional Drive, Suite 330
Lawrenceville, Georgia 30046   
Phone: 678.380.1980   
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