Menopause and Hormone Replacement Therapy

Although menopause is a naturally occurring event, typically occurring around age 51, it’s a recent phenomenon in human history, as large numbers of women and people with vulvas typically didn’t live that long. There are still many parts of the world were people don’t live to age 50. Unfortunately, the very low hormonal milieu following menopause results in a long list of menopausal symptoms and health consequences.

A short list of the symptoms includes:

  • Hot flashes
  • Night sweats
  • Sleep disturbances including insomnia and sleep apnea
  • Mood swings including irritability, sadness, and tension
  • Cognitive deficits including poor concentration and verbal memory problems
  • Social impairment including disruption of family relationships and social isolation
  • Work-related difficulties including reduced productivity
  • Other quality-of-life impairment including embarrassment, anxiety, and fatigue

A few of the very important lifelong medical consequences can include heart attack, stroke, bone loss, osteoporosis, fractures, cognitive dysfunction, dementia, and Parkinson’s.

Modern medicine has both hormonal and non-hormonal treatment options for people suffering from these symptoms and/or wishing to avoid these medical problems. Some of these treatments pose risks for certain patients, but most have very few risks and can be used by almost everyone. Proper balancing of hormones (estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone) is critical for proper success.