Relieving common female symptoms with hormone therapy
Hormones play an important part in your overall health. As a woman, your body produces estrogen and progestin/progesterone to help regulate your menstrual cycle. If your body becomes unable to produce these hormones, or if it begins to produce fewer hormones than it normally does, you may experience uncomfortable symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats and vaginal dryness.
Main Line Health offers hormone therapy to treat these symptoms often caused by menopause, premature ovarian failure and surgical removal of the ovaries.
Main Line Health offers a wide variety of hormone therapy options
If you experience symptoms due to loss of estrogen and progestin/progesterone, your doctor will prescribe the lowest possible dose of hormones in order to relieve your symptoms.
Your hormone therapy may be delivered using:
- Gel – Hormone therapy in the form of a gel or spray can be applied directly to the skin where it’s absorbed into the body. You’ll need to make sure to apply the exact dose each day.
- Implant – If you choose to have a hormone therapy implant, a pellet containing estrogen is placed under your skin during a minor surgical procedure. You’ll need to have a new implant placed once every six months. This type of therapy only provides estrogen hormone therapy. If you need progestin/progesterone, you’ll need to take an additional pill.
- Oral contraception – Commonly known as “the pill,” oral contraception involves taking a medication that has either estrogen or progestin/progesterone, or a combination of the hormones. For best results, the pill should be taken at the same time each day.
- Skin patch – Hormone therapy skin patches are worn every day on your skin in a place located below your waist. You’ll need to change to a new patch once or twice each week. The patch delivers a low dose of hormone therapy, which is absorbed slowly through the skin.
- Vaginal cream – This type of hormone therapy involves placing a dose of estrogen cream directly into the vagina using a plastic applicator similar to a syringe. This type of therapy only provides estrogen hormone therapy, so if you need progestin/progesterone, you’ll need to take an additional pill.
- Vaginal ring – Inserted by your doctor, the vaginal ring delivers a low dose of estrogen right inside your vagina. This type of therapy only provides estrogen hormone therapy. If you need progestin/progesterone, you’ll need to take an additional pill.
Deciding on the type of therapy for you
How do you know if you need estrogen only or a combination of estrogen and progestin/progesterone? If you’ve had a hysterectomy, you don’t need progestin or progesterone. If you still have a uterus, whether or not you still have your monthly period, a combination of estrogen and progestin/progesterone is recommended. The combination of these hormones helps to imitate your natural menstrual cycle and is the best at relieving your pre-menopause or menopause symptoms.
Your doctor will prescribe your hormone therapy either on an alternating schedule or a continuous schedule, depending on your individual hormone levels and symptoms.
Most women need to try several different hormone therapy options before they find the one that relieves their symptoms. At Main Line Health, we work with you to make sure you find the right combination to help you feel your best.