Stuck In Perimenopause? Should You Seek Hormone Replacement Therapy?

If you feel like you've been dealing with the symptoms of perimenopause for years with no sign of menopause in sight, you may be wondering whether you can preemptively begin hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to help put an end to the mood swings, hot flashes, and other unpleasant physical and emotional symptoms you've been experiencing. However, undergoing an HRT regimen while your own hormones are still adjusting can be challenging. Read on to learn more about the specific changes you're undergoing during perimenopause and when HRT may be the right choice for you.

What is perimenopause?

Most women are familiar with the concept of menopause -- the end of menstrual periods -- and the hormonal shifts that come along with this "change of life." However, after fertility begins to decline and well before menstrual periods cease, most women enter a stage called perimenopause. During this time, your body begins producing less estrogen and progesterone, and you could find yourself dealing with the same types of symptoms you remember from weaning off hormonal birth control.

While symptoms of perimenopause are relatively mild for most women, some who are particularly susceptible to the drop in natural female hormones could find themselves dealing with extreme exhaustion, hot flashes, or even heart palpitations. If these symptoms begin disrupting your everyday life or giving you real concerns about the state of your health, medical intervention may be necessary.

Should you seek HRT while still in perimenopause? 

Many doctors prescribe natural or synthetic estrogen and progesterone to women going through menopause to help ease these unpleasant symptoms. This hormone replacement therapy helps women look and feel younger while staving off the effects of menopause for years or even decades. However, some women may be reluctant to seek HRT for perimenopause symptoms or even mild menopause symptoms, assuming that HRT is for older patients.

Fortunately, science now seems to indicate support for preventive HRT treatment to help minimize or even eliminate the more severe and painful symptoms of menopause. As long as you're prescribed HRT under the supervision of a physician (and aren't just ordering synthetic hormones available online), allowing the proper dosage to be calculated and periodically adjusted, you should have no problem beginning your HRT regimen at a much younger age than your mother or grandmother. Doing so could increase your lifespan, minimize your odds of breaking a bone in a fall, and even lower your risk of cardiac death.

Contact professionals like Central Iowa OB/Gyn Specialists, PLC to learn more.