Decreased levels of female hormones, such as estrogen and progesterone, are expected in menopausal women and may lead to a variety of health issues. These chemicals, responsible for regulating the reproductive system, are produced in lesser quantities as the ovaries stop releasing eggs and menstruation ceases. Disturbed sleep, cardiovascular issues, dermatological conditions, musculoskeletal problems, and gynecological complaints are among the health disorders associated with the menopause, and changes in the body’s natural hormone production are the root cause of these complaints. Hormone Replacement Therapy, or HRT, may alleviate many of the symptoms associated with the menopause and make life easier for women undergoing this biological process.
Adults require between seven and nine hours of sleep per night to remain healthy, but the menopause, causing a variety of nocturnal issues, can have an adverse impact on sleeping patterns. Hot flushes and night sweats, both common symptoms of the menopause, may cause sleep disturbances, as can anxiety and depression. Increased urination, resulting from declining estrogen levels, disrupts sleep, while decreased progesterone production may cause insomnia due to the hormone’s ability to induce sleep. These conditions are often temporary, but physicians, upon weighing the risks and benefits of HRT, may recommend the use of synthetic hormones to alleviate these symptoms. Insomnia, a cause of hypertension and heart disease, may be relieved with HRT.
The onset of the menopause, occurring between the ages of forty-five and fifty-five, can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. Research suggests that one-in-three women will experience cardiovascular disease during their lifetime and that, while lifestyle choices also play a role, declining estrogen levels are a contributing factor. Estrogen has a beneficial effect on the heart, strengthening the arteries, and women are less likely to experience heart attacks and strokes before the onset of the menopause. The use of synthetic hormones, taken in pill form, can increase the risk of blood clots, but absorbing these chemicals through the skin via patches or gels can reduce the likelihood of blood clotting and may mitigate the adverse effects of decreased estrogen levels on cardiovascular health.
Loss of collagen and elastin, which help to maintain the skin’s youthful appearance, is a common occurrence during the menopause and can accelerate the aging process. Estrogen is known to prevent the skin from thinning due to its promotion of collagen and elastin production, and declining hormone levels may result in the skin losing its thickness and elasticity. Vascularisation, or the process in which new capillaries are created, is essential for the maintenance of healthy skin, and decreased estrogen levels may hinder the development of new blood vessels. Studies suggest that Hormone Replacement Therapy can prevent wrinkling, caused by the loss of collagen and elastin, and stop skin from drying out but is less effective at preventing skin atrophy.
Reduced muscle mass and decreased bone density, caused by falling estrogen levels, can occur during the menopause and present an increased risk of fractures as well as a loss of strength. Evidence shows that Hormone Replacement Therapy improves the health of women experiencing musculoskeletal problems, such as osteoporosis, resulting from a drop in estrogen production. Osteoporosis, a major complaint of perimenopausal and postmenopausal women, causes bones to become brittle and can result in fractures and deformations of the skeleton. Synthetic female hormones may improve the health of bones, ligaments, and tendons while preventing the loss of strength associated with muscle deterioration. The symptoms of arthritis, however, may be aggravated.
The menopause may cause the vagina to become dry, itchy, and painful due to a decrease in female sex hormone production levels. Hormone Replacement Therapy is known to alleviate several gynecological complaints, such as sexual dysfunction and pain during sexual intercourse, that are associated with the menopause.