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What is Estrogen Therapy?

Estrogen Therapy is administered to women who no longer produce estrogen from their ovaries. There are a number of reasons why a woman might stop producing estrogen. For example, this can be caused due to a hysterectomy or surgical menopause. Estrogen with progesterone therapy is given to women who experience menopause naturally at midlife, generally at age 50.

What is estrogen?

Estrogen is the major female sex hormone, which controls a woman's reproductive system and monthly cycle. There are estrogen receptors in every part of a woman's body, from the top of her head to the bottom of her toes. They are present in her skin, in the organs and even in places you wouldn’t think of. Sometimes, women need to replace their estrogen when these estrogen receptors are denied or when they need assistance in production. 

Estrogen and menopause

During menopause, the female body generates less estrogen and progesterone. A common symptom of menopause is experiencing hot flashes or sudden feelings of feverish heat throughout the body. Hot flashes happen during menopause due to the decrease in the production of estrogen. If there is a decrease in the production of estrogen, then the estrogen receptors in the brain are not satisfied which causes that sudden feeling of heat throughout the body.

Types of estrogen therapy

Estrogen Therapy can help with these symptoms. There are different forms of estrogen therapy that can be administered, and it is best to consult with a physician to see which form is most suited for each individual patient. Some different treatments of estrogen therapy that can be used are taken orally or through direct skin contact. A woman can take oral medication such as Estrace or Premarin if prescribed by the doctor. These medications can help reduce symptoms of menopause and also lower the risk of osteoporosis. If oral medication is not the way to go, then estrogen therapy can also be effective through the use of skin patches such as Alora or Estraderm. Again, these methods can be prescribed by consulting a physician first. Topical creams and vaginal suppositories are also available for those experiencing symptoms such as vaginal dryness, itchiness, and burning or pain during intercourse when entering the menopausal cycle.

When deciding what type of estrogen therapy to get, it is best to work closely with a physician that has a complete family history. While some forms of estrogen therapy have been around for many years, technological advances and new studies are showing newer ways of getting hormone therapy that may or may not work for an individual's needs. Estrogen therapy is not administered to all women who are  experiencing menopause. It is only given if and when a woman needs it, and certainly not every woman does.