Do You Need Hormone Replacement Therapy?

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Lynn Grotefendt, FNP, family nurse practitioner, CHI Memorial Family Practice Associates - Northgate

Mood swings, irritability, insomnia. Hot flashes, fatigue, low libido and weight gain. The combination of symptoms that can result from menopause or perimenopause can cause serious disruptions in women’s lives. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is used to reduce the symptoms of menopause.

It’s often a woman’s family that suggests she see her doctor about the effects these symptoms are having on her health and relationships. HRT can help clear mental fogginess, decrease the frequency and intensity of hot flashes, increase energy, and help with mood swings, irritability and insomnia.

In order to find the right balance of HRT, we work with a compounding pharmacy to deliver bio-identical hormones in a variety of forms, including pellets that are placed under the skin, creams and troches that dissolve under the tongue. These methods have lower heart-related side effects than injections or pills.

Hormone replacement is not a guarantee, but it’s effective in managing symptoms in about 70 percent of people. For those who it is effective, it’s an option worth exploring if you’re suffering from the frustrating symptoms of menopause. Women with a history of estrogen induced migraines, clotting disorders, previous coronary events or breast cancer are not candidates for hormone replacement therapy. In these instances, we sometimes recommend black cohosh or a low dose antidepressant to help manage symptoms.

Any time you’re having persistent symptoms that are interfering with your daily life, it’s time to have a conversation with your advance practice provider. There are always risks and benefits to any medication – it’s my job to discuss the options with you to help you make an informed decision about your health.

Lynn Grotefendt, FNP, welcomes new patients at CHI Memorial Family Practice Associates – Northgate, 1017 Executive Drive, Suite 101, Hixson, TN 37343. To schedule an appointment (423) 870-1999.

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