menopause therapy in nwa

Sexually-transmitted-diseasesPerimenopause and Menopause, what is it? When does it occur? How do I know it is happening to me? What can I expect? What can I do about it? Menopause is defined as the absence of menstrual periods for 12 months. The menopausal transition starts with varying menstrual cycle length and ends with the final menstrual period. Perimenopause is a term that means “the time around menopause.” It is often used to refer to the menopausal transitional period. Menopause is the time in a woman’s life when the function of the ovaries ceases. Ovaries are the main source of female hormones.

Perimenopause is different for each woman in intensity and duration. Scientists are still trying to identify all the factors that initiate and influence this transition period so you’re in good company if you don’t understand it fully either. The average age of menopause is 51 years old. Most women reach menopause between the ages of 45 and 55, but menopause may occur as earlier as the 30s or may not occur until a woman reaches her 60s. As a rough “rule of thumb,” women tend to undergo menopause at an age similar to that of their mothers. Women in perimenopause, can experience irregularities in the menstrual cycle along with the typical symptoms of early menopause. These symptoms can begin up to 10 years prior to the last menstrual period. Suffice it to say that this transition does not happen overnight.

What are the symptoms of menopause?

It is important to remember that each woman’s experience is highly individual. Some women may experience few or no symptoms of menopause (one hot flash every week), while others experience multiple symptoms (14 hot flashes a day). Also, symptoms may come and go over an extended time period. Symptoms of menopause may include:

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Irregular Bleeding (more often or less often or heavier or lighter flow)

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Vaginal Dryness, Itching, Pain During Intercourse

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Hot Flashes and Night Sweats

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Fatigue

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Memory Problems

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Irritability

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Wrinkles

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Acne

There is no simple test you can take to determine if you are in the perimenopause transition.  Blood tests are unreliable since hormone levels can change quickly. However, if your quality of life is being greatly disturbed by the symptoms of menopause, be proactive.  Creekside Center for Women can help answer your questions as well as help you get relief from menopausal symptoms. Call us today at (479) 582-9268 to make an appointment or click through to make an appointment on our patient portal located here:  Patient Portal

FAQs About Hormone Pellet Therapy

 

1. What are Hormone Pellets?

Estradiol and testosterone are derived, usually, from plant sources like soybeans, beets, or yams. These hormones are then added into a matrix that can be inserted under the skin.

2. How is Hormone Pellet Therapy different from other forms of hormone therapy?

Hormone replacement therapy has been around for many years. Hormones can be administered using creams, injections, pills, patches and of course, Pellets. Women have changes in their natural hormones at different times of their lives, changes that can cause breast tenderness, fatigue, low libido, weight gain, sleeping difficulties and others.

3. How are Pellets placed under the skin?

The Pellets are placed under the skin using local anesthesia. They are placed at the hip or the low pelvis in front.

4. Is it dangerous?
As with any procedure, there is always a potential risk of insertion. Risks include infection, bruising, and discoloration of the skin.
5. What happens after the Pellets are inserted?
Most women will begin to feel the positive benefits of the hormone pellets within a few days. Many begin feeling increased energy, an improved sense of wellbeing. Over time, they can see improved muscle mass and bone density.
6. Don’t hormones cause cancer?
No. Hormones do not cause cancer. There have been many studies that have looked into this question. In fact, 2 out of the 3 groups in the Women’s Health Initiative breast cancer study showed no increase and even a minimal decrease in breast cancer. If you get breast cancer, hormones can be used by cancer to grow. This is true with all hormone treatment techniques.
7. How long do the Pellets last?
For most women, the pellets last 3-5 months. They will dissolve and do not need to be removed.
8. What is progesterone and do I need that as well?
Progesterone is another hormone that can be lost, especially near and at menopause. We definitely use progesterone if you still have your uterus. But even if you have had a hysterectomy, most women will be deficient in progesterone. The molecular makeup of progesterone does not allow it to be made as a pellet so it is administered as an oral gel cap, sublingual, creams or vaginal creams. Progesterone is taken at night as it can cause sleepiness.
9. Are only women in menopause candidates for Hormone Pellets?
Certainly, when a woman nears and goes into menopause, she will be most likely deficient and need hormone replacement therapy. Prior to this, many women can have hormone imbalances and also need hormone therapy.
10. Do you test for hormone levels?
Yes. At your first visit, we will draw lab tests including, estradiol, progesterone, free testosterone, and others as deemed necessary based on your history. Some of those may include Hemoglobin A1C to look for diabetes, DHEA, and DHEAS which are other androgens.
11. Does insurance pay for this treatment?
Yes and No. Many times the lab tests will be covered due to your medical condition, hormone imbalance or menopausal symptoms being the most common. The Pellets are sometimes covered but many times they will be out of pocket. We use a certified lab to make your Pellets. You will work with the lab directly to pay for the Pellets. This way you can minimize your expense. Usually, the cost is 40-50 dollars a month for the Pellets. The office visit will be billed to your insurance. There could be out of pocket expense based on your deductible and out of pocket requirements, based on your plan.
12. How do I get started?
Call Creekside Center for Women at 479-582-9268 located next to Willow Creek Women’s Hospital.

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