When it comes to menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and vaginal dryness, there are several hormone delivery methods that can bring relief to women. These include pills, patches, creams, implants, rings and tablets.
We have listed some of the basic pros and cons of these methods.
Hormone Replacement Therapy(HRT) Pills
The Deal: HRT involves taking the hormones estrogen and progesterone. (Women without a uterus only take estrogen.)
The Pros: According to WomensHealth.gov, HRT in this form:
- Treats vaginal dryness and discomfort
- Reduces hot flashes and night sweats, and related problems such as poor sleep and irritability
- Slows bone loss
- Possibly eases mood swings and mild depressive mood
The Cons: For some women, it may increase their chance of blood clots, heart attack, stroke, breast cancer and gall bladder disease.
The Deal: Hormone therapy is also available in a transdermal form such as a skin patch.
The Pros: A recent study suggests that the low-dose patch form of HRT may not have the possible risk of stroke that other forms can have, WomensHealth.gov said.
The Cons: The patch still delivers higher doses of estrogen into the bloodstream which could increase the chance of blood clots, heart attack, stroke, breast cancer and gall bladder disease.
The Deal: Prescription vaginal creams are applied in small amounts in the vagina two to three times a week. Creams act to reverse the thinning and dryness of vaginal tissues rather than just providing the temporary relief that lubricants and moisturizers do.
The Pros: Severe vaginal atrophy may respond more quickly to vaginal estrogen therapy than to hormone pills or patches that deliver estrogen throughout the body.
The Cons: At this time, hormone creams sound attractive and may turn out to be safe and effective. However, it's simply too early to know, MedicineNet.com cautioned.