Women who begin hormone replacement therapy (HRT) often do so because they want to get rid of hot flashes, night sweats, and other unpleasant symptoms that come with menopause. Hormone replacement is quite reliable at reducing these symptoms, and many women, therefore, enjoy great relief once they begin taking hormones. What women do not always expect is the other changes that can occur with hormone replacement. Here are some smaller, more subtle changes you might notice within a few weeks or months of beginning HRT.
Softer, More Delicate Skin
You may have noticed that your skin has become rougher and tougher over the past few years as your natural estrogen levels have fallen. Some women notice that their skin becomes crepe-like and dull. As you begin hormone replacement, you may notice that your skin starts to feel softer, more delicate, and more evenly textured. You may find that you do not have to use as much moisturizer or as many beauty products, especially on your face.
Are your hot flashes, night sweats, and moodiness keeping you up at night? Women often don't realize how badly their changing hormone levels are affecting their sleep until they begin HRT. A few weeks in, you might find yourself falling asleep as soon as your head hits the pillow. You may realize you no longer need the melatonin or other supplements you were taking to fall asleep. As your sleep improves, other aspects of your health may also improve as a result. You may get sick less often, and you may be less apt to overeat or cheat on your diet.
Increased Sexual Desire
Women who begin HRT often find themselves feeling more sexual desire than they have experienced in the past few years. They may feel aroused more easily or more often. An increase in vaginal lubrication can make sex more pleasurable too.
This one may come out at work. You might notice that you have an easier time focusing on tasks or staying on task. This may be a direct result of the hormone replacement, but it may also arise because of the improved sleep you're getting while on HRT.
If you are considering HRT, talk to your practitioner about these and other changes you can expect. HRT serves many women well, but it is still important that you understand what you're getting into, what changes you can expect, and what side effects to watch out for.
Contact a local doctor to learn more about hormone replacement therapy.