There are several reasons that a woman would be prescribed estrogen supplements. Relieving menopause symptoms is the most widely recognized use for estrogen supplements. In addition, women who have ovarian failure, sometimes referred to as early menopause, as well as women who have reduced estrogen levels due to stress and medication of physical disorders may all be candidates for estrogen supplement therapy. While the supplements do carry certain risks, they also continue to benefit millions of women around the world.
There are several physical manifestations that can occur when a woman’s estrogen levels begin to plummet. She may find that she is extremely moody, tired, forgetful or tense, for weeks and months at a time. In addition, common physical symptoms like hot flashes, heart palpitations and dizziness may enter the picture. These are but a few of the things that happen to women when the estrogen begins to fade. The severity of the symptoms varies but can become life-altering at a time when a woman is still working, active in the community and and raising her children. Estrogen supplements increase the level of estrogen in her body, which can alleviate the symptoms and allow her to take care of daily business.
Women who are prescribed estrogen supplements alone typically have had a complete hysterectomy. For women who still have reproductive organs, the estrogen will usually be combined with some progesterone therapy. This is because estrogen alone without progesterone places women at a higher risk for certain cancers of the reproductive organs.
Because of the elevated risk for certain cancers while taking estrogen supplements, the doctor will prescribe the lowest dose possible, while prescribing enough to keep the menopause symptoms under control. Before being prescribed estrogen supplements, the physician will get complete medical history, discuss any family disease and ask about heart issues or cancer in the family.
Women who have suffered in the past from a blood clot, stroke or breast cancer are not considered good candidates for estrogen supplements, because it can increase their risk to have the problem recur. According to ABC News, women who take estrogen replacement supplements are also at increased risk for benign breast disease, including benign prolifeative disease. Having this disease places a woman at a higher risk for developing breast cancer.
Estrogen supplements come in three forms: liquid, pill or patch. The benefits of estrogen supplements must be weighed against the risks by each woman. Women who choose to be on estrogen supplements should be monitored on a regular basis by their physician. Estrogen supplements come in natural and synthetic form with varying rates of success reported. For women whose symptoms are debilitating, estrogen supplements may return their quality of life. In most cases, the doctor will prescribe the lowest dose possible for the shortest amount of time possible to reduce the patient’s risks.