After 5 months, here’s the 13 BEST BENEFITS of Hormone Therapy during menopause that I’VE EXPERIENCED. This is my HRT for menopause story.
My Experience With Hormone Therapy During Menopause
Before we get started, I want to explain a couple quick things that I think might be helpful. See, I didn’t know I was ever in perimenopause or menopause until recently.
Typically women hear that you’ll know that you’re in menopause when you start having 3 BIG symptoms; mood swings, hot flashes, and night sweats. I never actually had any of those.
Another sign of menopause is that you stop having a period for 1 year.
But, I have been using a Mirena as birth control for the last 8 years. The Mirena releases progesterone into your body daily. Apparently, the loss of progesterone causes those 3 BIG symptoms.
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And, that Mirena also made my period pretty non-existent from the start. So, I wasn’t ever sure that my period had stopped.
And, since I still had progesterone, I only experienced the symptoms associated with the loss of estrogen. Plus, I’m only 48. So, kind of on the young side for menopause.
As I mentioned, the Mirena supplies my progesterone and I’m now also using an estrogen patch to fix my menopause symptoms. I had my testosterone tested. It was normal.
Talk To A Qualified Doctor For Help
I’m not a doctor. And, everyone’s menopause journey and symptoms are different. Please discuss any questions with a doctor that knows how to treat Menopause appropriately.
Untreated menopause hormone loss can cause bone density loss, heart disease, high blood pressure, an increased risk of dementia, and a higher risk of developing diabetes.
I suggest checking Menopause.org for doctors that are aware of the latest menopause research and treatments. Many doctors still follow outdated guidelines on HRT. Or, they just don’t know how to properly prescribe hormone treatment.
The Menopause Taylor channel on YouTube is also VERY helpful. She helped to answer a lot of my questions and worries. She’s a gynecologist with expertise in menopause.
OK, let’s get to my list of benefits of using HRT during menopause.
13 Benefits Of HRT During Menopause That I Experienced
This is just my experience with using hormone therapy during menopause. Everyone’s experience will be different. Everyone’s body has different hormone levels and needs.
Some symptoms of menopause will be experienced by everyone, some won’t. And, some women will have menopause symptoms that I haven’t experienced or notice.
Check the North American Menopause Society website for answers from experts, advice, and recommendations for doctors that can treat menopause with HRT, if you decide to go that route.
1. Difficulty Concentrating Went Away
For a few years, I’d have whole days of sitting in front of my computer completely UNABLE to focus enough to type anything. I felt tired and lethargic, like I had a half-asleep brain.
I’d eventually have to just get up and do physical labor or exercise. Concentrating enough to write up a simple DIY tutorial just wasn’t happening.
So, I think that the difficulty concentrating must have started during peri-menopause and just got worse when I finally entered menopause.
But, after just a few days on HRT, I was able to type and write all day again!
2. I’m Not Tired All Day
On top of being able to concentrate now, HRT helped to get rid of a constantly tired feeling. For the last 2 or 3 years, I felt worn out by 10 AM and struggled to keep moving. Even after sleeping 7 to 8 hours.
In my 20’s and 30’s, I’d feel a little tired around late afternoon most days. Then in the evening I was back to feeling awake. BUT, once my estrogen dipped or disappeared, I felt tired from 10 AM until bedtime.
As someone with 2 little boys to keep up with and a home that I’m always remodeling, I hate sitting down. That tired feeling was holding me back.
But again, this daily tired feeling went away after just a few days on HRT for menopause.
3. I’ve Started To Regain Muscle Mass
Another huge downside to perimenopause and menopause is the loss of muscle mass. Our bodies need estrogen, among other things, to build and maintain muscle.
In the past, I’ve typically had pretty toned arms, without a lot of effort. With all of the DIY I do around here, I’m naturally lifting heavy things regularly. And, I lift weights regularly too.
But, in the last couple of years, no matter how much I lifted, my arm muscles were definitely going soft. In fact, all of my muscles were. I even increased the lifting without ever seeing gains.
Your body needs estrogen to make and maintain muscle mass. One of the best benefits of Hormone Therapy for menopause has been getting my muscle tone back.
I’ve been using an HRT patch for almost 5 months now and I can definitely see my arm muscles coming back!
4. My Stomach Doesn’t Look Or Feel As Bloated
After starting HRT for menopause, my stomach started to feel a lot less bloated and round. One of the biggest negatives of menopause, for many women, is gaining weight in your stomach.
For about a year, it seemed like my stomach would just continue to slowly grow and I wouldn’t be able to do anything about it. Thankfully HRT has really helped me get rid of that bloated feeling.
And, it seems like I’m losing weight around the middle. I’m hoping that by this time next year, I’ll notice a big improvement.
5. I Don’t Feel Hungry All Day
Another of the worst symptoms of menopause for me was the constant hunger. Nearly all day, I felt incredibly hungry, no matter how much I ate.
Before starting the estrogen patch, I could eat a large plate of food, full of fiber and protein, and still feel crazy hungry. It’s so hard to resist that hunger feeling. I ended up just thinking about food ALL DAY.
Starting the patch made that uncontrollable feeling of hunger go away within a few days too. You can’t imagine what a relief it’s been to have that hungry feeling finally gone!
6. I Don’t Crave Sugar And Bread As Often
This is kind of similar to the hunger pains, but it feels different enough to mention. Before starting on the estrogen patch, I was mostly craving sugar or bread.
Something about that hormonal imbalance made me focus on simple carbs. Now that my hormones seem to be right, I still like bread and sugar, but I can live without them most days.
7. I Can Sleep Through The Night Again
Perimenopause and menopause can cause big sleep issues for many women. Two or three times a week, I was waking up between 1 and 3 AM and staying awake for an hour or two.
That was pretty unusual for me. Luckily, another benefit of hormone therapy for menopause is that it can resolve sleeping problems related to hormone imbalance.
The estrogen patch has helped me get back to being able to fall asleep easily and stay asleep for 7 to 8 hours every night. It’s been SO GOOD to be able to sleep again!
8. I Don’t Feel Like I Need To Go To The Bathroom Every 15 Minutes
And, while we’re talking about sleeping through the night, let’s talk about those annoying nightly bathroom trips that many people complain about as they get older.
For the last few years, I’ve felt like I’ve had to pee way too frequently. Like, every 20 minutes frequently. And, most of the time I’d only have a tablespoon of pee coming out. I knew it wasn’t normal.
But, I thought it was due to having children in my late 30’s. Well, my doctor started me on a low estrogen patch that I’ve stepped up 2 times.
When I started that first patch, the constant feeling like I needed to pee pretty much went away. Now that I’m on the third (higher dose) patch, I can actually sleep all night without having to go to the bathroom.
That’s a big win for me and totally an unexpected benefit of using HRT during menopause.
9. I Stopped Feeling Lethargic And Uninterested In Everything
On top of feeling like I couldn’t focus on work, I also felt like the normal day to day enjoyment of life was gone. Everything just felt a bit blah and pointless. I was kind of pretending to be happy.
After starting HRT my smiles are real again. I enjoy normal activities with my family again. And, I get excited about movie nights and family vacations again.
10. General Inflammation Or Swelling Is Gone
This one was pretty subtle. I’m not even sure that other people would have noticed. But, I felt like my ankles and wrists were slightly thicker. Not puffy or swollen looking, just thicker.
I think I might have had general inflammation everywhere once menopause started. After a few months of using an estrogen patch, my wrists and ankles are back to normal.
Some pain I had in one ankle is actually starting to go away too. Joint pain is a common complaint during menopause. Maybe some of those pains are inflammation related??
11. Hair Loss Has Improved
Over the last 3 or 4 years, I have noticed a little thinning in my hair. I’ve even made 2 YouTube videos about my experience with Rogaine. And, I covered it in this My Minoxidil Results After 2 Years post.
When it first started, I wasn’t sure if it was related to my thyroid, genetic, or related to hormone changes. Now that I’ve been on HRT for menopause, I’ve noticed my hair thickening again.
So, maybe sometime soon I’ll be able to stop using Rogaine or minoxidil foam. We’ll see.
12. Dry Mouth And Extra Plaque Build Up Has Improved
Here’s another weird symptom of menopause. It can cause dry mouth in some women. Some women experience a very dry mouth. For me, I didn’t feel like my mouth was too dry.
But, I was getting mouth sores more often, cavities more often, plaque-build up more often. And, my tongue always had a “burnt tongue” feeling. These are all symptoms of dry mouth.
Because of dry mouth, I’ve had a bunch of unusual dental work over the last few years. And, I’d call myself REALLY good at brushing and flossing. It’s been so strange to have so many dental problems.
I didn’t realize that dry mouth could be a symptom of menopause. I wish my dentist had asked me if I might be in menopause so that I could have started HRT sooner.
The HRT has gotten rid of the burnt tongue feeling and mouth sores. Hopefully, the dental issues will stop happening too.
13. A Dry Itchy Spot On My Scalp Seems To Have Gone Away
One last symptom that seems to have been fixed by using the estrogen patch is what I assume was a bit of eczema on my scalp.
I guess it could have just been dry skin too. Dry skin can be common during menopause. I had this weird itchy spot for the last few years that I’ve been treating with special shampoo.
And, it always was the itchiest during the winter. Well, it’s January and I haven’t had the itchy spot for a few months now. It’s amazing how many problems a hormonal imbalance can cause.
That’s it! That’s it for the 13 benefits of HRT for menopause I experienced. I hope sharing these helps someone out there.
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That’s it for the 13 best benefits of Hormone Therapy during menopause. I hope this helped. Good luck with your menopause story!
Stephanie Abbott has been remodeling homes, updating & building furniture, and working on DIY home maintenance and cleaning tips for over 20 years. Her remodeling has been featured in Better Homes and Gardens Magazine. And, her DIY YouTube channel has had more than 8 million views.
Most of the DIY tutorials and videos on this site focus on beginner to intermediate level DIY Projects that can be done in an affordable way without high-end, expensive tools. All of the cleaning tips on this website have been tested in her home.