Hormone Replacement Specialist

Nancy Thornton, MD -  - Gynecologist

Nancy Thornton, MD

Gynecologist located in Palm Beach Gardens, FL

If you’re experiencing some of the side effects of going through menopause, such as hot flashes and vaginal dryness, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) could relieve these symptoms and help you through the transition. Nancy L. Thornton, MD, FACOG, is an experienced gynecologist providing hormone replacement therapies at her practice in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Whatever your symptoms are, Dr. Thornton can help you manage your menopause. Call her office today or book an appointment online.

Hormone Replacement Q & A

What is hormone replacement therapy?

Hormone replacement therapy, commonly referred to as HRT, is a treatment that replaces the female hormones lost as a result of menopause. When you reach your forties, your ovaries slow down production of estrogen and progesterone, the hormones essential to female fertility.

As you progress into perimenopause, hormone production slows even further, causing symptoms including:

  • Irregular periods
  • Hot flashes and night sweats
  • Problems sleeping
  • Loss of interest in sex
  • Emotional problems
  • Weight gain
  • Vaginal dryness and itching
  • Dry hair and skin
  • Tender breasts

HRT replaces the hormones that your body stops making to combat some of these symptoms.

What are the benefits of hormone replacement therapy?

HRT comes in different forms, so the benefits vary according to the type of HRT Dr. Thornton prescribes.

Systemic estrogen

Taken orally or as a skin patch, gel, cream, or spray, systemic estrogen is most effective against hot flashes and night sweats as well as vaginal dryness, itching, and uncomfortable sexual intercourse. It also helps protect against osteoporosis and may lower your risk of developing heart disease.

Combined estrogen and progesterone

A combination of estrogen and progesterone is effective against hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal problems, and may also help protect against colon cancer.

Low dose vaginal estrogen

Vaginal creams or rings containing a low dose of estrogen help reduce symptoms of dryness, itching, uncomfortable intercourse, and urinary symptoms, but as they don’t get absorbed into your bloodstream, they can’t help with hot flashes and night sweats.

Are there any risks involved in taking hormone replacement therapy?

Studies show that HRT may increase the risk of developing certain conditions, including:

  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Blood clots
  • Breast cancer

Your risk of being adversely affected by HRT depends on your medical history and the age you start treatment; for example, HRT may not be suitable for you if you’ve previously had a deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

Dr. Thornton examines your complete medical history and runs tests before prescribing HRT to ensure you’re a suitable candidate and discusses the risks and benefits in full with you so you can make an informed choice as to the most suitable form of HRT.

The benefits of taking HRT often outweigh any slight risks, and hormone replacement is the most effective treatment for managing menopausal symptoms.

If you’re looking for help with the effects of menopause, talk to Dr. Nancy L. Thornton to find out more about the treatments available. Call her practice today or book an appointment online.