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Severe Menopause Symptoms: How Hormone Replacement Therapy Can Help

Severe Menopause Symptoms: How Hormone Replacement Therapy Can Help

Are you concerned about menopause? While a few select women experience little or no symptoms, 80% of women will experience at least one symptom of menopause.

While these symptoms are mild for many women, some women will experience more severe menopause symptoms. If this is the case, these women may need extra menopause relief.

Hormone replacement therapy is one such treatment for severe menopause symptoms. Is it right for you?

What is Menopause?

Menopause is the transitional period when women stop menstruating. Your body is experiencing changes to the hormones and functions that allow for reproduction. There are actually three stages to the full menopause season of life.

  • Perimenopause

Perimenopause is the true transitional period. This is the point where you will start noticing changes to your body.

Menstrual changes are the most noticeable changes during the perimenopause stage. During this transition, menstruation can become spotty and irregular as the hormones fluctuate in your body.

  • Menopause

Menopause begins once you go a year without a period. This is the time when other, uncomfortable symptoms are noticeable. Hormone levels, particularly estrogen and progesterone, are lower causing the symptoms common to this period of life.

The menopause stage lasts from seven to fourteen years depending on the individual.

  • Post-menopause

Post-menopause is the stage after the symptoms of menopause cease. This is also the stage where other health issues can increase due to the changes to hormones.

The major concerns during the post-menopause stage are cardiac issues and osteoporosis.

The menopause cycle, beginning with perimenopause can begin once a woman hits her 40s. Most women will begin the cycle by their early 50s.

Severe Menopause Symptoms

While some women will go through menopause with minimum to no symptoms, the majority of women will experience at least one of the symptoms associated with this change. Of those that experience symptoms, they can cause interruptions to daily life.

What are the common issues that can cause severe menopause symptoms?

Hot Flashes

Hot flashes are the most common symptom associated with menopause. In fact, 75% of women will experience hot flashes at some point during the menopause stage.

Hot flashes affect the upper body, causing a wave of heat through the head, neck, and chest. In some cases, the hot flash can cause reddening of the skin. In most cases, severe sweating is associated with the hot flash.

The hot flashes are caused by the fluctuating hormone levels as your body adjusts. Hot flashes can occur as little as once a day or can occur several times throughout the day. The severity of the hot flashes will be different for each woman.

Night Sweats

Night sweats are closely associated with hot flashes. Night sweats are the occurrence of hot flashes that hit primarily at night. These night-time hot flashes may or may not wake you up.

If you sleep through night sweats, you'll still notice the sweat on your bedding in the morning. The fluctuating hormones are also to blame with night sweats.


As you go through menopause, you might notice your sleep is affected. If you find it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep this could be a symptom of menopause.

Insomnia associated with menopause can be due to the hormone changes alone, but often sleep interruption is due to hot flashes. If insomnia continues, mood changes can become an issue.

Mood Swings

Another change that can come from hormone drops in your body, especially estrogen, is mood swings. During menopause bouts of depression or anxiety can be an issue.

As your hormone levels continue to fluctuate periods of huge drops in estrogen can cause depression, anxiety, irritability, and stress. These symptoms will fluctuate with the hormone changes until your body stabilizes.

Memory and Concentration Issues

The drop in estrogen levels is also linked to memory issues. memory and concentration problems are most common during the perimenopause stage.

The mood swings and negative associations with menopause can have some bearing on concentration problems. Hormones can also play a role in memory issues.

Another factor is the fatigue associated with menopause. With the different changes and the difficulty sleeping, memory loss and concentration problems can be influenced by the lack of rest during this period of life.

Increased Heart Rate

The dropping hormone levels are also to blame for the issue of heart racing that can happen more often during menopause. A racing heart can happen with no other symptoms, but this issue is most common during hot flashes.

Symptoms of anxiety and stress associated with menopause can also cause these changes to your heart rate. If left unchecked, a racing heart can cause dizziness and poor coordination.

Vaginal Dryness

Another change that occurs during the loss of estrogen is vaginal dryness. As the hormones that help regulate the moisture and strengthen vaginal walls is diminished, the lining thins. This thinning decreases the vaginal wall's moisture production.

Vaginal dryness is most noticeable during intercourse. Without the moisture, intercourse becomes painful for many women. Women can experience discomfort at other times as well.

Burning, itching, or stinging sensations are common occurrences during this transition. These symptoms can occur during urination or throughout the day as the moisture in the vaginal wall decreases.

Post-Menopause Symptoms

The changes that occur during the first two stages of menopause can leave you more vulnerable to other concerns. The most common post-menopause issue is osteoporosis and heart disease.


Osteoporosis is caused by bone weakening. As the sudden hormone fluctuations occur during menopause, loss of bone mass is easily accelerated. Because of this, women are more likely to experience osteoporosis than men.

If left untreated, osteoporosis can lead to bone breaks and fractures. This danger increases with age.

Heart Disease

The decreased estrogen levels can lead to increased cholesterol and increased blood pressure. This drop can also cause weakness to arteries. This causes the chances of heart disease to increase for women post-menopause.

If left untreated, the weakened muscle and arteries can lead to more severe heart issues. Women are more likely to experience stroke or heart attacks after menopause due to the strain placed on the heart and cardiovascular system. The combination of high pressure and weakened system causes this higher risk.

Hormone Therapy for Menopause

If the menopause symptoms do not affect daily life, you may not need any therapy options. If you experience severe menopause symptoms, however, some menopause relief may be necessary.

The most common treatment for severe menopause symptoms is hormone replacement therapy. Hormone therapy can decrease the more severe menopause symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal dryness. This type of treatment can also decrease the chances of osteoporosis.

Natural hormone replacement for menopause is not for everybody. You will need to check with your doctor before starting any form of treatment. If you have any concerns, make sure you address those thoroughly before proceeding with any treatment option.

How do you Know if Hormone Therapy is Right for You?

Hormone therapy works best if you begin treatment sooner rather than later. Hormone therapy for menopause works best for women 59 years or younger. This treatment sees the best success when started during early menopause, especially during perimenopause.

If you can't start during the early stages, hormone treatment should be started within ten years of beginning the menopause cycle. While the duration of treatment will be different for each woman, treatments usually last no more than five years.

The five-year window is most important in women who had a hysterectomy as the chances of ovarian cancer increases due to the lack of progesterone to counteract estrogen.

If you are experiencing severe menopause symptoms, and you're between the ages of 40-59 years of age, you may want to talk to your doctor about natural hormone replacement for menopause. Make sure you discuss any concerns such as family history of ovarian cancer, hysterectomy, heart disease, or other health issues.

Finding the Right Treatment for Severe Menopause Symptoms

If your doctor agrees that hormone therapy for menopause is right for you, you want to find a reputable source for your treatment options. Make sure you do thorough research before purchasing hormone replacements.

There are different options available, depending on your needs. You want to pick a source that understands the treatment options and provide plenty of advice during your treatment.

You want to choose a company with a good reputation. You also want to make sure they understand all laws and regulations regarding hormone treatment therapy.

You also want to make sure you understand safety procedures around using hormone replacement treatments. More is not always better when it comes to this type of treatment.

If you are still unsure about hormone replacement therapy for severe menopause symptoms make sure you do your research. If you have any questions or concerns about using hormone therapy, check out the treatment options provided by Nu Image Medical. We are also available to answer any further questions or concerns. Let us help you make the right decision for your menopause treatment needs.

About the author

Dr. Constance Odom, MD

8 min read