Menopause symptoms, including hot flashes and vaginal dryness, burning, and irritation, can be alleviated using transdermal skin patches that act as a hormone delivery system.
Basically, the patch’s hormones are absorbed by blood vessels through the skin and distributed systemically. Let’s take a closer look at what types of patches are available, how they work and their pros and cons.
What is Hormone Therapy?
Hormone therapy is a treatment option for menopause symptoms, but whether or not you pursue it depends on several variables, including your age, family medical history, personal medical history, and the severity of your symptoms.
During menopause, oestrogen and progesterone production from the ovaries gradually decreases. Hormonal fluctuations might result in unpleasant physical manifestations.
Signs of menopause include:
- Sweaty palms
- Flashes of coldness or heat during the night.
- Sexual irritation or pain due to vaginal dryness.
- Needing to go to the bathroom (urinary urgency).
- Sleep disturbances (insomnia).
- Alterations in temperament, such as temporary sadness or anger.
- Chapped lips, dry eyes, dehydrated skin.
Discussing the pros and downsides of HT treatment with your doctor might help you decide if it’s right for you. Taking HT comes with various advantages and disadvantages for your health.
Hormone Patches: What Are They?
Hormone patches come in two primary varieties:
- Oestrogen patches (estradiol)
- Estradiol/progesterone patches
Although both of these patch forms of hormone replacement therapy serve a similar purpose, they are often utilised by distinct demographics.
Estradiol patches can be used by women who have had a hysterectomy and no longer have a uterus. In contrast, combination patches are used by women who still have a uterus to help prevent uterine cancer by maintaining progestin levels.
Systemic HRT will have far-reaching effects on your body as a whole. Patches, tablets, and implants are all forms of hormone replacement therapy. Vaginal rings and vaginal lotions are two examples of local HRT that can be effective for those with fewer severe symptoms.
Hormone patches, like other drugs, can have adverse effects. These include abdominal distention, tender breasts, discomfort in the back, nausea, vomiting, headaches, blood spots or leaking from the vaginal area, leg cramps, indigestion and swelling.
The following are some potential negative effects of progestin combination patches and those already mentioned.
- Mood swings
- Abdominal discomfort
- Bleeding or spotting from the cervix
- Discomfort in the back
After a couple of weeks of wearing the patch, most people no longer experience any negative effects. Your doctor can reduce your dosage or switch you to a different treatment if the adverse effects continue or worsen.
It should be stressed that the widespread belief that HRT can lead to substantial weight gain is unfounded. Gaining weight during menopause is fairly frequent, although HRT is not the cause.
Is there any risk in using the menopausal patch?
Medical trials show that HRT is safe and effective for relieving menopausal symptoms in the short term.
Hormone replacement medication for menopause for 5 to 7 years did not raise the risk of mortality, according to a study of 27,000 women conducted over an 18-year period.
Those thinking about using HRT to cope with menopause should talk to their doctor about the potential advantages and disadvantages of the treatment.
Other Methods for Alleviating Menopausal Symptoms
Several natural remedies are thought to help reduce menopausal symptoms, including hot flashes and night sweats, but further study is needed. It’s possible that natural remedies like ginseng, kava, red clover and more can help ease your menopausal symptoms.
Alternative treatments for mood swings, headaches, and nausea include lavender, basil, and geranium. Some natural therapies might interact with other drugs and create unwanted side effects, so it’s important to check with your doctor before starting a new therapy.
By maintaining a healthy lifestyle, you can lessen the severity of any health issues you might have and improve your mood throughout menopause. During menopause, it might be helpful to make changes to your lifestyle, such as:
- Maintaining a nutritious diet
- Maintaining a regular exercise routine
- Eating less sugary, processed, and refined meals
- Sustaining a reasonable body mass index
- Seeking out counselling when necessary; preferably cognitive behavioural
Hormone Patch: How to Use It?
To use a patch, remove its backing and stick it on a dry, clean spot on your lower stomach or upper buttocks. To ensure the patch stays in place, press down hard for around 10 seconds.
In addition to avoiding the breast, the patch should also be avoided on greasy, damaged, or sensitive skin. It’s best to avoid sections of skin where the patch might be rubbed off when deciding where to place it, e.g. the waistline.
Take this drug exactly as prescribed. Typically, the patch is worn for a week before being changed out. Carefully adhere to the prescribed dose regimen. However, your illness and reaction to therapy will determine the appropriate dose.
It would be best if you always moved the patch to a new location when changing it. Do not apply a patch to the same place for at least a week. Keep the old patch out of the reach of youngsters and dogs by folding it in half with the adhesive side in.
Moreover, if a patch comes off, reapply it somewhere else. If the patch does not adhere well, you should put on a fresh one and keep it on for seven days. Two patches are too much to wear at once.
Make sure to take this drug consistently to get the full benefits. Change the patch on the same day every week to help you keep track. Putting a reminder on your calendar might be useful.
If your situation does not get better or if it worsens, you should contact your doctor.
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT), including hormone patches, is helpful for many women experiencing menopause. Menopausal hormone patches have been shown to reduce the risk of osteoporosis and aid with various other menopause symptoms.
Before beginning any new therapy, you must talk to your doctor about your medical history and any potential risks.
The potential advantages of utilising a menopausal patch often exceed the hazards involved. In addition, HRT is most effective when used in conjunction with other measures taken to keep the user’s health in check during the transition to and through menopause.