Currently, doctors only prescribe hormone therapy for a few years, but symptoms can last much longer.
When doctors prescribe hormone therapy to treat the disruptive symptoms of menopause, there’s usually a time limit. Current guidelines recommend that it continue for no more than 3 to 5 years. But is this really long enough?
Hormone therapy is the main medical treatment for hot flashes. It’s true that it isn’t recommended for every woman, but for others it does reap some real benefits.
A study done by researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania found that obese white women and both obese and non-obese African American women in the United States experience a greater risk of developing moderate or severe hot flashes.
And here’s the problem: these symptoms can surface up to 10 years following the onset of menopause-much later than the estimated 3 to 5 years.
So, are some women being undertreated when it comes to suffering through this period in life? Researchers say that more studies need to be done.
In the past, obese women were thought to have an increased risk of hot flashes because they have lower levels of estradiol in their bodies before menopause. But the discovery that African American women also experience the same symptoms has scientists stumped.
What’s the best course to take? Talk to your doctor about your symptoms. Find out the best course to take for your individual case and don’t be afraid to speak up: your comfort matters.