By: Andrea Friall, MD
As women, we are complex individuals and so is our health. From menarche to menopause, our bodies are constantly changing. We go from the adolescent teenage girl with raging hormones to the menopausal women with hormones that we just can’t seem to control.
Understanding the natural changes that our bodies are going through is essential. Proper rest, diet, exercise, and stress management influence your body's own hormonal regulation. Health care providers are faced daily with questions about whether hormonal manipulation will benefit and improve a women's quality of life.
Common uses of hormonal medications include contraception as well as control or treatment for:
- Heavy menstrual bleeding
- Painful menstrual cycles
- Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
- Premenstrual syndrome
- Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)
- Osteoporosis prevention
- Vaginal dryness
- Hot flashes
Birth control pills, hormonal intrauterine devices, and hormone replacement therapy are most commonly prescribed to help women of various ages manage some of the conditions described above in an effort to improve their quality of life. They are certainly not without risks, adverse reactions, or side effects. Use of hormonal medications is simply not appropriate for all women. A thorough discussion with your physician regarding specific risks should take place before beginning any hormonal regimen.