“There’s a sense of isolation, a sense of not feeling like you’re in control, that you have a say in what’s happening to you,” said Dr. Choudhary. “It’s leading to a lot of my patients to feel anxious, depressed [and] overwhelmed.”
For those also going through menopause, therapists are helping to provide relief.
“Over half of the women who go through this hormonal change start to feel that way, it’s been really hard. We have therapists on staff in my office and they’ve been maxed out.”
Dr. Choudhary said the loss of estrogen around the age of 50 can rob some women of sleep, affect libido, cause mood swings and even anger which can impact their relationships.
She has seen big success in hormone replacement therapies for some.
“Women should be assessed individually. We should take a look at their cardiac risk, we should look at their breast cancer risk, and then really tailor a hormone regimen that helps them transition through this phase.”
She said women have five years after menstruating ends to benefit. Some see results from a newer treatment.
“The FDA approved a year ago bioidentical hormone replacement in a pill form which is a combination of estrogen and progesterone and it’s really beautiful for hot flashes.”
She has seen patients who are eligible to take hormone replacement therapy dramatically improve their quality of life.
“It doesn’t make them feel as if they’re 20 again, but what it does do is take away the things that have really made you feel bad, so they don’t have hot flashes, they sleep better, they think better, their mood is stable.”