Celebrity Angelina Jolie’s HRT Experience
The average age for a woman to begin menopause is about 51. Menopause is something all women can count on happening at some point in their life once they are older. However, there are certain things that could cause menopause to happen early. When Angelina Jolie had preventative cancer surgery, she was sent into early menopause. To help deal with the unwanted symptoms that came with this premature menopause, she began hormone replacement therapy. For many women like Angelina Jolie, HRT can increase the quality of life and keep away the unwanted symptoms that come with menopause.
Why Did Angelina Jolie Go Into Early Menopause?
Angelina Jolie found out that she was at a higher risk for breast cancer and ovarian cancer due to having the BRCA1 genetic mutation. She also has a history of cancer in her family and has lost her mother, grandmother, and aunt to cancer. Because of this, she underwent a preventative double mastectomy. She also had surgery to remove her ovaries and fallopian tubes. Her doctors indicated that having these surgeries would greatly reduce her risk of getting cancer herself, since those with the BRCA mutation have a 40-50% risk of being diagnosed with ovarian cancer in their lifetime compared to somebody with an average risk, who has a 1.8% risk. Removing both ovaries, prior to menopause beginning naturally, will cause women to go into what is often referred to as “surgical menopause.”
The Angelina Jolie Experience: HRT for Surgical Menopause
While going into menopause early isn’t what most women want, it is an easy trade-off if it means reducing the risk of cancer. For many women who go into surgical menopause like Jolie, it is recommended that they begin hormone replacement therapy (HRT). It can help reduce hot flashes and night sweats, as well as other menopause symptoms like vaginal dryness and bone loss.
How Does HRT Work?
HRT is used to treat and relieve the symptoms that come with menopause. It does so by increasing the levels of female hormones that have dropped due to menopause. These hormones are estrogen and progesterone, both of which play critical roles in a woman’s body. Testosterone also plays an important role in keeping a woman’s hormones balanced. Without adequate levels of these hormones, women may experience hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, vaginal dryness, hair loss, and other unwanted symptoms. Having adequate levels of estrogen in the body can also protect against osteoporosis.
How Long Does HRT Take To Work?
Every woman is different, but estrogen and progesterone benefits can be felt in as little as 1-7 days. Testosterone usually takes longer, at about 4 weeks. To experience the full benefits of HRT like Angelina Jolie, it is best to be patient and know that dosing adjustments may need to be made to find the correct levels for your individual needs. You'll normally start with a low dose and slowly increase it. Typically, your doctor would advise you to attempt therapy for three months to see whether it helps. If it does not, they may advise you to adjust your dose or switch to a different form of HRT.
HRT for Natural Menopause and Perimenopause
Women who go into menopause naturally or are in perimenopause can also benefit from HRT. Perimenopause and the early years of menopause are critical windows for health, and that’s true even if you don’t have symptoms. It is a sensitive period or inflection point during which small health problems could, if not addressed, amplify into more significant and more permanent health problems later in life. 80% of women in menopause experience some symptoms, and for half of them, these symptoms last for years. Beginning HRT during perimenopause can improve your long-term outcomes for preventing osteoporosis and bone loss, as well as other unwanted menopause symptoms.
Try Hormone Replacement Therapy with Joi
Joi offers bioidentical hormones for HRT. These manmade women's HRT hormones are derived from plant estrogens that are chemically identical to those the human body produces. Estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone are available through Joi in the form of pills, patches, creams, gels, and injections. If you are interested in whether or not HRT is right for you, schedule a consultation with one of Joi’s board-certified clinicians today.