Menopause is a natural phase of life that all ladies go through, typically occurring in their late 40s to early 50s. It marks the end of the reproductive years and comes with a variety of physical and emotional changes. Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) has been a widely used treatment for alleviating the symptoms of menopause, including those delightful hot flashes, perfectly timed mood swings, and frustrating vaginal dryness. While HRT has been effective for many ladies, some are exploring non-surgical procedures to complement their treatment and enhance their overall well-being during this transitional period. So, lets start with an HRT overview.
Understanding Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)
Before delving into non-surgical procedures, let’s first understand what Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is and why it is commonly used during menopause. HRT involves taking medications by most commonly applying a patch to the skin. This patch contains female hormones, such as oestrogen and progesterone, to replace the declining hormone levels in the body during menopause. There are two primary types of HRT:
Oestrogen only therapy: This is typically prescribed to ladies who have had a hysterectomy (removal of the uterus). It helps alleviate symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal dryness.
Combination therapy: This involves taking both oestrogen and progesterone and is prescribed to ladies who still have their uterus. It helps prevent endometrial cancer, which can be a risk with oestrogen alone therapy.
Non-Surgical Procedures and Menopause
Non-surgical procedures are gaining popularity among ladies going through menopause who want to address cosmetic and physical concerns that often accompany this chapter in their life’s. These procedures are minimally invasive, meaning they do not require surgery or significant downtime.
So which procedures can I choose whilst receiving HRT?
Dermal Fillers and Anti-wrinkle treatments – As ladies age, they may notice a loss of facial volume and the development of fine lines and wrinkles. Dermal fillers such as Juvederm® and skin boosters like Profhilo®, which are hyaluronic acid-based injections, can restore volume to the face, reducing the appearance of sagging and lines. Botox® injections can also help relax facial muscles, diminishing the look of wrinkles. These treatments can boost self-esteem and confidence, helping ladies feel more youthful during menopause.
Laser Skin Resurfacing – Menopausal hormonal changes can lead to skin issues such as uneven tone, hyperpigmentation, and a loss of elasticity. Laser skin resurfacing treatments, like fractional laser therapy, can address these concerns by stimulating collagen production and promoting skin regeneration. This can result in smoother, more radiant even skin tone. Patients do need to be aware that their skin could be more sensitive if receiving HRT. Oestrogen or testosterone can affect the skin’s texture, thickness, and healing capabilities.
Vaginal Rejuvenation – Vaginal dryness and laxity are common menopausal symptoms that can impact a lady’s comfort and quality of life. Desirial® by Stylage® is an injectable that restores hydration, elasticity, and overall tone to the labia. For obvious reasons patients can be reassured that plenty of anaesthetic is applied prior to treatment. Other non-surgical vaginal rejuvenation procedures, such as radiofrequency or laser treatments, can help tighten vaginal tissues, improve lubrication, and reduce discomfort during intercourse. These procedures can be particularly beneficial for ladies on HRT who may still experience vaginal issues.
CoolSculpting and Body Contouring – Weight gain and changes in body composition are common during menopause due to hormonal fluctuations. Non-surgical body contouring treatments like CoolSculpting use controlled cooling to eliminate stubborn fat cells, helping ladies achieve a more sculpted physique. These procedures can be a confidence boost and even encourage ladies to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Hair Restoration – Ladies experiencing the menopause may experience hair thinning or loss due to hormonal changes. Non-surgical hair restoration techniques, including platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy and low-level laser therapy, can stimulate hair follicles and promote regrowth. These treatments can help ladies maintain thicker, healthier hair during menopause.
Laser hair removal – Hormone interaction should be considered with some non-surgical procedures, such as laser hair removal or electrolysis, target hair growth, which can be influenced by hormone levels. Understanding the potential synergies or conflicts between the objectives of HRT and the non-surgical procedures is vital for optimal results.
Benefits of Non-Surgical Procedures for Ladies receiving HRT
Minimal Downtime – One of the significant advantages of non-surgical procedures is that they typically require minimal to no downtime. Ladies on HRT can undergo these treatments and resume their daily activities shortly afterward, making them convenient options for busy individuals.
Enhanced Self-Confidence – Menopause can bring about changes in physical appearance that may negatively impact self-esteem. Non-surgical procedures can help ladies feel more confident and attractive, boosting their overall well-being.
Natural Looking Results – When performed by skilled professionals, non-surgical procedures can yield natural looking results. This is essential for ladies who want to enhance their appearance without appearing overdone.
Complementary to HRT – Non-surgical procedures can complement the effects of HRT by addressing specific cosmetic and physical concerns. They offer a holistic approach to managing the changes associated with menopause.
Customised Treatments – Many non-surgical procedures can be tailored to an individual’s needs. Ladies on HRT can work with their healthcare providers and aesthetic specialists to create a personalised treatment plan.
Risks and Considerations
While non-surgical procedures offer numerous benefits, it’s essential to be aware of potential risks and considerations:
Temporary Results – The results of non-surgical procedures are typically not permanent. Maintenance treatments may be required to sustain the desired outcome.
Potential Side Effects – Like any medical procedure, non-surgical treatments may have side effects, such as bruising, swelling, or discomfort. It’s crucial to discuss these potential side effects with a medically qualified registered practitioner.
Cost – Non-surgical procedures can be costly, and insurance may not cover them. Ladies should budget accordingly and consider the long-term financial commitment.
Choosing Qualified Providers – Selecting a reputable and experienced practitioner is crucial to achieving safe and effective results. Research providers, read reviews, and ask for recommendations to find a qualified specialist.
Health Considerations – Ladies on HRT should consult with their healthcare provider before undergoing any non-surgical procedures. It’s essential to ensure that these treatments are safe and suitable for their specific health conditions.
Nurse Emily treat’s many ladies receiving HRT in Southwest London and has done courses with The British Menopause Society. She understands menopause no matter which stage is a significant life transition that can bring about various physical and emotional changes. Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) has been a wonderful go-to treatment (if you can get it) for managing menopausal symptoms, but some ladies are exploring non-surgical procedures to enhance their well-being during this phase. At Atanga Aesthetics clinics in Wimbledon and South Kensington, these minimally invasive treatments can address cosmetic and physical concerns, providing ladies with a sense of confidence and boost of self-esteem they deserve.