Hormone therapy affects more than what’s labeled

Opinion by MalloryConnealy

Infographic by ElissaEisele. Source WebMD.

Hormone therapy has become increasingly accessible for women in the United States today, with about 44% of women using some form of it according to Mayo Clinic. It is used to boost hormone levels in order to relieve some of the symptoms of menstrual cycles and menopause and in some cases, even prevent pregnancy. As young women transition into their menstrual cycles, their ovaries stop producing high levels of estrogen which plays a significant role in many bodily functions. 

Already trying to overcome the hardships of being a teenage girl, dealing with the symptoms of a menstrual cycle can be overwhelming. It has definitely been something that I have struggled with. Hormone therapy is a tool used to reduce those symptoms so that teenagers and women of all ages can experience life without the struggles of menstrual cycles and menopause. 

There are both risks and benefits of hormone replacement through hormone therapy so it is vital to consult a doctor before using hormone therapy products. It seems that once a girl reaches high school there is this pressure from peers to use hormone therapy in order to help with side effects of receiving their first period. While hormone therapy can be helpful, it can also unintentionally negatively affect other aspects of the user’s life. 

I recently made the decision at the recommendation of my doctor to get the Nexplanon arm implant which is a form of hormone therapy. Although I have only had it for a short period of time, I have noticed an overwhelming amount of negative effects rather than positive impacts. Aside from the usual spotting and dry skin side effects, I have also noticed that since I received the implant, I am tired almost all of the time and require close to a two-hour nap every day in order to get through the day. I have also noticed that I have been dealing with more mood swings and anxiety since starting hormone therapy. The implant is meant to last two years which makes it difficult to temporarily test out hormone therapy to determine if it is right for you. 

This made me realize that sometimes hormone therapy can be glamorized because some people no longer experience their menstrual cycle and are relieved from the side effects that accompany it. However, there are many horrible side effects that often go overlooked. It is important that young women complete thorough research through clinically established websites and talk to a gynecologist before using hormone therapy instead of using it because they feel pressured to do so.

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