Jenkins Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Medicine supports women from Katy, Texas, and beyond at every stage of their lives. Led by board-certified OBGYN specialist Dr. Taryll Jenkins, our doctors and nurse practitioners provide trusted, compassionate care for women entering perimenopause and menopause. Hormone Replacement Therapy may be appropriate to relieve distressing symptoms and to restore our patients’ well-being.
On average, women enter perimenopause in their mid-40s before going through menopause in their early 50s. As hormone levels fluctuate, vaginal dryness, painful sex, insomnia, night sweats, hot flashes, and other changes can increasingly interfere with women’s lives.
HRT is a medical treatment to help relieve the above symptoms. One hormone (estrogen) or two hormones (estrogen and progesterone) may be taken. The latter combined hormone therapy is prescribed to reduce the risk of uterine cancer among those patients who have never had a hysterectomy (estrogen-only therapy thickens the lining of the uterus, which is a risk factor).
HRT predominantly works by releasing hormones systemically into the bloodstream, which are then delivered to organs and tissues. Estrogen-only HRT may be taken as pills, gels, sprays, or patches. Additionally, women whose symptoms are primarily limited to vaginal dryness may benefit from a “local” therapy. Small doses of estrogen are released into the vaginal tissues as a vaginal ring, tablet, or cream.
Combined therapy with progesterone may be taken orally as a pill or tablet. Patches and IUDs are also available. The best option for you is based on specific symptoms, medical history, and personal preferences and habits.
Estrogen may be taken daily, while combined HRT involves adding progesterone for 10 to 14 days each month. This schedule is referred to as “cyclic” or sequential HRT.
Derived from plant sources, bioidentical hormones are generally designed to mimic the hormones naturally made by your body. These products include oral progesterone, which is approved by the FDA. Compounded drugs are also available, but they are not regulated by the FDA. These drugs can vary considerably in terms of strength and purity. We welcome any questions that you may have about these “natural” hormones.
While associated with men, testosterone is naturally made by women’s bodies and is also essential for optimal female health. This hormone plays a tremendous role in libido and sexual health and satisfaction, cognition, concentration, muscle-building, and weight management. As with other hormones, we can replace testosterone through different means, not limited to creams and injections. However, pellet therapy is lauded as among the most effective delivery methods for bioidentical HRT.
This may be an option to replace testosterone and estradiol, a potent form of estrogen. As its name suggests, hormones are compounded into tiny pellets. These pellets are introduced to the upper layer of skin above the buttocks. Pellet therapy works by mimicking the slow yet steady and consistent dosage of hormones that are released naturally by the body. Plus, our patients appreciate that they never have to ask themselves, “Did I forget to take my pill?” Pellet therapy is instead a hassle-free, predictable, and optimal way to naturally dose. It is also associated with superior bioavailability, which refers to how medications and other substances are absorbed and then circulated to their intended sites. This characteristic supports the effectiveness of bioidentical HRT delivered via pellets.
Due to the nature of pellet therapy, we can ensure that this approach is designed to meet your one-of-a-kind needs based on a thorough assessment of bloodwork, symptoms, lifestyle, and other factors. This highly personalized approach further assures that each patient gets exactly what she needs when she needs it – just as Mother Nature intended!
As with all treatments, HRT is not for every patient. It is not indicated for those with a history of certain cancers (breast, endometrial), stroke, heart attack, blood clots, or liver disease, or if you are pregnant or may become pregnant. Additionally, potential side effects include vaginal spotting or bleeding, headaches, breast soreness, and bloating. We can discuss adjusting the dosage as needed.
HRT may increase the risk of DVT and gallbladder disease, especially among older, obese women or those with a history of heart and kidney disease. Again, our specialists closely evaluate your risks before developing a treatment plan. Alternative interventions include lubricants for vaginal dryness and nonhormonal medications to address other symptoms.
Many of our patients have safely restored the quality of their lives with HRT. Also, these therapies can have a protective effect against bone loss (osteoporosis) and colon cancer. We will not know for sure what is the best recommendation for you until after an examination is completed at our office in Katy, TX. Call Jenkins Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Medicine at 855-346-8610 today to schedule your appointment.
We offer general care, gynecology, and obstetrics services that span all stages of a woman's life. Dr. Taryll L. Jenkins, MD received his undergraduate degree from Louisiana State University and Doctorate of Medicine from Meharry Medical College School of Medicine, TN. He completed his residency training at the University of Texas and Hermann Hospital, TX and is Board-certified from the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, with years of research experience.
Having graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington with a Bachelors of Science in Biological Chemistry in 2011, Dr. Stephanie Roy received her Doctor of Medicine Degree in 2015 from the University of Texas Medical Branch. Today she is a leading Board-certified physician who works hard to provide you and your family with high quality services. In addition to spending time at the practice, Dr. Roy possesses extensive volunteer experience in the community. She was also a tutor at the Medical Careers Diversity Program in 2012 and since then has spent her free time volunteering for the St. Vincent’s Clinic.
Dr. Tiffany Ikwuagwu is passionate about caring for the diverse communities in Katy and Houston, TX. Having completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Houston, her medical degree at the Baylor College of Medicine, and her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at the McGovern Medical School, she worked as principal investigator on a research project with Dr. Nana Ankumah at UT Houston. A member of the American Medical Association, Texas Medical Association, and American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Dr. Ikwuagwu has served in several leadership roles and has made many contributions to the community.
Yara Ramirez, MD earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Baylor University and her doctorate in medicine from the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in Galveston where she also completed her residency. She won the Resident Teaching Award from UTMB’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology for two consecutive years.
Dr. Ramirez has researched extensively on many obstetrics-related topics. She has been a Junior Fellow Representative for the UTMB Residency Program and a Medical Student Education Committee Member at the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. She has volunteered for various local and foreign community programs. Her fluency in Spanish and French is an asset to her organization.
Nadia Alexander is a Board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner with a Master’s of Science degree in Nursing from the University of Texas Health Science Center. With seven years of experience in women’s health and a focus on obstetrics and ambulatory gynecology (vaginitis, UTI, and vaginal bleeding), she provides quality, compassionate care to patients in various stages of reproductive life. She is fluent in English and Spanish and is the lead contact for our Telehealth service.