New Blog Series: Ask Andi Anything!

What if you had a pharmacist at your fingertips? An expert in Women’s Health, whom you could ask anything and get reliable, informed answers backed by research and years of experience? 

Andi Roths, PharmD

Welcome to “Ask Andi Anything!”  – a new blog series from The Change Is Personal, where you get to ask Belmar’s Clinical Director of Women’s Health, Andi Roths, PharmD, anything about menopause, perimenopause, women’s health, hormones, and any other aging wellness questions you can think of.  

  • Want to know if it’s normal to sweat through your pajamas during a night sweat? 
  • Wondering whether or not you’ll sleep better once you’re officially in menopause? 
  • Curious about symptoms like weight gain or brain fog? 
  • Pondering painful sex or low libido? 

Ask Andi Anything! 

Let’s get started with some of the most popular questions Andi hears from patients and their providers.  

  1. What symptoms are often the result of low estrogen?  
    While it’s different for everyone, typical symptoms of low estrogen include: 
  • Hot flashes 
  • Night sweats 
  • Irregular periods 
  • Vaginal dryness 
  • Lower sex drive 
  • Painful sex 
  • Fatigue and insomnia 
  • Brain fog 
  • Mood swings 
  • Dry skin 

2. What are the potential benefits of estrogen replacement therapy? 
Estrogen replacement can help relieve many of the symptoms listed above, but most women are unaware of the additional health benefits you can potentially experience with estrogen therapy. Estrogen may help reduce your risk of several conditions associated with aging, including dementia, cardiovascular disease, urinary tract issues, and osteoporosis. 

  1. As a woman, why would I need testosterone hormone replacement? 
    Testosterone is another hormone that naturally declines with age for both men and women. Testosterone affects your sex drive (libido), mood, energy levels, and even helps keep your bones and muscles healthy. Replacing testosterone during perimenopause, menopause, and beyond may help you feel more like your younger self! It can help boost energy, enhance sex drive, improve mood, and increase strength and muscle tone.  
  1. If I start hormone replacement therapy (HRT), do I have to take it for the rest of my life? 
    This is a conversation that is best to have with your provider. All factors regarding HRT should be considered when discussing the length of time you should remain on hormone therapy. Type of HRT, dose, how long you have already been on therapy, timing of when you started HRT after symptoms began, and route of administration all play a part in that evaluation, in addition to your own personal health, needs, and desire to live your healthiest life as you age.  
    Previously, the general recommendation for prescribing hormone replacement therapy was 5-7 years, and some providers continue to prescribe HRT for only that length of time. However, HRT is not a one-size-fits-all formula. There are many potential benefits for beginning bioidentical hormone replacement therapies (BHRT), such as improving the symptoms of perimenopause and menopause, and long-term benefits like heart health, lower risk of certain diseases, and overall vitality. I would not recommend stopping your HRT without consulting your doctor first, because a sudden decrease of the hormones in your body increases the risk of menopausal symptoms returning. 

  2. How do hormones help with painful sex? 
    Any hormonal changes in women, such as those that occur in pregnancy, perimenopause, and menopause, often result in a variety of symptoms, including painful sex. Low levels of estrogen or testosterone (or both!!) results in your body producing less lubrication, which results in vaginal dryness. When you boost estrogen and testosterone levels with BHRT, you can help replace that lost moisture in the vaginal tissue and improve elasticity, which may help sex feel less painful. 

Questions for Andi? 

Email your questions to: 

Each month, Andi will answer some of your questions. Sign up to receive The Change Is Personal blog to your inbox to see if your question is featured on our blog! 

*The information expressed in this blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding any condition or medication. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this site. 

Andi Roths