Hormone replacement therapy is a procedure that is used for balancing the progesterone and estrogen levels in women when they reach menopause. It is also referred to as menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) and hormone therapy (HT).
The therapy is known for relieving hot flashes, sweating, and several other symptoms that are associated with menopause. It can also be useful in reducing the risk of developing osteoporosis.
Certain kinds of HRT contain estrogen and progesterone, but some may only have either one of them.
These treatments can also be applied for male hormone therapy, especially for those individuals who have undergone a sex change.
Some Facts about HRT
- The treatment is known to be a useful method for relieving symptoms that come with menopause and perimenopause.
- It helps in reducing the severity and incidence of hot flashes along with the chances of developing osteoporosis.
- Past studies show that it might be linked with cancer. However, further research is needed to conclude it as a fact.
- It helps in keeping the skin young. However, it will not delay or reverse the effects of aging in general.
Any woman who is thinking of undergoing HRT must consult with a physician regarding her medical history.
Why Women Need HRT?
The reproductive system in a woman’s body requires hormones like estrogen and progesterone. Estrogen helps in releasing the eggs, while progesterone helps in preparing the womb for the egg implantation process.
With time, the supply of eggs reduces gradually. As the number of eggs reduces, the production of estrogen also reduces. Most women experience hormone changes by their late 40s. It can cause several problems, such as hot flashes.
Perimenopause – During this phase, women menstruate, but the changes are occurring. It can be for 3 – 10 years, while the average time duration is four years.
Menopause – When a woman has her last period, it is referred to as menopause. The average age of menopause to occur is 51 years.
Postmenopause – When a whole year has passed since the last period, the women enter the postmenopause phase after menopause. The symptoms start declining in 2 – 5 years, but sometimes it can go on for ten years.
After a woman enters menopause, there is an increase in the risk of osteoporosis.
Many women go into menopause because of hysterectomy, where the ovaries are removed from the body as a result of cancer treatment.
As the hormone levels change in the body, it can result in discomfort and many health risks. Some of them include –
- Memory and concentration difficulties
- Fat accumulation in the belly
- Smaller breasts
- Lower fertility
- Night sweats
- Hot flashes
- Sleep problems
- Thinning hair
- Urinary problems
- Vaginal dryness
Hormone replacement therapy can provide significant relief from these symptoms.
Types of HRT
Doctors provide different combinations of the common variants of HRT. They include –
- Estrogen-only HRT – Women who have undergone hysterectomy where their ovaries, womb, or uterus aren’t present will not require progesterone.
- Sequential HRT – Women who are menstruating and have perimenopausal symptoms take this treatment.
- Continuous HRT – Women who are in the postmenopause phase use this treatment. The patients will require progesterone and estrogen.
- Local estrogen – It includes vaginal rings, creams, and tablets. It is useful in case of urogenital problems, such as vaginal irritations and dry vagina.
How Do Patients Take HRT?
Doctors prescribe the lowest dose possible for treating the symptoms. Some of the ways patients administer them include skin patches, tablets, vaginal rings, gels, or creams.
Some people shouldn’t take HRT. If you have discomfort after receiving it, go to Urgent Care Walk in Austell GA.
Consult with your doctor before starting the treatment. If you have a history of severe migraines, heart disease, or stroke, you shouldn’t take HRT.
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