Women’s Health & Hormones
What is Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)?
Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) uses female hormones to treat common symptoms of menopause and aging. It’s the most effective treatment for menopause symptoms, therefore it plays an important role in women’s health. Menopause doesn’t have to leave women struggling with their health, well-being and even their sense of self. It’s hard to resume normal living when plagued by disruptive symptoms like hot flashes, anxiety, weight gain and fatigue. Restoring balance to your hormone levels can minimize or even reverse the symptoms.
Benefits of HRT
There are different disorders that can cause symptoms of hormone imbalance (thyroid disorder, menopause, chronic fatigue, PMS). HRT may:
- Relieve hot flashes and night sweats
- Help you sleep better
- Decreases irritability
- Ease anxiety and depression
- Lower your chances of dementia
- Increase energy level
- Work against unexplained weight gain
- Ease vaginal dryness and itching
- Increase libido
- Make sex less painful
- Prevent loss of muscle and strength
- Help prevent fractures caused by osteoporosis (thinning bones)
- Make some women less likely to have heart disease
Am I a candidate for HRT?
Our advice is to ask your personal physician and discuss with him based on your personal medical history, concerns like:
- Are there any concerns that are against using the HRT? Does my family medical history make me a good or bad candidate for HRT?
- Are any of your symptoms going to be treated by HRT, like, menopause related ones (hot flashes, vaginal dryness, sleep issues)?
- Are any of the possible side effects dangerous for you, like bloating, breast tenderness or swelling, headaches, mood changes, nausea, vaginal bleeding?
- Are you a possible candidate for one of the health problems that are against HRT? Like, blood clots, cancer, heart, liver, or gallbladder disease, heart attack, stroke, suspected pregnancy, unexplained vaginal bleeding?
- What type of HRT might be best for me?
Risks of HRT and how to lower them?
The latest research shows that the benefits of HRT are greater than the risks, but being cautious is very important, therefore you should be aware that there are chances HRT might raise your chances to:
- Endometrial cancer, if you take estrogen without progestin and you still have your uterus
- Blood clots
- Breast cancer
- However, there are ways to decrease these possible problems if you:
- Get regular exams
- Start HRT within 10 years of menopause or before age 60
- Start with the lowest dose that works for you for the shortest possible time
- Take progesterone or progestin if you still have your uterus
- Ask about other forms of HRT besides pills (like patches, gels, mists, vaginal creams, vaginal suppositories, or vaginal rings)