A woman’s ovaries make less estrogen and progesterone, the two hormones that control her monthly cycle as she gets close to menopause. The health of her bones, heart, and vagina is also affected by these hormones. It is critical to understand both the benefits and risks, and discuss them with your doctor, before deciding if HRT is right for you, though replacing these hormones with versions made in a lab, referred to as hormone replacement therapy, or HRT, can ease some symptoms of menopause. Today, we at Skin & Body Refinery would like to share the benefits and basic information of hormone replacement therapy.
Short Term Benefits of Hormone Replacement Therapy
It is common for people to experience a few of the benefits below.
1) Hot flashes and night sweats are relieved
2) Sex is made to feel less painful
3) Improve sleep
4) Vaginal dryness and itching has relief.
Long Term Effects of Hormone Replacement Therapy
After menopause, its effects on your health may be even more important. According to studies HRT can offer the following:
1) Caused by osteoporosis, thinning bones, it can help prevent fractures
2) Some women will be less likely to have heart disease
3) Reduce risks of dementia
What are the Risks of Taking Hormone Replacement Therapy?
In women who had gone through menopause and were taking a combination of estrogen and progestin, a form of progesterone, early findings of the Women’s Health Initiative seemed to show that HRT could slightly raise the odds of heart disease, breast cancer, and stroke in 2002. However, the results weren’t clear in many of the women in the study were over 60. Publicity caused many women to stop or not start HRT. Research has shown that the benefits can be greater than the risks for many women since then. Keep in mind, HRT may still raise your chances of the following:
– If you take estrogen without progestin and you still have your uterus, endometrial cancer can develop
– Breast cancer
– Blood clots
How to Reduce the Risks of HRT?
To make HRT less likely to cause issues, talk to your doctor about things you can do.
– For the shortest possible time, take the lowest dose that works for you.
– If you still have your uterus, take progesterone or progestin.
– Within 10 years of menopause or before age 60, begin HRT.
– Routinely get mammograms and pelvic exams.
– Besides pills, like patches, gels, mists, vaginal creams, vaginal suppositories, or vaginal rings, ask about other forms of HRT
Though they the same, chemically, as your hormones, these are man-made versions of estrogen and progesterone. They have been approved by the FDA and some are made by drug companies and others are manufactured by pharmacists following a doctor’s orders. They aren’t tested by the FDA for safety and are referred to as are called compounded. They still have to be processed if bioidentical hormones are “natural,” that means they come from sources like plants or animals. However, that bioidentical or natural hormones are any safer or work better than traditional HRT haven’t been shown in research.
Who is Not Eligible for HRT?
If you have or have had the list below, you and your doctor may decide HRT isn’t right for you.
– Unexplained vaginal bleeding
– Ovarian cancer
– Liver disease
– Endometrial (uterine) cancer
– Breast cancer
– Blood clots