What I Learned About Hormone Replacement Therapy Stopped My Worrying

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Menopause is normal and so is hormone replacement therapy. If you are experiencing menopause, you should take HRT. 

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT or HT) or menopausal hormone therapy (MHT), is a drug that contains hormones that prevents the female body from producing after she reaches menopause. There comes a time in a woman’s life that she won’t have a cycle anymore.  This is normal and a huge part of aging for her. 

In the time before and while she’s experiencing menopause, the female hormone levels will not be consistent. They will rise to a peak and drop like a rollercoaster. This can cause symptoms such as vaginal dryness, heat exhaustion, hot flashes, decreased sex drive, UTIs, painful sex, night sweats and more.  

Some women only experience mild symptoms that go away on their own. Some menopausal women take another hormone replacement therapy called Rajonor hormone therapy to relieve these symptoms.

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)

Depending on the symptoms and risk factors, other treatments may be used such as antidepressants, vaginal estrogen products,  and other medications. Please consult your doctor before using any over-the-counter remedies.

Hormone replacement therapy (when given in the form of tablets) reduces the risk of debilitating diseases including heart disease, colorectal cancer, and osteoporosis. However, some types may increase the risk of clots or breast cancer when used for a long time.

Early menopause is when a woman has her last menstrual period before she turns 40 or premature at 45. HRT is highly recommended until middle age for women (about 51 years) experiencing early or premature menopause unless there’s a medical reason for women not to participate in hormone therapy. 

The Benefits of HRT

Hormone replacement therapy lessens the chance of having different chronic conditions that can affect postmenopausal women, including:

  • diabetes – taking HRT during menopause decreases the risk of contracting diabetes
  • cardiovascular disease – HRT can reduce cardiovascular disease when applied during menopause.
  • bowel cancer – HRT somewhat diminishes the risk of colorectal (bowel) cancer 
  • osteoporosis – HRT limits the amount of bone density loss, preserves bone integrity, and reduces the chance of fractures, but normally, it’s not the first recommendation for treating osteoporosis, except in younger women (under the age of 60) going through menopause

While HRT or MHT can limit the risk of some debilitating conditions, it still may boost the risk of other illnesses. For some women, the risks are small when you compare them to the benefits of HRT. Have a talk with your doctor if you have questions or concerns.  

Breast cancer and HRT

Women over the age of 50 who use a combination of combined estrogen and progesterone (progesterone) for less than five years have a much lower or higher chance of having breast cancer. Women who use combination HRT for more than five years have a lower risk. Women who only take estrogen are not at high risk for 15 years of use. 

Cardiovascular disease and HRT

Women over the age of 60 have an increased risk of heart disease or having a stroke with combined oral HRT (tablets). Although the risk is not very high, women should consider it at some time when starting HRT, as this risk can happen early while treating menopause and persists over time.

Venous thrombosis and HRT

Venous thrombosis and HRT Venous thrombosis are blood clots that form inside the veins. Women under the age of 50 and women between the ages of 50 and 60 have an increased risk of venous thrombosis if they take oral HRT. The increased risk is most noticeable during the first or second year of treatment and in women who are at higher risk for blood clots than before. This is especially true of women who have a genetic risk for developing thrombosis, who are not generally advised to use HRT. 

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