As it has been known, hormones are chemicals that essentially function as messengers of the body. With aging, a decrease in estrogen hormones would happen to many; that is why hormone replacement comes to the rescue, helping many individuals address the problem. Hormone therapy has also been proved to treat menopausal symptoms and protect long-term health.
With age, the levels of female hormones can go up and down. Hormone replacement therapy is a medication that contains female hormones. Some women globally take hormone replacement therapy (HRT), also known as menopausal hormone therapy, to relieve menopausal symptoms. HRT may also protect against osteoporosis.
When Can Hormone Replacement Therapy Be Used?
As women experience menopausal transition, symptoms of menopausal, like changes in monthly cycles, hot flashes, and others, can cause discomfort to some. In general, menopausal transition most often begins between ages 45 and 55, which can usually last for about seven years but can be as long as 14 years, depending on lifestyle factors. Hence, the body’s production of estrogen and progesterone, two hormones made by the ovaries, varies significantly during perimenopause.
Some menopausal symptoms can gradually disappear without any treatment, but symptoms can be serious for other women, so hormone replacement treatment may need to be prolonged. Moreover, women who menopause early before 40 have premature ovarian insufficiency (POI). Other triggers associated with earlier menopause include:
- Underlying medical conditions (e.g., Addison’s disease).
- Autoimmune diseases.
- Some infections.
- Previous cancer treatments include certain types of chemotherapy or radiotherapy to the pelvic area.
Who Are Good Candidates For HRT?
Hormone replacement therapy can give benefits to women who are healthy and those who are experiencing the following:
- Those with moderate to severe hot flashes. On the other hand, systemic estrogen therapy remains the most effective treatment to relieve problematic menopausal night sweats and hot flashes.
- Those who have other symptoms of menopause. Primarily, the estrogen can ease vaginal symptoms of menopause, such as burning, itching, dryness, and intercourse discomfort.
- Those who are needing to prevent bone loss or fractures. With the help of systemic estrogen, it helps protect against thinning of the bones, also called osteoporosis. However, bisphosphonates treatment is still what doctors usually recommend to treat osteoporosis. Also, estrogen therapy could help those not benefiting from other treatments.
- Those who have estrogen deficiency or perimenopause. In case there are situations like ovaries being surgically removed before age 45, stopped having periods before age 45 (premature or early menopause), or lost normal function of the ovaries before age 40 (primary ovarian insufficiency), the body will then be exposed to less estrogen than the bodies of women who experience typical menopause. With the help of estrogen therapy, it can help decrease the risk of certain health conditions, including osteoporosis, heart disease, stroke, dementia, and mood changes.
What Are The Types of HRT?
Hormone replacement therapy (HR)T could be given in patches, tablets, creams, or gels under advice from a GP or with the help of a menopause specialist in the following form:
• Oestrogen only is suitable for women who do not have a uterus.
• Cyclical combined, estrogen and progesterone combined, re-introduces monthly periods.
• Continuous combined, which prevents periods and may either be estrogen and progesterone combined or Tibolone – a synthetic medication with progesterone, testosterone, and estrogen combined.
To reduce endometrial cancer risk, women with an intact uterus are advised to combine hormone replacement therapy that replaces both estrogen and progesterone to prevent thickening of the womb’s lining. Also, if a woman has had removal of the womb, HRT can be estrogen only.
What Are The Possible Risk of Hormone Replacement Therapy?
While HRT can prevent other conditions such as osteoporosis, heart disease, fractures, diabetes, and some types of cancers, it may also lead to a slightly increased risk of developing breast cancer or thrombosis (known as blood clots in the legs or lungs); thus its effectivity and safety are for most healthy women according to current international recommendations.
Other side effects like bloating, breast tenderness or swelling, fluid retention, nausea, and bleeding irregularly. Then, this therapy may not be suited to individuals who have the following:
- had certain kinds of cancers like breast cancer, endometrial cancer, or other cancers that are dependent on hormones
- uterine lining thickening that is untreated yet
- those with a raised risk of thrombosis
- stroke, dementia, or coronary heart disease
- blood clots that are found in the lungs or legs
- high blood pressure that is untreated (or if it’s treated, talk to a doctor about the therapy)
- those who are pregnant
- problems with vaginal bleeding
- have liver disease
More importantly, the risks of this therapy will depend on age, the type, and dose of hormone therapy intake, the treatment duration, and of course, the medical history. That is why it is crucial to talk to a doctor about the possible risk, as they may suggest other medications that may be helpful in case HRT doesn’t work.
How To Reduce The Risks Associated With HRT?
The risks associated with MHT can be minimized by:
- It takes HRT for less than five years by starting at the lowest effective dose possible. It is necessary to review the dose regularly with the doctor and stop as soon as it’s no longer needed.
- I was exercising regularly, avoiding smoking, limiting the consumption of alcohol, and maintaining a healthy weight.
- Managing the high blood pressure and diabetes carefully, if there is any.
The Bottom Line
Recommendations may change as researchers learn more about hormone therapy and other menopausal treatments. With the help of a doctor, treatment options could be suggested that give the best benefits and convenience for individuals. That is why Affinity Well Spa offers Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), which incorporates lab work to assess for deficient and insufficient hormone levels and helps pinpoint where deficiencies are.
Through the help of their HRT service, they can provide the appropriate injections as well as prescriptions that return each client to their normalized levels to allow for an improvement in general well–being and health with improvements seen with less fatigue, weight gain, hair loss, decreased muscle mass, depression, decreased sex drive, erectile dysfunction, and decreased motivation.