Hormone Replacement Therapy

What is Hormone Replacement Therapy?

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT), also called menopausal hormone therapy, is a type of treatment where the body is given hormones to prevent or treat certain medical conditions, like treating symptoms of menopause and preventing osteoporosis.


This treatment involves the use of synthetic hormones, but they act like natural hormones once they enter the body.

Types of Hormone Replacement Therapy:

Hormone replacement therapy can be used in a variety of combinations to suit your individual needs.

Estrogen and Progesterone: These two hormones are given in combination in order to prevent the overgrowth of your uterine lining. During this therapy, estrogen is given regularly, while progesterone is added in on a supplementary basis.
Estrogen Only: Estrogen therapy alone is usually given to women who have lost their uterus due to surgical menopause.
Progestin Only: Progestin does seem to provide excellent relief for women plagued with hot flashes, though.

Benefits of Hormone Replacement Therapy:

Women who take estrogen for short-term relief of menopausal symptoms may gain some protection against the following conditions:
• Osteoporosis: Studies show that hormone therapy can prevent the bone loss that occurs after menopause, which decreases the risk of osteoporosis-related hip fractures.
• Heart disease: Some data suggest that estrogen can decrease risk of heart disease when taken early in your postmenopausal years.
• Reduce colorectal cancer.
• Reduce minor depression.
• Improved short-term memory.
• Enhanced quality of sleep.


Severe side-effects of Hormone Replacement Therapy:

• Increased risk of endometrial cancer in women with a uterus if estrogen is taken without progesterone or a progestin.
• Slightly increased risk of ovarian cancer.
• Bloating and fluid retention, mainly associated with progestins.
• Discoloured urine or stool.
• Double vision.
• Extreme abdominal pain.
• Slightly increased risk of heart attack or stroke.
• Risk of gallbladder disease

Common side-effects of Hormone Replacement Therapy:

I have used the word common because most women will notice these side-effects after there treatment. Possible side effects include:
• Headache
• Changes in weight
• Changes in appetite
• Nausea
• Cramped and/or bloated stomach.
• Fluid retention in body resulting in swollen hands and feet
• Breast tenderness
• Diarrhea
• Discoloured skin
• Anxiety
• Extreme fatigue


Who should not use Hormone Replacement Therapy?

Hormone Replacement Therapy is typically not recommended for women who have:

• Active gallbladder disease
• Undiagnosed vaginal bleeding
• Liver problems or liver disease
• Pregnancy
• Coronary artery disease
• Blood clots (deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism)

Image source: 1, 2, 3

Also read:
How to Treat Painful Intercourse
Cystitis: Causes, Symptoms and Cures
Fibroadenoma – Symptoms, Causes, Treatment
Vaginitis: Causes, Symptoms and Cures
Bacterial Vaginosis in Women
Pap Smear Test for Detecting Cervical Cancer
Osteoporosis- Symptoms, Causes and Management


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