Written By Hodge Racter / Reviewed By Ray Spotts
Hormones play an essential role in all the functions of our body. Aging affects hormone production, which makes it difficult for anyone to live to their fullest capability. For women, one of the commonly suggested methods to address this issue is hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
HRT is a treatment that improves the hormone production of women, which is affected by menopause. Women’s ovaries produce less estrogen and progesterone when they hit middle age, which signals the changes coming when they eventually reach menopause. As their ovaries create fewer hormones that their body needs, it negatively impacts their menstrual cycle and physical and emotional health.
Many studies have been conducted about HRT, its benefits, and the risks it presents to women taking it. If you’re nearing menopause and looking to address issues in advance through HRT, you must be aware of what you’re getting yourself into. Here are facts that you should know about HRT.
Types of HRT
Cyclical HRT is designed to mimic the menstrual cycle. The patient will take estrogen and progestogen every day for 12 to 14 days. As the body withdraws from progestogen and the womb lining sheds, there will be bleeding, but progestogen will regulate it. It’ll also protect the womb lining from pre-cancerous changes.
This type of HRT is generally prescribed for women who have had a hysterectomy (womb removal) to protect the womb lining.
Continuous combined therapy (CCT)
In CCT, combinations of estrogen and progestogen are prescribed continuously to achieve a period-free HRT. CCT is usually done after finishing cyclical HRT.
Long-cycle HRT is more suitable for women who suffer the side effects of taking progestogen. Its safety of use with regards to the womb lining is questionable.
Aside from traditional means, HRT can also be prepared using molecules that are identical to the natural hormones produced by the body. That preparation is called bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT). It’s claimed to be safer, and more medical practitioners are endorsing it to women who want to undergo hormone replacement. Kansas City BHRT for women is one of the many licensed facilities in the world that gives it.
Benefits of HRT
Women usually take HRT to manage the symptoms of menopause. Many menopausal symptoms prevent women from living their best lives due to the reduction of hormones in their body that causes hormonal imbalance. Imbalance and deficiency in hormones deteriorate the physical health of women.
Studies show that HRT can help women nearing menopause with:
- Relieving vasomotor symptoms, e.g., hot flashes and night sweats
- Getting better sleep
- Easing vaginal dryness and itching
- Preventing fractures caused by bone thinning
- Lowering the risks of cardiovascular diseases and dementia
Risks of HRT
There have been plenty of critical studies about the benefits and risks of HRT for women. Perhaps the most significant one is from 2002, conducted by the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI). However, the participants of that study were women 60 years old and above. Since then, there have been findings that reduced the risks seen in that study.
Here are the risks that you may be exposed to when taking HRT:
- Blood clots
- Breast and endometrial cancer, especially if a woman still has a uterus and takes estrogen and progestin.
Reducing the risks of HRT
Worry not, because you can reduce the risks of HRT. One way to do this is to take it for only as long as necessary for the lowest dose possible. HRT medication can still be useful even in low doses.
Another way is to start HRT early. The recommended age is at least 10 years before reaching the age of 60. As the WHI studies found, the risks are increased when it’s administered to sixty-year-old women.
And of course, seek professional advice. Talk to your doctor regarding taking HRT before doing it to know what method you can use to take it, the most effective dosage, and if you’re healthy enough to take it. Annual reassessments once undergoing HRT treatment are also necessary to determine whether you still need it or not.
HRT has its benefits and risks, and every woman who wishes to go through it must learn all of it. The key is to weigh the benefits and risks to determine whether it can help you or not. Overall, you must be in good health if you want to take HRT to help you manage menopausal symptoms.
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Though not a medical professional, Hodge Racter knows a lot about medical topics, including testosterone replacement therapy (having undergone the procedure himself) and cosmetic and non-cosmetic surgeries. Today, he remains spry and energetic despite his age, and when he’s not doing freelance work, he’s enjoying quality time with his wife and two dogs.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.