Hormone Replacement Therapy
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) effectively balances out estrogen and progesterone levels throughout menopause or before it happens (perimenopause) . Also known as menopausal hormone therapy, HRT helps relieve hot flashes, sweating, headaches and other uncomfortable symptoms of menopause. It is used to address a range of issues but is primarily used to treat menopause symptoms. Although menopause is not an illness or disease, the symptoms of menopause can range from uncomfortable to debilitating. HRT can also be used for the following:
- Improving muscle function
- Reducing the risk of heart attacks or heart failure
- Reducing mortality among young adults that are postmenopausal
- Preventing skin aging
Side Effects of HRT
While HRT can help manage a number of menopausal symptoms, it can sometimes cause certain side effects. Based on the type of HRT treatment, you may experience the following side effects:
- Tender breasts
- Abdominal pain or back pain
- Leg cramps
- Mood shifts
- Irregular vaginal bleeding
However, these side effects typically last for a short period of time and often dissipate after a few weeks. If they continue, it is critical that you inform your doctor immediately.
Types of HRT Treatment
There are a number of ways for hormone therapy to be delivered as well as different combinations and quantities of hormones. The most common HRT treatments include:
- Estrogen-only HRT: The doctor may prescribe this form of HRT treatment if the individual has had her uterus or ovaries removed. In this case, progesterone in the treatment is not essential.
- Cyclical/Sequential HRT: This treatment is the most suitable option for those experiencing symptoms before menopause starts. The HRT dosage is customized to align with the menstrual cycle.
- Continuous HRT: This treatment involves a continuous combination of estrogen and progesterone
- Local Estrogen: This often includes vaginal tablets, creams or vaginal rings that can help with vaginal dryness and irritation.
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