Like any other treatment, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) comes with risks and benefits. Nevertheless, doctors create HRT plans for each patient on an individual basis, which helps mitigate the risks and maximize the benefits. For most patients, HRT is completely safe and even has positive health effects.
HRT and Menopause
Most often, HRT is used to treat menopausal and perimenopausal symptoms in women over 40. Menopause is not an illness but rather a natural part of life in which women experience a drop in estrogen and progesterone and eventually stop ovulating and menstruating entirely. Unfortunately, many women experience uncomfortable, debilitating symptoms during this time.
Symptoms of menopause and perimenopause include:
- Irregular menstruation
- Hot flashes/and or night sweats
- Trouble sleeping and focusing
- Mood swings
- Weight gain
- Bone loss
- Hair loss
- Vaginal dryness
- Decreased libido
For relief from these ailments, many women turn to HRT. According to Mayo Clinic, HRT is the most effective treatment for menopausal symptoms. Nevertheless, some women should not use HRT. In fact, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not recommend HRT for women who:
- May be pregnant
- Have problems with vaginal bleeding
- Have had certain types of cancers
- Have had a stroke or heart attack
- Have had blood clots
- Have liver disease
The conditions above may increase the risks of HRT, but if you are healthy, HRT is relatively safe and may prevent other health concerns, such as fractures and some cancers.
How Does HRT Work?
When doctors use HRT to treat menopause, they typically prescribe some combination of estrogen and progesterone – or estrogen alone for women who have had hysterectomies. Most women take daily combination pills, but others use patches, gels, or creams. If you are concerned about consuming hormones, you may also be able to use low-dose vaginal products, which ease some symptoms while limiting absorption into the body.
Again, HRT must be tailored to each person, so you will need to speak to a professional about your options.
How to Find Out if HRT Is Right for You
Hormone replacement therapy works wonders for some women and is not appropriate for others. If you are experiencing troublesome menopausal symptoms, we recommend speaking to our wellness specialists at Royal Blue Medical Center. We offer HRT for women as well as men.
To get started, call us at (770) 766-4609 or simply send us a message online.
We look forward to discussing your options and creating a customized treatment plan just for you.