HRT, also the hormone therapy, menopausal hormone therapy or the estrogen replacement therapy is a method that is used to treat symptoms associated with aging and menopause. The doctors prescribe the procedure during or after menopause.
After the end o your periods, the level of hormones in your body falls causing uncomfortable symptoms like hot flashes, vaginal dryness and conditions like osteoporosis. The hormone replacement therapy helps in replacing the hormones that your body can no longer produce. It is the most effective treatment for menopause symptoms.
The Importance of Estrogen
You might think of pregnancy when you think of oestrogen. In women who are of child-bearing age, estrogen gets the uterus ready to receive the fertilized egg. Estrogen also has other roles, like controlling how your body uses calcium, which strengthens bones and raises the level of good cholesterol in the blood.
When Progesterone Should be Taken
For anyone that still has their uterus, taking estrogen in the absence of progesterone increases their risk for cancer of the endometrium. The fact that the endometrium cells are no longer leaving your body during your period, they may build up in the womb and lead to cancer. The work of progesterone is reducing that risk by thickening the lining.
The Types of Hormone Replacement Therapy
Doctors recommend a low dose of estrogen for women who have had a hysterectomy, the surgical removal of the uterus. Estrogen is presented in different forms, but the most popular ones are the pill and the patch, but there is still the vaginal ring, spray or gel.
Also referred to like the combination therapy since it combines doses of estrogen and the synthetic form of progesterone, progestin. This treatment method is meant for women who still have their uterus.
Women with a family history of osteoporosis as well as those experiencing mild to severe symptoms of menopause are all candidates for hormone replacement therapy.On the contrary, those with breast cancer, liver disease, heart disease, or a history of blood clots as well as those without menopausal symptoms should not go for the HRT.
There are various treatment regimes of HRT available depending on whether you are still in the early stages of the menopause or have had menopausal symptoms for some time. The most common are the Sequential of Cyclical and the Continuous HRT.
The sequential HRT is for women using the combined HRT who have the menopausal symptoms but are still having their periods. It is of two types; the monthly HRT and the three-monthly HRT.
Continuous Combined HRT is recommended for women who are post-menopausal–not having a period for a year. It involves taking estrogen and progesterone daily without stopping.