Coping with Menopause - Is Hormonal Replacement Therapy a Good Solution?
There are some major changes occurring in a woman's life when her menstrual periods stop. You certainly want to know how to cope with menopause and modern-day medicine offers various solutions. Back to Top of your health online page
One of them is hormonal replacement therapy (HRT). Learn more about it so that you can decide whether this treatment option is for you.
The purpose of hormonal replacement therapy is to provide sufficient amounts of estrogen to the body so that some of the most common and bothersome symptoms associated with menopause can be alleviated.
Estrogen hormones in the form of a pill are prescribed to the patient. In most cases, estrogen is combined with progesterone.
This is necessary because estrogen stimulates the thickening of the lining of the uterus which increases the risk of cancer. When progesterone is used this process is effectively regulated.
The dosages of both estrogen and progesterone are determined by the doctor based on the health condition of the patient and on her individual needs.
How does hormonal replacement therapy help for coping with menopause? With the increase of the levels of estrogen in the body, hot flashes become less regular and less severe. They may disappear altogether.
Symptoms such as vaginal dryness and dry and itchy skin are also relieved. Overall mood improvement is another major benefit of HRT.
Many women describe experiencing an overall sense of wellbeing again. This type of treatment lowers the risk of osteoporosis, tooth loss and colon cancer.
What are the risks of using HRT to cope with menopause? A higher risk of endometrial (uterine) cancer is present unless a woman takes estrogen together with progesterone.
Since this risk can be automatically lowered, it is not considered a major one. However, HRT increases the risk of blood clot formation.
Blood clots can cause serious problems by blocking arteries. A blockage in a blood vessel in the brain can cause stroke.
A recent study has shown that this type of therapy increases the risk of heart disease, but further research is necessary on the matter.
There are some side effects associated with hormonal replacement therapy for menopause treatment. The most common ones include monthly bleeding, spotting and tenderness of the breasts.
Some women may experience headaches and dizziness. Fluid retention is also not uncommon. Skin discoloration may also occur.
Overall, at present, most doctors recommend hormonal replacement therapy as a short-term solution for coping with menopause. It is advised that women take as small amounts of hormones as possible for the shortest period of time.
In general, it is up to you to weigh the pros and cons and take a decision.
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