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Hormone Replacement for Women: a Therapy for Your Quality Life

At HRTMedical, we prescribe hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to women under 55 if they experience unpleasant symptoms of menopause that influence their quality of life.

Experts recommend starting the therapy at about the age of 45 but never turning to it at the age over 60 to avoid possible health risks. So, let’s see why it is better for women to receive HRT when they enter menopause and which consequences of aging it helps to avoid.

Symptoms of Menopause

Menopause is a natural biological process characterized by the decline of hormones like estrogen and progesterone as well as the completion of a regular menstrual cycle. Menopause brings significant changes to your health state and increases the risk of specific disorders like, for instance, osteoporosis which occurs when the bone tissue is weakened.

As a woman experiences the completion of her periods she may face some unpleasant sensations that are often pretty disturbing and unwanted because they bring pain, discomfort and prevent her from living a healthy social life. Such menopause symptoms include:

  • hot flashes;
  • vaginal dryness;
  • night sweats;
  • mood swings;
  • reduced libido;

and more.

Not every woman has such an ill-favored experience at the end of her procreative age, so those who feel quite well can easily forego the therapy. However, if you are from the category of women who feel this period of your life badly enough to admit you need urgent relief then starting HRT is the right choice.

Sometimes the disturbing sensations pass after a few years, so a woman refuses to take the therapy for several years after menopause has started to see whether the symptoms stop. Hormone replacement therapy will be a perfect solution to relieve the side effects of hormonal changes and live a much more quality life.

Types of Hormone Replacement for Women

Depending on the definite expectations of a woman, her health state, and results of lab analysis and diagnostics provided in any case before prescribing the treatment, one can select a different type of HRT. The most common types are such as:

1. A combination or a single hormone

Within their HRT cycle, most women take the alternatives of estrogen together with progesterone because progesterone controls the thickness of the endometrium inside the uterus and this reduces the risk of endometrial cancer.

The endometrium is that certain lining of the uterine walls which ‘exfoliates’ during the periods. This lining usually becomes thicker and vascularized just before ovulation to be able to ‘fix’ a fertilized egg and support a placenta in case of fetation. If the fetation doesn’t happen, this lining is thinned again and shed during the periods.

When a woman enters menopause her periods become irregular and then stop naturally. HRT is a kind of a boost to a woman’s hormonal system, so controlling the thickness of the endometrium is now provided with the help of correct estrogen and progesterone dosages.

If a woman has her uterus removed, she can take estrogen alone.

2. The choice of medication

HRT is provided in the form of pills, skin patches, gels, vaginal creams, pessaries, and rings. Every woman can select the most appropriate type of therapy for herself.

Estrogen usually comes in pills, patches, topical creams, as well as vaginal tablets and rings while progesterone (progestin) comes in oral pills and intrauterine devices.

Let’s briefly review every type of therapy:

Estrogen variations:

­Estrogen Pills: Most doctors prescribe conjugated estrogen or estrogen-bazedoxifene in the form of pills. The medication is taken once a day without food.

Estrogen Patches: Such a patch is fixed to the skin of your abdomen and is replaced every several days depending on the dosage. Sometimes a woman can use patches that contain a combination of estrogen and progestin.

Topical Drugs: Such type of HRT comes in the form of creams, gels, and sprays. Such estrogen is applied to the skin and absorbed directly into the blood.

Vaginal Meds: Estrogen also comes in the form of vaginal rings, vaginal tablets, and creams. Such HRT is mostly prescribed to overcome vaginal dryness, burning, itchiness, or pain during sexual intercourse.

Progestin variations:

Oral Drugs: This hormone comes in the form of pills that include medroxyprogesterone acetate or synthetic progestin. Natural progesterone is often chosen over synthetic one for women with excess weight or high cholesterol levels.

Intrauterine Devices: Low-dose intrauterine devices (IUDs) are inserted into the uterus to release a small dose of hormone. Such devices are recommended to start using when a woman enters her perimenopause and after the menopause is complete.

3. Treatment plans

At our clinic, we customize the treatment plans to the needs of every patient. Sometimes HRT for women is recommended to be taken without stopping, and in other cases, it is provided in cycles where estrogen is taken continuously while progesterone is only taken for a few weeks with regular pauses.

To find the type of therapy that works best for you, you would probably have to try a few ones and choose the perfect variant.

Benefits of HRT for Women

Hormone replacement therapy brings some obvious benefits that include:

  • the relief for hot flashes and night sweats;
  • decreased pain during sex;
  • the ease for vaginal dryness;
  • improved sleep;

and more.

In addition, studies report that HRT helps to prevent osteoporosis and reduce the risk of fractures because of bone thinning. It also decreases the risk of cardiovascular diseases and lowers the chance of getting dementia.

Precations for HRT for Women

Some specific health conditions can become the contraindications to taking HRT. Such conditions suppose:

  • history of breast cancer, uterus or ovarian cancer;
  • history of blood clots;
  • high blood pressure;
  • liver diseases.

Yes, it is still possible to get pregnant while taking hormone therapy, so it is recommended to use contraception for 2 years from the day of your last period if you are under 50 or 1 year after the last period if you are older than 50.

It is possible to stop your HRT when you require it or when you are sure that your unpleasant symptoms are relieved. Doctors recommend stopping the therapy gradually decreasing the dose of hormone.

If symptoms return or persist in a few months after stopping the therapy you can relaunch the treatment again.

Feel free to contact our team of experts here and one of our medical professionals is going to reply to you as soon as possible to provide a free consultation.