Hormone Replacement Therapy,or better known as HRT, is a kind of treatment for symptoms related to menopause. Almost 80% of women experience menopausal symptoms when they approach that phase in life. These symptoms include hot flashes, disturbance in sleep, vaginal dryness, etc. It has been proved by many clinical studies that a proper HRT treatment for menopause considerably helps in these problems related to menopause, and has also been approved by the government.
Understanding HRT treatment for menopause:
HRT is available in many forms -including tablets, skin patches, and even gel and ointments. The gel and tablets are to be taken on a daily basis, whereas the patches are to be changed 2 times a week. Women must always remember that estrogen and progestogen must be combined or it may lead tocancer of the uterus.
Women undergoing regular periods but approaching the menopausal phase should undergo HRT treatment for menopause. This treatment takes anywhere upto a year and a half dependingon the personal health condition of the woman. Women having migraine, diabetes, or any kind of liver disease are recommended to opt for patch or gel instead of tablets. Contrary to popular belief, HRT is much safer than people assume it to be.
What role does it play in menopause?
After taking a Hormone Replacement Therapy within a few months, the benefits of HRT for menopause start becoming apparent.The symptoms of menopause are cured to some limit. There is an improvement in women’s sleep, neither do they go through regular mood swings nordo they feel irritated. Sometimes, the time limit for this therapy can increase up to two years too.
Moreover, it leads to many changes around the vagina and vulva within three months. HRT treatment for menopause has gained significance in reducing hot flashes and night sweats. It also helps in curing urinary infections. The aches or pains in joints that a woman goes through during menopause also reduces. Their sexual life eases.
What are the benefits of HRT treatment for menopausal women?
The benefits of HRT for menopause totally rely on whether you choose systematic hormone therapy or low-dose vaginal products.
Systematic hormone therapy:
This therapy is beneficial for getting relief from hot flashes and night sweats. It comes in different forms such as a pill, or a skin patch kind of gel, or in spray form. It helps in easing many menopausal systems like dryness, itching, redness, or any kind of discomfort related to intercourse. The risk related to colon cancer is also reduced due to this therapy.
It is also seen that estrogen helps in decreasing the risk of heart-related diseases. Osteoporosis is a situation which leads to bone thinning. This disease can be prevented by the systematic use of estrogen.
Low-dose vaginal products:
These products involved with HRT treatment for menopause help in curing vaginal symptoms as well as urinary infection symptoms. Low dose vaginal products too come in a different form such as a tablet/pill, ointment/cream, or in a ring form.
What are the risks associated with it?
As is true for most medical treatments, HRT,too, has its own pros and cons. True that the risk for HRT for menopauseis quite less than other forms of therapies, but its possibility can’t be completely negated. To be on the safer side, doctors always prescribe the lowest dose of HRT in the beginning and may raise it as the per the demand of the situation. In addition to that, they limit it to a shorter period to avoid any illnesses and backfires.
In 2002, the US Food and Drug Administration declared to give a black box warning to the prescription therapies containing estrogen. This step was taken so that the people are well aware of the drawbacks of the medicine. Women who have a uterus are suggested to have progestogen along with estrogen to reduce the risk of uterine cancer.
HRT treatment for menopause has many other risks, including heart-related diseases, strokes, blood clots, or blockages in the veins and many more. These risks vary from woman to woman. If this therapy is undertaken before the age of 60 or in 10 years of menopause, the benefits would be more than the risks involved, and vice versa. It is also based on whetheronlyestrogen is given or the dose is combined with progestin.
What is the future scope of HRT in menopause?
Despite the risks displayed by HRT treatment for menopause, it is recently published in clinical studies that it is very effective in curing menopausal problems. Another common issue with aging women is lack of calcium in the bones leading to osteoporosis and lowbone density. Hormone therapy, although not completely risk-free, is also proven to be helpful in preventing bone loss and reduces the risk of fractures in women.
Research is being carried out to find out some selective kind of estrogenreceptive modulators (SERM), which have an effect on symptoms of menopause. These must be without having any considerable factors on the lines of risk for HRT for menopause. As far as the current scenario is concerned, an estrogen named raloxifene (Evista) is being recommended for osteoporosis due to its low-risk factor.
Summing it up:
HRT treatment for menopauseis not just limited to curing menopausal symptoms alone. It addresses the overall health changes in a woman as she ages. It helps in the treatment of menopausal problems as well as in maintaining the proper bone-density. An individual plan is given to every woman as per their physical health conditions before they start with the HRT. One of biggest advantages of HRT, and often the overlooked one, is that on discontinuing this therapy, it does not lead to a reduction in its benefits.
The benefits of HRT are long-lasting, and go much beyond the expectations of normal individuals. HRT is definitely worth the investment- both in terms of money and effort. It also helps in lowering your cholesterol levels. Researchers believe that, apart from the above-mentionedbenefits, there is still much to be studied or found out regarding HRT, which is yet to be unveiled.