Menopause is one of the most common conditions women go through around their middle age and later years. In some cases, women also get menopause in their 30s, and it can be distressful; if you have a similar condition, getting hormone replacement therapy might seem the only treatment for you. However, before deciding anything, you should know all the sides of getting hormone therapy.
As hormone replacement therapy has several benefits, it also has side effects, which can be harmful to women in some cases. There is always a mixed opinion about getting HRT as a woman. Whether HRT gives you your fertility back or causes adverse effects on your health depends on your age, immunity, and history of terminal diseases. Here, you’ll learn about all the benefits and effects of HRT, so keep reading:
Hormone Replacement Therapy for Women: Is it Right for You?
Getting menopause can get quite irritating, and even more, so if it comes as early as in your 30s. Many women around the world choose to get Hormone Replacement Therapy for their menopause, and it helps them with their symptoms.
When you get menopause, your body stops making estrogen naturally, causing hot flushes, hair loss, and reduced libido. To treat these symptoms, women take HRT to replace the estrogen their body stops making, and it can treat vaginal discomfort and increase bone strength.
As there are benefits of taking HRT medication, there are some possible side effects as well. If you are over the age of 60 or you have a history of breast cancer, getting HRT can be life-threatening for you. Increased levels of estrogen throughout your body for a long period have been related to increased risk of breast cancer.
Classification Of Hormone Therapy For Women
When it comes to types of hormone replacement therapy, you simply take oral estrogen or use estradiol transdermal patches for your HRT treatment. Usually, doctors prescribe estrogen and progesterone at the same time as a part of your therapy. Adding progesterone to your therapy reduces the risk of abnormal cell development in your body, which diminishes the risk of breast cancer in women.
There are some other instances in which you get estrogen into your body with HRT, which are:
- Intrauterine system: IUS is a part of your treatment for menopause and is given to provide progesterone to your body, along with estrogen from tablets.
- Vaginal Oestrogen: This type is given along with HRT to treat your vaginal dryness and irritation due to your menopause. This treatment provides estrogen hormone and reduces dryness and itchiness.
- Estrogen sprays: These sprays are also called Estradiol Topical sprays and are given to reduce vaginal dryness and pain during intercourse.
Major Benefits Of HRT in Women
When it comes to the benefit of HRT in women, it depends on various factors like your age, history of terminal diseases, and immunity-related diseases. However, if you are in your middle age and have no health issues, the benefits of HRT will outweigh its side effects. Have a look at all the benefits of getting HRT treatment:
1] Relief From Perimenopause Symptoms
Perimenopause is a condition women get when their menopause starts, and getting HRT can benefit you significantly and reduce the symptoms as well. HRT treatment can help you in reducing mood changes, headaches, and hot flashes significantly. If you are getting HRT treatment, it can also restore your fertility back to normal.
2] Improves Bone Density And Strength
If you have osteoporosis, getting Hormone replacement therapy can also increase your bone density and strength significantly. As estrogen remains the only effective therapy for osteoporosis, it is also effective in reducing symptoms of menopause. If you have premature ovarian insufficiency, getting HRT will be beneficial for you, as it can increase your fertility as well.
3] Reduces Hot Flushes And Night Sweats
When you take hormone replacement medication, your hot flushes and night sweats are some of the most common symptoms of menopause. Increasing your estrogen levels this therapy can improve mental health and immunity as well.
Probable Side Effects Of HRT In Women
When it comes to side effects of getting HRT, these also depend on factors like age and history of terminal diseases. If you’ve ever had diseases like breast cancer or diabetes, there is a high chance that they can remit after the hormone therapy. Here are some possible side effects that you might suffer from getting HRT medication:
1] Risk Of Breast Cancer
According to research, the estrogen hormone is related to increased risks of breast cancer, and getting HRT can increase the chances of getting the disease. The risk of breast cancer increases with the time you are taking HRT medications, so make sure you are getting regularly checked for abnormal cell growth during your therapy.
2] Increased Chance Of Hematoma
Hematoma or blood clot is one of the side effects that almost half of the women taking HRT suffer from. According to a study, it was found that 58% of women suffered blood clots or hematomas within 3 months of HRT medication.
3] Relation With Cardiovascular Conditions
Although there have been tons of research and studies on HRT and its effects on cardiovascular health, it was found that it increases the risk of women getting strokes and blood clots. If you are getting HRT medications, make sure you are checking your blood pressure and stress levels regularly, as they can elevate your chances of getting sudden strokes.
HRT has recently been concluded as life-threatening if you are considering HRT for the long term. During all the research and studies done on HRT, it was found that women who take HRT medications for shorter periods have less risk of fatal side effects than those who do otherwise.
If you are considering getting HRT medication, your doctor might suggest you not do so, as there are several precautions and possible health risks related to this therapy. And in the end, taking any type of medication is always a matter of individuality and beliefs. So, just make sure you are keeping all the information mentioned in your mind before making any decision.
- U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Office on Women’s Health. Menopause Treatment (https://www.womenshealth.gov/menopause/menopause-treatment/#2). Accessed 6/14/2021.
- Baber RJ, Panay N, Fenton A the IMS Writing Group. 2016 IMS Recommendations on women’s midlife health and menopause hormone therapy. (https://www.imsociety.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/2016-ims-hrt-health-recommendations-english.pdf) Climacteric 2016;19(2)109-150. Accessed 6/14/2021.