What is Hormone Replacement Therapy? Are You a Good Candidate for It?
Menopausal women often experience a shortage of the female hormone estrogen in their systems after they stop having periods. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT), also called menopausal hormone therapy, aims at replenishing these hormones through medication. Just like any other treatment plan, hormone therapy is not suitable for every woman, and if you are not a good candidate for an estrogen-based regimen, it can do you more harm than good. Therefore, it is extremely important to know whether you should opt for the HRT or not.
When Should You Opt for This Treatment
To receive the HRT and benefit from it, you need to be healthy in the first place. No treatment is free from side effects, but for healthy women, the benefits of HRT far exceed the risks. In addition to offering relief from menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, painful intercourse and vaginal dryness, the therapy also addresses a host of other disorders including insomnia. If you are otherwise healthy, you can benefit from HRT in the following instances:
- – You have experienced premature menopause before the age of 40 or suffer from premature ovarian insufficiency in which this organ stops functioning normally before the age of 40.
- – Experience moderate to severe hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms such as vaginal discomforts.
- – Have lost bone mass, but don’t respond to other treatments
When You Should Not
According to the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Women’s Health, HRT is not recommended for you if you have had received medication for certain types of cancer such as breast and uterine cancer. You should also avoid it if you have had the history of heart attack, suffer from vaginal bleeding or have poor cardio-vascular health. Pregnant woman should stay away from this therapy.
Like many other treatment plans, even hormone therapy is not risk-free. However, several factors including your age and type of menopause typically decide the risks associated with the treatment. There is little wonder that your physician is the best person to guide you. Even if your doctor recommends HRT, make sure to begin with a low dose. Go for screening every six months to see if you still need the treatment. Contact our primary care if you have further questions about hormone therapy.