Hormone replacement therapy, also known as menopausal hormone therapy, hormone therapy or estrogen replacement therapy, uses female hormones estrogen and progesterone to treat common menopause and aging symptoms. Often, doctors prescribe it during or after menopause.
Once your menstruation stops, the hormone levels fall, causing uncomfortable symptoms like vaginal dryness and hot flashes and other times conditions like osteoporosis. Hormone replacement therapy re(laces hormones your body no longer produces. The HRT is the most effective treatment for symptoms of menopause.
The Importance of Estrogen
When you think of estrogen, most likely you think about pregnancy. Estrogen plays an important role or preparing the uterus to receive the fertilized egg in women of child-bearing age. It has other functions as well–it controls how your body uses calcium, which helps in bone strengthening, and raises the good cholesterol levels in the blood.
When Should You Take Progesterone
If you have your womb, it is not advisable to take estrogen without progesterone as it grows your cancer of the endometrium risk. Since the cells from the endometrium are not leaving the body anymore during your periods; they may build up in your uterus and cause cancer. To lower that risk; progesterone thickens the uterus lining.
Hormone Replacement Therapy Types
In general, doctors suggest that women who have undergone hysterectomy should ingest a low dose of estrogen. There are many forms of the estrogen hormone with the most common being the patch and the pill, but there are also other forms available such as the vaginal ring, gel or spray.
The Progestin Hormone Therapy
This mostly called the combination therapy as it combines doses of estrogen and progestin. The treatment is designed for women who still have their uterus.
Women with a family history of osteoporosis as well as those experiencing mild to severe symptoms of menopause are all candidates for hormone replacement therapy.On the contrary, those with breast cancer, liver disease, heart disease, or a history of blood clots as well as those without menopausal symptoms should not go for the HRT.
How to Take the Hormone Replacement Therapy
There are various treatment regimes of HRT available depending on whether you are still in the early stages of the menopause or have had menopausal symptoms for some time. The common regimes are the Cyclical or Sequential and the Continuous HRT.
The cyclical or sequential therapy is meant for women using the combined HRT and have the menopausal symptoms but are still having their periods. Cyclical HRT is of two types; the Monthly HRT for women with regular periods and the three-monthly HRT for irregular periods.
Continuous Combined HRT is recommended for women who are post-menopausal–not having a period for a year. It is the continued use of estrogen and progesterone every day without a break.