22 Lessons Learned: Resources
Types of Hormone Replacement Therapy
HRT (Hormone replacement therapy, also referred to as hormone therapy, estrogen replacement therapy, or menopausal hormone therapy, is a treatment that uses the female hormones progesterone and estrogen to treat the symptoms of aging and menopause. Often, doctors prescribe it during or after menopause.
After your periods have stopped, the level of your hormones decreases, causing uncomfortable symptoms like hot flashes and vaginal dryness, and sometimes conditions like osteoporosis. The HRT replaces the hormones that your body is no longer capable of making. It is the most effective treatment for menopause symptoms.
Why the Body Needs Estrogen
When you think of estrogen, most likely you think about pregnancy. In women who are of child-bearing age, estrogen gets the uterus ready to receive the fertilized egg. Estrogen has other uses in the body too, as it helps in raising the levels of good cholesterol, and also controls the manner in which your body utilizes calcium which is used to strengthen bone.
When Should You Take Progesterone
For anyone that still has their uterus, taking estrogen in the absence of progesterone increases their risk for cancer of the endometrium. The fact that the endometrium cells are no longer leaving your body during your period, they may build up in the womb and lead to 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.
Also referred to like the combination therapy since it combines doses of estrogen and the synthetic form of progesterone, progestin. This treatment method is meant 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 other hand, women that have breast cancer, heart disease, liver disease, or a history of blood clots as well as those without the menopausal symptoms should not go to the hormone replacement therapy.
Hormone Replacement Therapy Regimes
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 most common are the Sequential of Cyclical 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 for women who are post-menopausal meaning that they haven’t had their period for a year. It is the continued use of estrogen and progesterone every day without a break.