What is Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)?
Hormone replacement therapy is a treatment that contains artificial female hormones. It is used as a synthetic alternative to the natural hormone estrogen. As a woman approaches her menopause, she experiences a reduction in the manufacture of the hormone. A reduction in the levels of estrogen hormone in the body is responsible for the menopausal symptoms such as vaginal discomfort, hot flushes, mood swings, bone loss, and low energy levels. Hormone replacement therapy helps the body replenish the estrogen and progesterone levels.
Basic Types of Hormone Replacement Therapy
Hormone replacement therapy aims at ensuring that the body continues to get a supply of estrogen hormone that is no longer produced when a woman reaches menopause. Women going through menopause have the option of choosing two types of estrogen hormone therapy. The two types are:
Systematic hormone therapy
Systematic estrogen contains a significantly higher amount of estrogen that is then absorbed by the body. This type of hormone replacement therapy involves skin patch, pill, spray, gel, or ring form. The systematic hormone therapy is a standard method that is used in treating the symptoms of menopause.
Low-dose vaginal products
Low-dose vaginal products involve the use of vaginal preparations of estrogen. This form of hormone replacement therapy is available in the form of a ring, cream, or tablet. These products reduce the amount of estrogen hormone that the body can absorb. This kind of products are prescribed for women who exhibit urinary and vaginal symptoms during the onset of menopause.
How Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) helps your Body to adjust to Menopause and Hormones
Clinical trials have shown that many women can use HRT for five years or less and treat the symptoms of menopause without exposing themselves to other significant health risk. Here are some of the ways that women could use hormone replacement therapy to adjust to hormonal imbalance due to menopause:
- It helps a woman’s body cope with vasomotor symptoms: At the onset of menopause, many women develop vasomotor symptoms such as night sweats and hot flushes that might prove too bothersome. Such symptoms can sometimes be painful, and this would worsen with a hormonal imbalance that characterizes the menopause stage. HRT is recommended in treating these symptoms and ensure that a woman’s body can effectively adjust to hormonal imbalance. The treatment helps reduce various vasomotor symptoms, including night sweats and hot flushes.
- Hormone Replacement Therapy helps improve the quality of life for women: Menopause is a challenging period for many women, especially if they exhibit symptoms such as hot flushes. Most women experience a serious degradation of the overall quality of life hence the need for treatments to address this problem. Clinical trials have shown that HRT can ensure that women who are experiencing pre-menopause or post-menopause symptoms can lead a fulfilling life. This is because HRT works to boost a woman’s libido, mood, and sleep in addition to reducing muscle pain and aches. As such, it ensures that women will continue enjoying their sexual and physiological life.
- It reduces the severity of urogenital symptoms: Some of the symptomatic issues that women experience when going through menopause include vaginal dryness and painful sexual intercourse. These urogenital symptoms can lead to stress and trauma hence the need to treat them. Hormone replacement therapy has proved to be an effective treatment for women experiencing these problems. It helps increase the secretion of vaginal fluids that are vital in lubricating the vagina. This helps prevent vagina dryness, thus making sexual intercourse less uncomfortable for women. The treatment is also helpful in addressing some urinary frequency symptoms because it is able to improve urethral tissues and the urinary bladder.
- It helps the body reduce osteoporosis risk: When a woman is going through menopause, her body experiences hormonal imbalance and develops osteoporosis. This is where one experiences a reduction in her bone density, which makes her bones brittle and fragile. When bones become brittle, they become prone to fractures, which can be a significant health concern for many women. Hormone replacement treatment can help maintain bone density in a woman’s body, and this will significantly minimize fractures. Although discontinuation of the HRT could result in a reduction in bone density, some studies have established that the therapy has long-term effects in maintaining bone density in women.
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