Hormone Replacement Therapy is one of the most coined terms in today’s medical world. Abbreviated as HRT, it is also regarded as menopausal hormone therapy, hormone therapy and estrogen replacement therapy, this therapy uses estrogen & progesterone, two types of female hormones, in order to treat common symptoms of issues such as menopause, aging and others.
What is HRT?
The moment period stops and hormone levels falls, women tend to face issues such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness, osteoporosis etc. This therapy replaces hormones in body which no longer makes in the body. Undoubtedly, it is the effective way to treat menopause.
Importance of Estrogen in Body
The term estrogen pops up especially during pregnancy. When a woman is pregnant, her uterus becomes ready to accept fertilized egg. Barring it, it also has other roles like controlling the calcium in your body that eventually strengthens bones & also raise cholesterol in blood.
Best Time for Taking Progesterone
Use of estrogen without progesterone hormone – a pregnancy related hormone – is not at all permissible. This method can cause cancer of endometrium i.e. the lining of the uterus. As cells from endometrium don’t leave body during periods and eventually build in uterus and lead to cancer. The role of the progesterone is to reduce the risk through thinning that lining. So, it is really important for a pregnant woman to understand which and what sort of HRT she should get:
There are two types of Hormone Therapy. These are:
Estrogen Therapy: Women who have hysterectomy should take low dose of estrogen. It is a surgery to remove uterus. It comes in different forms. Among many, daily pill and patch are most popular and well-known. The hormone is also available in vaginal ring, spray or gel.
Progesterone or Progestin Therapy: Often called combination therapy, this therapy combines doses of estrogen and progestin and also the synthetic form of progesterone. It’s meant for those who still have uterus.
However, the biggest debate pertaining to HRT is that whether the treatment outweighs its benefits. So, let’s find out what are the various risks of undergoing a Hormone Replacement Therapy. Studies revealed that women who are receiving HRT are more prone to diseases such as breast cancer, stroke, heart and blood clots.
Based on the largest study on women’s health, Women’s Health Initiative (WHI), a 15 year long study that tracked more than 1, 61,800 healthy and postmenopausal women, showed that those who take combination of therapy had increased risk of heart diseases. In short, the overall risk of taking HRT outweighs its benefits.
However, after further studies based on WHI’s report, it has been revealed that the particular report is primarily was based on various factors and focused on the type of therapy, the procedure of taking that and time of taking the treatment. These factors are also capable of producing different results. Another study, more recent one, also revealed that even antidepressants can also offer same degree of benefits similar to the effect of low-dose estrogen without any risks.