Also known as menopausal hormone therapy, HRT can help relieve sweating, hot flashes, and other symptoms of menopause. It may also reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
Some types of HRT contain both progesterone and estrogen, while others contain only estrogen. Sometimes they contain testosterone.
Below, learn about the uses, types and risks of HRT.
Hormone treatment can help address a range of issues.
The right combination and dosage of the hormones will depend on the reason for prescribing this form of treatment.
Menopause is not a disease. This is a natural transition from the years in which a woman can reproduce to the next stage of life.
Many people go through menopause without treatment. However, if the transition causes bothersome or bothersome symptoms, various treatment options are available.
Around menopause, many people experience:
- hot flashes and night sweats
- vaginal dryness
- bone thinning, or osteoporosis
- urinary problems
- thinning hair
- sleep problems
- mood changes
- irregular periods
- difficulties with concentration and memory
HRT can help manage some of the above symptoms.
In addition, some studies have suggested that HRT may help:
- Trusted Source Improve muscle function
- Reduce the risk of heart failure and heart attack
- Reduce mortality in young postmenopausal people.
- When used carefully, prevent skin aging in some people.
However, more research will be needed to confirm these benefits.
A doctor may also prescribe different types and combinations of sex hormones for:
- birth control
- low blood testosterone levels
- a transition from the sex assigned at birth
- prostate cancer
Although HRT can help manage hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms, it can also have adverse effects.
Depending on the type of treatment, these may include:
- Breast tenderness
- Swelling in the breasts or other parts of the body
- Stomach or back pain
- Leg pain
- Vaginal bleeding
- A change in mood
- Mental stress
These side effects usually disappear after a few weeks.
Any side effects that cause concern should be reported to the doctor. They may be able to adjust the dosage or suggest alternatives.
Is it Safe?
In the past, hormone therapy was common during menopause, but HRT may not be safe or appropriate for everyone—especially those with certain risk factors.
Now, most doctors agree that taking hormone therapy is safe:
- For moderate to severe hot flashes and vaginal dryness
- Up to 59 years of age
- Within 10 years of menopause
- At the lowest possible dose, for the shortest amount of time
However, the individual’s overall health and preferences should influence the decision.