Hormone therapy: Is it right for you and what do you need?


Hormone therapy was once known as Hormone Replacement Therapy was previously a popular medical therapy among women. It is where medications that contained female hormones are used to replace those that the body no longer makes after the individual experienced menopause. Then, it was considered as a standard treatment among women with menopause symptoms like hot flashes and others and brought with its long-term benefits like helping to prevent and reduce risk of heart diseases and even dementia. All this changed after a large clinical trial found that hormone replacement therapy was actually risky.

It was then found that this type of therapy posed more health risks when given to older postmenopausal women than benefits and hence, it was no longer as popular as before. Today, hormone therapy is no longer a common recommendation for disease prevention like dementia and heart problems but there has been new research that shown that this is a good option for certain women as well. There are in general systemic hormone therapy and low-dose vaginal products.

The former is usually prescribed in various forms like skin patch, gel, cream, spray and pills and is commonly used for hot flashes and night sweats. The systemic estrogen might cause problems like itching, burning, dryness and discomfort while the latter usually comes in cream, tablet or ring forms respectively. This is not a common option for night sweats or hot flashes.

In long-term systemic hormone therapies, it was found recently that if taken early in the postmenopausal years, the estrogen could help to reduce the risk of heart diseases. In fact, in a recent study conducted in the Netherlands, it was found that women who received hormone therapy early after menopause faces lower risk of heart failure or heart attacks while there were no obvious risks of known diseases like stroke or cancer.

As mentioned, there were health risks as related to hormone therapy where the Prempro (estrogen-progestin pill) was found to increase the risk of health problems like blood clots, stroke, heart disease and even breast cancer. It is very important to note that while doctors might recommend hormone therapy, never take any injections or jabs. When experiencing menopause, the lack of estrogen is due to bone resorption which usually leads to osteoporosis. Hence, calcium is a very important element that your body would need in order to overcome this problem and to ensure that the hormones are equally and efficiently transported throughout the body.