Menopause hormone replacement therapy is currently quite a controversial subject. Until 5 years ago it seemed to be a great cure for many of the symptoms of menopause but then clinical trials showed that it might actually be causing more problems than it was helping. There is no doubt that hormone replacement therapy can help some women, but it is important to understand the risks involved and to make an informed decision.
The symptoms of menopause and perimenopause are caused by a reduction in the production of hormones in the body. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) as the name suggests replaces the missing hormones. There are 2 types of HRT available a combination treatment which replaces estrogen and progesterone and a estrogen only course of therapy. One of the main problems with prescribing HRT is that every woman will find that menopause is different. The symptoms vary in intensity and some women won’t have some symptoms while others will have every possible symptom.
Clinical test have shown that HRT won’t have any impact on some of the symptoms such as insomnia and general health but it does have a very positive effect on hot flashes, vaginal dryness and can help prevent osteoporosis. You doctor should be able to advise you if HRT will be of benefit to you and also inform you of the possible health risks. These include an increased risk of heart disease, breast cancer, blood clots, dementia and strokes.
Many of the benefits previously attributed to HRT can be achieved with a change of lifestyle and diet, and through alternative therapy such as herbal remedies. Increasing your intake of vitamins and calcium can help to prevent osteoporosis. Regular exercise will also help to keep your bones healthy and strong. Changing your clothes and wearing a few layers of cotton clothing rather than wool can help to reduce hot flashes as can turning the room temperature down a few degrees. There is no doubt that menopause hormone replacement can be of benefit to women suffering from some of the menopausal symptoms, but there are risks involved in long term use. Be sure to ask your doctor to give you all the facts before making a decision about whether HRT is right for you.
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