Menopause means the end of menstruation in a woman’s life. It occurs when a woman stops ovulating, and her ovaries no longer produce estrogen. Just like the first menstrual period during puberty marks the beginning, menopause is a natural occurrence that marks the end of the reproductive years.
Many women experience uncomfortable symptoms throughout menopause, including lack of sleep, vaginal dryness, hot flushes, or night sweats. Although you can manage some of these symptoms and physical effects through lifestyle changes such as healthy eating and exercise, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is another option for relieving menopausal symptoms.
What Is Hormone Replacement Therapy?
Hormone replacement therapy is a treatment to boost estrogen and progesterone levels in women. Also known as menopausal hormone therapy or estrogen replacement therapy, the procedure helps relieve menopause symptoms such as mood swings and vaginal dryness, often caused by low hormones.
Benefits Of Hormone Replacement Therapy
Relieve Vasomotor Symptoms
HRT is a treatment used to alleviate vasomotor symptoms such as changes in blood pressure, heart palpitations, and night sweats. Upon starting treatment, these symptoms usually improve within four weeks, and you can gain maximum benefit by the end of the third month. In addition, HRT treatments have been shown to reduce hot flushes by about 18 percent weekly and by 87 percent in the severity of hot flushes.
Reduce Osteoporosis Risk
HRT may help prevent and manage osteoporosis in women, especially those below 50 years. The treatment is ideal for women at high risk of fracture, but the woman should not have any contra-indications to HRT.
The bone protection qualities of HRT are dose-dependent. However, even a small dosage of estrogen can increase bone mineral density (BMD) and prevent osteoporotic fractures in women.
Studies have shown that a woman taking HRT will significantly reduce fracture incidence with long-term use. Although bone density may reduce after stopping HRT treatment, some studies have shown that women who take HRT for a few years around menopause may have a long-term protective impact for many years.
Reduce The Risk Of Colorectal Cancer
The use of estrogen alone in a postmenopausal woman has not proven any influence on the incidence of colorectal cancer. However, taking medroxyprogesterone acetate and conjugated equine estrogens can reduce the risk of colorectal cancer in women.
Help Ease Depression
During the transition into menopause, which may last several years, most women may experience depression. This is because falling levels of estrogen and progesterone can trigger mood swings and sleep problems. The good news is that estrogen released through a transdermal patch has proven effectiveness in alleviating symptoms of depression.
Summing It Up
If you are looking to start hormone replacement therapy, discuss the benefits and risks of the procedure with a doctor. More importantly, understand how your age, medical history, risk factors, and personal preferences may affect the treatment.