Making Sense of Hormone Replacement Therapy

Hormone Replacement TherapyAs you reach menopause, your hormone levels tend to fluctuate, causing unpleasant symptoms like hot flashes and vaginal dryness. To relieve these symptoms, many women look to hormone replacement therapy (HRT), a treatment used to enhance your body’s natural hormone levels via estrogen therapy (ET) when you’ve had a hysterectomy, or as estrogen with progesterone therapy (EPT) if you naturally experience menopause.

Who Should Receive Hormone Replacement Therapy?
HRT can benefit women in their late 30s or early 40s who experience premature menopause by treating hot flashes or night sweats, and protecting against bone and cardiovascular disease until natural menopause sets in (at age 51 on average.)

The Benefits
The pros of hormone replacement therapy outweigh the risks for most women under age 60, including:

  • Reduction in heart disease
  • Less risk for hip fractures
  • Lowered risk of developing osteoporosis and diabetes
  • Reduction in hot flashes, night sweats and vaginal dryness
  • Improved mood and sleep
  • Less muscle aches and pains
  • Lowered risk of colorectal cancer
  • Increased skin collagen and bone mass

The Risks
There are also some concerns regarding the use of HRT that largely depend on your health history and lifestyle, including:

  • Increased risk of breast cancer
  • Higher possibility of gallbladder disease
  • Greater risk of endometrial cancer
  • Heightened chance of ovarian cancer

It’s important for you and your health care provider to discuss the risks and benefits of HRT for you. If you and your doctor determine that HRT is a viable treatment, it is best to take the lowest dose necessary to effectively treat your symptoms for the shortest amount of time required. And to ensure that HRT is an effective treatment for you, have your hormone levels re-evaluated every six months.

To find out more about the latest findings in hormone replacement therapy, or to learn more about our range of services, contact Women’s Care of Beverly Hills Group: 310-657-1600.