Menopause should not be a mystery. However, it is not something that many women openly discuss. When the time comes, women often have many questions about menopause and taking hormone replacement therapy. Menopause can be a confusing time in a woman’s life and a time when they experience the most change in her body. Women also hear conflicted discussions about HRT, also called hormone replacement therapy.
During menopause, most women start to feel fatigue and have feeling of anxiety. In fact, many women, who never had problems before, might experience panic attacks and night sweats. Menopause is often a time when women head to their doctor looking for answers and ways to alleviate these unpleasant side effects. Hormone replacement therapy is often prescribed to help alleviate these symptoms. Here are some common questions many women ask about hormone replacement therapy.
What exactly is hormone replacement therapy? Hormone replacement therapy is a commonly prescribed medication to help alleviate the symptoms of menopause. Synthetic hormones are popular, but these medications have benefits as well as disadvantage. Many women find that after taking replacement therapy for several weeks, the side effects and symptoms of menopause are less frequent. If a woman can get through the first few weeks of taking HRT, she often finds she is feeling better. HRT can be given in several different forms. Oral pills, skin patches, injections and vaginal gels are all forms of hormone replacement therapy that are most commonly prescribed. Women taking replacement hormones are usually given the lowest possible dose for the shortest amount of time.
Are there side effects of taking hormone replacement therapy? Yes. As with any medication, there is the possibility of side effects. Some women may find these very mild, while others find the side effects are more severe. This usually depends on the individual woman. There are both short and long-term side effects of taking replacement therapy. Women taking these hormones often report several short-term side effects. Some of these include nausea, headaches, excessive vaginal discharge and fluid retention. Weight gain is also reported, but current research shows that taking hormones do not actually cause weight gain. Instead, it is actually caused by a slower metabolism. In addition, there are long-term effects, some of which are still being studied. Some research shows that taking hormone replacement therapy can lead to increased risk of some forms of breast cancer and endometrial cancer.
What are the benefits of hormone replacement therapy? If you are considering HRT, then it is important to understand the benefits that hormones can offer. There are several short and long-term benefits of taking replacement hormones. Most women taking hormones often report an overall sense of well being after taking hormone for several weeks. Taking HRT reduces night sweats, panic attacks, vaginal dryness, headaches and migraines. There are also long term benefits of taking hormone replacement therapy. Research has shown that women taking hormones have a decreased chance of developing osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease and macular degeneration. This can be an added benefit for any woman who may have these diseases in her family. Women who wish to alleviate the unwanted symptoms of menopause should look into taking replacement hormones.
Should some women avoid taking replacement hormones? Yes. Some women with certain risk factors are discouraged from taking hormones. Women who have unexplained vaginal bleeding or a history of endometrial cancer should not take hormones. Also, women with suspected breast cancer or a history of breast cancer are discouraged from taking hormones. Other women who should not take replacement hormones are those with chronic liver disease or those who have a history of blood clots or strokes. A doctor can help determine which women should and should not take hormone replacement therapy. If you are considering taking HRT, then it is very important to seek the advice of her medical professional.
Do all women take hormones? No, many women prefer to deal with their symptoms of menopause using alternative or natural remedies. There are many herbal supplements and vitamins and minerals that are believed to help with menopause. Women can also help aid menopause by eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise and reducing the amount of stress they encounter each day. In fact, many women prefer to tackle menopause without the aid of medication.
If you are experiencing symptoms of menopause, you may consider taking HRT, or hormone replacement therapy. Before asking your doctor to prescribe medication, do a little research and find out what is available. Then, you should talk to your doctor about your wishes and find out if HRT is right for you.