If you’re considering hormone replacement therapy, or want to know more about it, you should be aware that there are some risks involved, but hormone replacement therapy has helped many women to deal with the physical and emotional difficulties that come with menopause.
In the past, hormone replacement therapy was seen as the standard way to help women treat menopausal symptoms, such as night sweats, hot flashes, and severe mood swings. Hormone replacement therapy was also believed to help women avoid conditions like osteoporosis. But, after the Women’s Health Initiative conducted more detailed studies on menopause and hormone replacement therapy in 2002, it was discovered that hormone replacement therapy posed more of a risk for these women, and made them prone to more diseases and conditions. Health officials found that women who are taking hormone replacement therapy may be more at risk for heart disease, blood clots, and even dementia. Readings for mammograms for these women were also inaccurate in more than one case; while studies show that hormone replacement therapy can make women more susceptible to breast cancer, many women showed signs of breast cancer in their mammograms, but did not actually have the disease.
Many of the studies and tests conducted were also for women in their 60s, so these factors may not affect younger women who begin hormone replacement therapy early in menopause. Hormone replacement therapy may affect younger women differently, and doctors and scientists alike are still coming up with ways to make the treatment more effective for all women, or to find alternative solutions. However, it’s still very important to talk to a physician even before beginning menopause to talk about the risks involved with hormone replacement therapy, and what some alternatives are to this treatment, especially if you have a history of heart attack, breast cancer, or stroke in your family.