Hormone Replacement Therapy and its Various Types
HRT, also the hormone therapy, menopausal hormone therapy or the estrogen replacement therapy is a method that is used to treat symptoms associated with aging and menopause. Often, doctors prescribe it during or after menopause.
After your periods have stopped, the level of your hormones decreases, causing uncomfortable symptoms like hot flashes and vaginal dryness, and sometimes conditions like osteoporosis. The HRT replaces the hormones that your body is no longer capable of making. It is the most effective treatment for menopause symptoms.
Why the Body Needs Estrogen
When you think of estrogen, most likely you think about pregnancy. In women who are in the age of childbearing, estrogen helps the uterus to get ready to receive the fertilized egg. Estrogen has other uses in the body too, as it helps in raising the levels of good cholesterol, and also controls the manner in which your body utilizes calcium which is used to strengthen bone.
When Progesterone Should be Taken
If you still have your uterus, using estrogen alone without progesterone raises your risk for cancer of endometrium, the uterus lining . The fact that the endometrium cells are no longer leaving your body during your period, they may build up in the womb and lead to cancer. To lower that risk; progesterone thickens the uterus lining.
The Types of Hormone Replacement Therapy
Estrogen Therapy: Doctors suggest a low dose of estrogen for women who have undergone hysterectomy. Estrogen is available in many forms; the daily pill and patch are the most common, but the hormone can still be found in the forms of vaginal ring, gel or spray.
This mostly called the combination therapy as it combines doses of estrogen and progestin. This treatment method is meant for women who still have their uterus.
The ideal candidates for HRT are those experiencing mild to severe menopausal symptoms and those with a family history of osteoporosis.On the contrary, those with breast cancer, liver disease, heart disease, or a history of blood clots as well as those without menopausal symptoms should not go for the HRT.
How to Take the Hormone Replacement Therapy
Depending on whether you are in the early stages of the menopause, or you have had the menopausal symptoms for a while, you have different HRT courses to choose. The common regimes are the Cyclical or Sequential and the Continuous HRT.
The Cyclical HRT is recommended for women taking the combined Hormone replacement therapy who have menopausal symptoms but have their periods. They are two types; the monthly HRT for women with regular periods and Three-monthly HRT for those with the irregular periods.
Continuous Combined HRT is recommended for women who are post-menopausal–not having a period for a year. It involves taking estrogen and progesterone daily without stopping.