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April 30, 2012

Menopause Hormone Replacement Therapy

Menopause Hormone Replacement Therapy and Woman
Image by BrentDPayne via Flickr

Menopause Hormone Replacement Therapy Vs. Other HRTs

There are several types of hormone replacement therapy, including: thyroid HRT; human growth hormone replacement therapy; testosterone HRT; and but when we talk about menopause hormone replacement therapy we are talking about the need sometimes to replace several hormones.

Thyroid Hormone Replacement Therapy. People whose thyroid gland cannot produce sufficient thyroid hormone need thyroid HRT to address the symptoms of hypothyroidism. Thyroid hormone regulates metabolism and improves the function of our organ systems.

Human Growth Hormone Replacement Therapy. This type of HRT is most often used in children with growth hormone deficiency to allow them to grow normally, making them stronger and develop better motor function. It may also be used in adults with adult growth hormone deficiency.

Testosterone or Andropause Hormone Replacement Therapy. A number of men who have reached the age of 45 or over will experience a decline in their levels of testosterone, the so-called male hormone. However, women can also develop deficiency of testosterone and can benefit from its replacement just like men. In women, testosterone also improves libido and assists women in maintaining lean body mass, the decline in which contributes to osteoporosis.

Estrogen or Menopause Hormone Replacement Therapy. The widely-known type of HRT is the one taken by women past the age of 45 to address the nuisances of menopause, such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness, among others. This therapy consists of estrogen or a combination of estrogen and progesterone.

Menopause Hormone Replacement Efficacy and Safety

Without a doubt, menopause hormone replacement therapy is proven helpful to treat hot flashes, vaginal dryness, sleeping problems, mood swings, and other menopausal symptoms. It is also shown to lower the risks for osteoporosis, colorectal cancer, and heart disease. However, the dilemma is caused by the fact that it has also been shown to raise certain health risks, such as breast cancer, stroke, blood clots, and interestingly, heart disease. But on closer inspection those risks were found in studies using non-bioidentical hormones, and many of those risks were overstated in the media. In reality, the risks of many of those health conditions were on the magnitude of being 0.1% above the baseline risk.

Women who suffer from menopausal symptoms and want to treat them  should seriously weigh which option brings the more benefit and less risks. They can do this with the help of their doctors. They can also ask their doctors for other treatment options that can help treat their symptoms, individually if need be. Some of the unwanted effects of estrogen therapy can be minimized using alternative methods of administation. Menopause hormone replacement therapy preparations that bypass the oral route (also bypassing the liver in the first pass) can be used as alternatives. They could come in the form of transdermal patch, transdermal gel, vaginal gel or cream (for vaginal dryness).

The decision to take menopause hormone replacement therapy is a matter of weighing the benefits and risks, such as choosing between vaginal dryness and elevated risk for breast cancer.

See related articles.

“3 Questions You Want to Ask about Hormone Replacement Therapy (Menopause)”

“7 Things You Must Tell Your Doctor Before Taking Estrogen Hormone Replacement Therapy”

“What are the Benefits of Hormone Replacement Therapy?”

 

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Dr. Joe Jacko


Dr. Joe is board certified in internal medicine and sports medicine with additional training in hormone replacement therapy and regenerative medicine. He has trained or practiced at leading institutions including the Hughston Clinic, Cooper Clinic, Steadman-Hawkins Clinic of the Carolinas, and Cenegenics. He currently practices in Columbus, Ohio. Read more about Dr. Joe Jacko

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