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Hormone Replacement Therapy for Women: Pros and Cons

Hormone Replacement Therapy for Women: Pros and Cons

By Dr. Patrick Lovegrove Medically Reviewed by Lindsay Langley, BSN, RN, CHT
Posted Thursday, July 7th, 2022
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Hormone Replacement Therapy for Women has its own pros and cons

As we age, our hormone production slows down. This can lead to several different symptoms including weight gain, low energy levels, and mood swings. In addition, women are more susceptible to hormone changes throughout their life. As they age, estrogen, testosterone, DHEA, pregnenolone, and progesterone decline, which can lead to several health problems. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) may sound like an easy solution for these issues but it is not without its fair share of pros and cons of hormone replacement therapy for women. Women who are considering HRT should take time to research the possible outcomes before making any decisions about treatment options.

For decades, the pros and cons of hormone replacement therapy for women is a hot topic. More people are talking about this since it is not often a topic. This leaves many with questions about what it may be like to take this kind of treatment.

What is Hormone Replacement Therapy for Women?

Hormone replacement therapy for women helps to balance hormones in the body when they are not at their optimal levels. This therapy is relieving several symptoms in a patient who is experiencing hormone imbalance. Some of these symptoms may include gaining weight, low energy levels, and mood swings. HRT can be administered through different methods including pills, hormone pellets, lozenges, creams, patches, or by injection. It is important to remember that HRT may or may not cure several different conditions. Including obesity, low energy levels, and fatigue.

Risks and Benefits (Pros and Cons)

There are many benefits for women who want to try HRT as an alternative treatment option. In addition, this type of hormone therapy has been around for decades so there have been plenty of studies completed on the subject matter. The idea behind using hormones to replace those which are not present at normal levels. But it’s also associated with risks that need to be discussed before making any decisions about starting a new program or continuing with maintenance treatments over time. Some doctors may recommend taking estrogen through pills or pellets while others prefer transdermal methods such as gels or creams.  A few of the many potential benefits that come with hormone replacement therapy for women are relief during the menopausal stage. Symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, weight gain, fatigue, pain, decreased libido, and mood swings.

The potential risks associated with taking HRT are often considered to be worth the potential benefits in helping women who have gone through menopause or stopped menstruating for other reasons. However, one of the biggest concerns that many doctors have about prescribing HRT is that not all patients will respond in the same way because their bodies absorb hormones at different rates and there can sometimes be an issue when it comes to mixing drugs. It’s also possible for estrogen levels to become too high and unbalanced compared to progesterone and testosterone. This may increase a woman’s risk for certain types of cancer such as breast cancer. This needs to be monitored closely over time by medical professionals familiar with treating hormone imbalances.  Some other possible side effects of HRT are acne, breast tenderness, bloating, irritability, vaginal bleeding, hair loss, or hair growth.

The pros and cons of hormone replacement therapy are different for each woman who chooses to try it. The effects of HRT can vary from one person to another. So there is no way to predict what will happen when starting this type of therapy. The best thing that women going through menopause or those who have stopped having their periods due to other reasons can do to stay healthy and happy during this time is to find a doctor they trust before making any decisions about hormone replacement treatments.

Who should consider hormone replacement therapy?

Women who are experiencing menopause or have stopped menstruating should consider hormone replacement therapy, often called HRT. Some of the benefits that come with this therapy for these women are relief from different menopausal symptoms. Such as hot flashes, night sweats, weight gain, low energy levels, decreased libido, and mood swings. It may come with risks but for many women, it is worth it to alleviate the discomforts they are experiencing during menopause.

Is there a difference between menopause and perimenopause?

Menopause is when periods have stopped for at least 12 months. Perimenopause is the period before menopause, during which cycles become irregular or stop altogether for shorter periods.

Many signs indicate that one is beginning to enter the stages of perimenopausal and menopausal stages. These include feeling moody, gaining weight around the abdomen, retaining water, and experiencing hot flashes. There are also menstrual irregularities that may indicate that one has entered into perimenopause or menopause.

How long will the effects of hormone replacement last?

How long will the effects of hormone replacement last is difficult to answer? The duration of this treatment varies greatly from person to person so it’s hard to say exactly how long the treatment will last.

When should I start considering hormones?

You should talk to your doctor about hormone replacement therapy if you are experiencing menopause or have stopped menstruating.  The average age of menopause is 51 years old but can start as much as 10 years earlier. Talking to your doctor is the best option for those who want to relieve symptoms such as mood swings, weight gain, and low energy levels.

Conclusion

If you’ve been experiencing menopause or have stopped menstruating, hormone replacement therapy is a treatment option that might be worth considering. With the right doctor and specialist to help with your decision-making process, HRT can provide relief from symptoms such as weight gain, decreased libido, low energy levels, mood swings, and more.

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About the author

Dr. Patrick Lovegrove

Dr. Patrick Lovegrove is board certified by the American Board of Family Physicians. He was born in Staunton, Virginia, and graduated from the University of Virginia where he majored in Biology. He received a Medical School Scholarship from the United States Air Force. A graduate of Nova Southeastern College of Osteopathic Medicine, his over 20 years of clinical experience includes Family Practice, Anti-aging, Holistic Internal Medicine, Pain Management, Aerospace, Sports, and Emergency Medicine. He believes that holistic medicine should be integrated with conventional medicine in a scientifically based model to achieve the best results for patients.