Who Should Use HRT?
Hormone replacement therapy aims at decreasing menopause symptoms and improving overall quality of life in menopausal women. Some women sail through menopause with few problems, but others find that it has a negative effect on their quality of life. When lowered oestrogen production in the body begins to create symptoms that cause real problems, your doctor may prescribe hormone replacement therapy to help address those issues–and you may find yourself with questions. The two most important questions about HRT are who should use it, and who shouldn’t.
Who should use HRT?
Most women enter menopause around the age of 51. Menopause can stretch between three and five years. During those years, if the symptoms of menopause are interfering with quality of life or decreasing a woman’s ability to live the way she wants to (including normal sexual interaction), hormone replacement therapy is a viable solution.
Women who are experiencing mild symptoms of menopause won’t need hormone replacement therapy (and probably won’t ever think about it). Women who experience moderate to severe symptoms should talk with their doctors about the possibility of hormone replacement therapy. Pharmaceutical hormone replacement therapy, however, might not be right for every woman. Ideally, women should use bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, which incorporates hormones identical to the ones already found in the human body, rather than traditional hormone replacement therapy.
Who shouldn’t use HRT?
Women who have breast cancer, heart disease, liver problems, or a history of blood clots should be sure to discuss this information with their doctors when considering hormone replacement therapy. While biodentical hormone replacement therapy uses hormones chemically identical to those already found in the body, further research is needed in order to fully determine its effectiveness in these cases. Make sure your doctor knows your full medical history, not just the symptoms associated with menopause, so that you can work together to ensure that you’re getting the treatment that’s right for you.
Also, in most cases, hormone replacement therapy is a short-term solution used during the period when menopause symptoms are severe enough to cause a reduction in quality of life. It should not be used once menopause symptoms have subsided.
If you think that bioidentical hormone replacement therapy might be right for you, please contact me for help designing a regimen that will work for you.