What is Hormone Replacement Therapy?
Hormone replacement therapy is a treatment which is used to treat the symptoms that occur after menopause. As age advances, the ovaries of the female reproductive system produce fewer amounts of hormone, and because of this low level, women start showing various symptoms. Sometimes, these symptoms are so severe that they hamper activities of daily living. Thus, in order to lessen these symptoms, the hormones are administered in the form of oral medications.
The most common menopause symptoms are as follows:
- Hot flushes, night sweats
- Dry, wrinkled skin, and dry hair
- Mood swings
- Vaginal dryness, recurrent infection
- Reduced sex drive, pain during the sexual act
- Weakening of the bones
The decrease in estrogen hormone is responsible for this condition. Therefore, in hormone replacement therapy, the medications which contain estrogen are given. Hence, it is also known as estrogen replacement therapy. Some types of hormone replacement therapy contain both progesterone and estrogen, some contain only estrogen, and sometimes, testosterone is also used.
Ways of Administering Hormone Replacement Therapy
- Estrogen pills: Most estrogen pills are taken once a day without food. In cyclical hormone replacement therapy, tablets are taken at the end of the menstrual cycle for 14 days, or a daily dose of estrogen and progesterone for 14 days for every 13 weeks. In continuous hormone replacement therapy, the patient takes a continuous combination of estrogen and progesterone.
- Estrogen patch: The patch is usually applied on the skin of the abdomen. Depending on the patient requirement, some patches are replaced every few days, while others can be worn for a week.
- Topical estrogen: It includes creams, gels, and sprays. In this type, estrogen is absorbed through the skin directly into the bloodstream.
- Vaginal estrogen: It comes in the form of a cream, vaginal ring, or vaginal estrogen tablets. It is usually given in females having symptoms of vaginal dryness, itching, etc.
Side-Effects of Hormone Replacement Therapy
- Bloating, indigestion
- Breast tenderness or swelling
- Swelling in other parts of the body
- Vaginal bleeding
Who Should Not Got For Hormone Replacement Therapy?
- Hormone replacement therapy is contraindicated in following diseases as it can worsen the condition of the patient:
- Uncontrolled blood pressure
- Severe migraines
- Blood clotting disorders
- Heart disease
- Endometrial, ovarian, or breast cancer
Lifestyle Modifications along with Hormone Replacement Therapy to Relieve Symptoms of Menopause
Following lifestyle modifications can be used along with hormone replacement therapy to relieve symptoms of menopause:
- Reduce consumption of caffeine, alcohol, spicy, and deep-fried food
- Stop smoking
- Perform regular exercise, yoga, and meditation
- Take proper sleep
- Use cooling gel pad, or pillows, or be in an air-conditioned rooms
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!