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HRT (Hormone replacement therapy, also referred to as hormone therapy, estrogen replacement therapy, or menopausal hormone therapy, is a treatment that uses the female hormones progesterone and estrogen to treat the symptoms of aging and menopause. Doctors prescribe the treatment during or after menopause.
After the end o your periods, the level of hormones in your body falls causing uncomfortable symptoms like hot flashes, vaginal dryness and conditions like osteoporosis. Hormone replacement therapy re(laces hormones your body no longer produces. It is the most effective treatment for menopause symptoms.
Why the Body Needs Estrogen
You might think of pregnancy when you think of oestrogen. In women who are of child-bearing age, estrogen gets the uterus ready to receive the fertilized egg. Estrogen also has other roles, like controlling how your body uses calcium, which strengthens bones and raises the level of good cholesterol in the blood.
When Should You Take Progesterone
If you still have your uterus, using estrogen alone without progesterone raises your risk for cancer of endometrium, the uterus lining . Since the cells from the uterus lining are not leaving your body during the menstruation any more, they may build up in your uterus and lead to cancer. Progesterone lowers this risk by thickening the lining.
The Types of Hormone Replacement Therapy
In general, doctors suggest that women who have undergone hysterectomy should ingest a low dose of estrogen. There are many forms of the estrogen hormone with the most common being the patch and the pill, but there are also other forms available such as the vaginal ring, gel or spray.
This mostly called the combination therapy as it combines doses of estrogen and progestin. The treatment is designed for women who still have their uterus.
Women who have acute to severe menopausal symptoms, as well as those with a family history of osteoporosis, are ideal candidates for hormone replacement therapy.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.
Hormone Replacement Therapy Regimes
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 or sequential therapy is meant for women using the combined HRT and have the menopausal symptoms but are still having their periods. Cyclical HRT is of two types; the Monthly HRT for women with regular periods and the three-monthly HRT for irregular periods.
The continuous combined HRT is meant for women who are post-menopausal. It involves taking estrogen and progesterone daily without stopping.