While not for everyone, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is an option worth considering for women experiencing disruptive symptoms or those who are at risk for developing conditions often related to hormone imbalances. There’s also evidence to suggest it may prevent or minimize the risk of developing certain age-related diseases, including dementia and some forms of arthritis. HRT for women may also offer the following benefits:
Reducing Severe Menopause Symptoms
Some women experience severe symptoms associated with menopause. During this process, the amount of estrogen and progesterone produced by the ovaries significantly decreases. Hormone replacement therapy replaces those hormones to minimize symptoms that often occur as the body adjusts to a decrease in hormones. These severe symptoms may include hot flashes, mood changes, night sweats, and difficulty sleeping.
Countering Possible Risks of Early Menopause
Fifty-one is the average age of menopause. However, some women experience it at an early age either naturally or due to a medical condition. Early menopause also occurs in women who have had to have their ovaries removed. HRT may help reduce certain health risks linked to early menopause, such as developing osteoporosis or coronary heart disease. Experiencing menopause before the age of 40 may also increase the risk of developing health problems commonly associated with older adults.
Reducing the Loss of Bone Mass
Loss of bone mass is often countered with various medications and supplements along with dietary adjustments. For women who aren’t benefiting from such treatments and remedies, HRT may minimize bone loss in women and prevent bones from becoming weak. It’s also sometimes recommended for women with a family history of osteoporosis.
Improving Mood and Minimizing Depression
Depression and anxiety may be worsened as the body produces less estrogen and progesterone. Some women experience severe mood-related symptoms that don’t respond well to other treatments. HRT may also be recommended for women who aren’t able to tolerate medications commonly prescribed for the management of anxiety and depression.
All forms of HRT include a combination of estrogen and a synthetic version of progesterone (progestin). The treatment can be delivered in several ways. Some women prefer to take tablets or receive an injection while others like the convenience or wearing a patch, taking it in gel form, or using a vaginal cream. Low-dose HRT is usually recommended, although the specific approach to treatment will depend on individual needs.