Menopause is a stage of aging in a woman’s life. As the primary reproductory hormones progesterone and estrogen levels go above and below their normal levels, years around the menopause age of women become a little harsh or restless for her body. During these years, with changes in the levels of estrogen, hot flashes, drastic mood swings, sleeping disorder, hair thinning, memory difficulty, irritability, weakness in bones and joints, and sometimes vaginal dryness might be experienced. Here comes the role of hormone replacement therapy.
As the menopause period extends over years, women are generally tempted to opt for hormone replacement therapy. Hot flashes are one of the majorly discomforting symptoms and it easily comes under control with hormone replacement therapy.
Hormone Replacement Therapy
Hormone replacement therapy is a treatment option where injections of hormones are given based on the body’s need. This is done to bring the hormone levels to their normal bracket and thus avoid or overcome symptoms of menopause. Many women opt for hormone replacement therapy during menopause years to avoid all the discomfort but this therapy has risks attached to it as well.
- The risks are just risks and not a surety. Women, based on their medical history and lifestyle, might become prone to certain diseases as a result of hormone replacement therapy. Boosting estrogen and progesterone levels artificially during menopause years of a women’s life might help avoid certain symptoms like hot flashes or weakness of joints, but it might also make her more prone to heart diseases, stroke, or even breast cancer.
- Menopause in women’s life is the body’s natural system to transit from one stage to another. Trying to overcome the functioning of this system by estrogen or other hormone injections is like working against the body. Some women have body type which adjusts through this while others get prone to developing breast cancer after hormone replacement therapy.
- In women with low basic metabolic rates, the chances of the risk of breast cancer increases after a course of hormone replacement therapy. However, in obese women not much difference in risk pre- and post-therapy has been observed. Similarly dark skinned women and those with high fat tissue in breast have lower risks after using hormone replacement therapy and thus benefit from it.
- Of all symptoms, hot flashes and vaginal dryness are the most discomforting ones. Hence, doctors suggest hormone replacement therapy to women during their menopause years.
- Estrogen used here is derived from the urine of pregnant horse or plants. Biologically identical forms of hormones might also be injected or provided through transdermal patches.
Currently, research is going on in providing low-dose estrogen therapy. Low-dose estrogen may offer relief from hot flash symptoms. However, the side effects of low dose estrogen therapy are not yet known.
When possible, the body should be allowed to go through menopause in its natural manner. The changes of estrogen and progesterone levels during this time are for sure discomforting, but ways to soothe symptoms with other natural techniques should be tried.
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