What’s the Deal with Women, Menopause, and HRT?

What’s the Deal with Women, Menopause, and HRT‘The Last Period’ – a natural event that marks the end of a woman’s reproductive years and the start of her menopausal stage.

You undergo several uncomfortable changes like hot flashes, sleep disturbance, mood swings, and more. However, this is not the same for everyone.

There are different types of HRT available in the form of tablet, patches and gel which could help you deal with the various symptoms of menopause.

Confused about menopause and HRT?

No worries – I’m here to help!

As you might know, I am a bestselling wellness author with about 2 million books sold globally.

Plus I founded a groundbreaking video course called The Anxiety Cure.

I love sharing insights and strategies to help people to be happier and healthier.

So I put together this article with everything you would want to know about menopause and HRT:

Let’s Start by Understanding Menopause

Menopause marks the end of the menstrual cycle in your life. Typically, it refers to the phenomena when a woman stops ovulating (her body no longer releases mature eggs monthly) and her ovaries don’t produce estrogen.

A doctor can diagnose the start of your menopause after you’ve gone almost 12 months without your periods.

On average, menopause can start in your 40s or 50s. It comes in three stages:

  • The first stage, perimenopause, is a transition phase between when your menopause symptoms first show up and one year after your last periods.
  • Once the first stage passes, your doctor can confirm the start of your menopause.
  • Your symptoms will eventually subside, and you’ll enter the post-menopause stage.

Menopause is a completely normal biological process. But, in the second stage, you’ll encounter symptoms like hot flashes or emotional mood swings, causing a wreck in your everyday life. Not to worry about! A few effective treatments can make you adjust to the new lifestyle.

Speaking of treatments, Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is the most common one to tackle the upside-down effects of menopause.

But Are There Any Risks?

Although it’s the most effective and popular treatment, HRT does come with a few health risks. To minimize serious health issues, it’s recommended in the lowest dose for the shortest time. Because the longer you take hormones, the more you’re at risk of developing health conditions like:

  • Breast cancer
  • Blood clots
  • Stroke

These health risks depend on the type of hormone replacement therapy you take, how long you take the treatment, and what dosage you take it.

Do the Benefits Outweigh the Risks?

Short-term HRT is considered to be safe for most women going through menopause. It’s one of the best options possible to keep the symptoms in check.

However, before HRT is brought to the scene, ensure you tell your healthcare provider about your detailed medical history! They can decide clearly whether you’re prone to any inherited health risks that would make HRT a dicey treatment for you.

But, can we definitively say the benefits will outweigh the risks? To ensure this, take a look at all the benefits you get with HRT:

  • A relief from the menopausal symptoms like vaginal dryness, sleeplessness, hot flashes, irritable bladder, dry skin, and mood swings.
  • You can notice an increase in the elasticity of your blood vessels. They’ll dilate and allow the blood to flow more freely.
  • It dips down the risk of fractures and osteoporosis (a condition in which bones become weak and brittle.)
  • A possible decreased risk of colon cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
  • You’ll see a possible improvement in your body’s glucose levels.

So, do you think the benefits are worth taking the risk?

How Long Should Your HRT Last?

Many women take HRT for the shortest time with the lowest dose. There have been cases of health risks like stroke, blood clots, and breast cancer after an increased usage of more than 5 years. Moreover, if you’ve a family history of these conditions, it’ll affect the decision for this therapy.

Always consult your general practitioner before jumping to a conclusion.

Will the Menopausal Symptoms Return After Quitting HRT?

You’ve read all the possible benefits and risks of HRT, but do you know whether the symptoms return if you ever stop taking the hormonal treatment?

It’s said that your symptoms may return when you get off the hormones, but it’s best believed that they’ll wear off in several months or a year. Consult your doctor to manage these symptoms.

Contraception and HRT

Although HRT comes in with both estrogen and progestin like the contraceptive methods, you cannot use it for birth control. Incase you are confused you are nearing menopause or pregnant do a pregnancy test, this will help you evaluate.

Moreover, if your periods haven’t completely stopped before HRT, you should use it alongside contraception. Some suitable options are IUDs, IUS, the barrier methods, and progestin-only pills.

What Are the Factors to Consider Before Getting HRT?

Estrogen is one of the most effective ways to treat menopause. If you’re a healthy woman with no history of a serious medical condition, going for HRT will help curb severe menopausal symptoms.

If your periods have stopped before the age of 40, you’ve a higher risk of developing heart disease, osteoporosis, anxiety, and depression with HRT.

Bottom Line

Generally, risks of HRT are lower in younger women than they are in older women. Over the years, medical professionals have evolved their views on this, and more research is yet to be conducted.

But it is VERY IMPORTANT that before deciding whether you want to undergo HRT, you consult your hormone doctor to weigh the risks and benefits. After discussing everything with an expert physician, then you can decide on the available options accordingly!

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