Also called postmenopausal hormone therapy (PHT, PMHT) or menopausal hormone therapy (MHT), Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) refers to a type of hormone therapy that replaces the hormones that the body no longer produces naturally. As women approach or go through menopause, the decreased estrogen production causes symptoms, for instance, accelerated skin aging, hot flashes, sexual dysfunction, bone loss, vagina atrophy, lowered muscle mass, and vaginal dryness. Hormone replacement therapy minimizes these symptoms and offers long-term benefits like preventing dementia and heart disease. The primary hormonal medications used for HRT to lower menopausal symptoms are progestogens and estrogens. The benefits of HRT vary based on the method of administration and the number of hormones taken.
Types of Hormone Replacement Therapy
You should talk to your doctor about the available options and alternatives if you are considering getting HRT. A physician is better to give an informed opinion and recommendation.
A physician may recommend this hormonal treatment for people whose ovaries and uterus were removed as progesterone isn’t necessary. It is taken daily.
This type of HRT can be prescribed after menopause onset or after a minimum of a year of not having periods. It involves continuous use of progestogen and estrogen combination. Continuous HRT is believed to lower endometrial cancer risk better than sequential hormone replacement therapy. It involves taking progestogen and estrogen every day continuously.
Sequential or Cyclical HRT
It is a hormonal treatment option for females with symptoms of menopause who still get their periods. Monthly HRT is where you consume estrogen and progestogen daily, the last fourteen days of your cycle. The other option is the 3-monthly HRT, where you take estrogen and progestogen for about 14 days in three months intervals.
Monthly HRT is ideal for females with regular periods, while the 3-monthly option is suitable for those with irregular menstrual cycles.
Hormone Replacement Therapy Administration
HRT can be administered in different forms. Each has its strengths and drawbacks, so it is advisable to talk to a doctor to understand every option.
HRT tablets are typically taken daily. It offers one of the most straightforward hormone treatment methods; however, it is worth knowing that HRT risks are more common with tablets. You can get combined HRT and estrogen-only HRT in tablet form.
This involves sticking an HRT medication patch on the skin and replacing it after a couple of days. Combined HRT and estrogen-only HRT come in patches. It is a good choice for people who cannot stand taking tablets every day. It minimizes HRT side effects like indigestion and does not raise the risk of getting blood clots.
This form of administering HRT that involves rubbing it on the skin once a day is steadily becoming popular. It is convenient and does not make you susceptible to blood clots. Females that still have their wombs need to take progestogen separately when taking estrogen gel to lower the risks of womb cancer.
You can also have HRT in the form of implants placed under your skin, typically the tummy area, once the skin gets numbed using a local anesthetic. Estrogen sips into the body gradually for many months before having it replaced.
It is a convenient method for someone who wants to avoid making an effort to remember and administer their treatment daily or every couple of days. However, if you still get your period, you will have to take progestogen as well.
Everyone deserves to feel good, so you should strive to achieve it. Aging is part of life, and while you cannot avoid that, you can address its effects with hormone replacement therapy to regain your physicality, vitality, and mood.