HRT - Hormone Replacement Therapy

hrt

HRT is the artificial administration of synthetic hormones, like progestin. It is used to replace the female hormones estrogen and progesterone when the body no longer produces them after menopause.

The use of hormone replacement therapy is to improve the quality of life of women who suffer from acute menopause symptoms, such as hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, increased fatigue and irritability, depression, skin changes, vaginal dryness and incontinence. It is also used to help prevent osteoporosis and other female hormone-driven diseases.

Though hormone replacement therapy is a really common therapy for the treatment of menopause symptoms, HRT is still quite controversial.

HRT's long-term safety and efficiency remain matters of great concern. In fact, before following this type of treatment, women should get informed about the risks and side effects of HRT.

Risks and Side Effects

hrt side effects

Hormone replacement therapy treatment is still quite controversial. Its long-term safety and efficiency remain matters of great concern. Many studies and clinical trials have shown a relationship between the long-term use of HRT and the risk of breast and ovarian cancer as well as heart disease, blood clots and strokes. Many women who start on HRT ended up going off it a few months or a few years later because of the risks and side effects.

Typical hormone replacement therapy side effects

  • Feel tense and bloated
  • Anxiety states
  • Terrible headaches
  • Fluid retention
  • Depression
  • High blood pressure
  • Breasts feel sore
  • Weight gain
  • Mood swings


Typical hormone replacement therapy side effects

  • Breast cancer
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Strokes
  • Heart Disease
  • Blood clots
  • High blood pressure
  • Asthma


Clinical Trials

clinical trials

Here are some clinical trials that proved the risks and side effects of common hormone replacement therapy.

In 1991 the National Institute of Health (NIH) launched the Women's Health Initiative (WHI), the largest clinical trial ever undertaken in the United States. The WHI was designed to provide answers concerning possible risks associated with the use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT).

More than 16,600 U.S. women were participating in the clinical trial. A review of preliminary data found a 26 percent increase in breast cancer and 18 percent in ovarian cancer. In addition, instead of a heart benefit there was a 29 percent increase in heart attacks and a 22 percent increase in total cardiovascular disease as well as heart disease, blood clots and strokes among women receiving the hormone replacement therapy.

After the risks were identified among the HRT users, the WHI study was discontinued in July 2002. The findings were published in JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association.

In 1995, the results of one of the largest clinical trials to date were published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine. This study reported that postmenopausal women using HRT for five or more years have a 30-40 percent greater risk of developing breast cancer than do women who do not use hormones. Additionally they found out that this hormone replacement therapy is linked with an increased risk of ovarian cancer and is implicated in a variety of other health problems, ranging from asthma to high blood pressure.

Another study 1995 published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine reported that women on HRT were 50 percent more likely to develop asthma than those who did not take hormones.

Conclusions

These clinical trials are some of the many that have proved that Hormone Replacement Therapy is not suitable for long-term treatments because it has dangerous side effects such as breast and ovarian cancer, heart attacks and strokes. This is the reason why you should consider alternatives treatments.

Alternative Treatments to Hormone Therapy

Three levels of approaches can be considered for balancing hormonal levels: (1) lifestyle changes , (2) alternative medicine and (3) drugs and surgery.The safest way is to start with the least risky approach and go on to the next level only if it is necessary. Click here to read more about these excellent hormonal imbalance treatments.

What side effects are associated with hormone replacement therapy?

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) has now been shown to trigger the aggravating condition known as dry eye syndrome.