Future of HRT: Moving Beyond the Controversy

Updated: Jun 26, 2020

Women claim that HRT increases their quality of life

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) used to be one of the most highly recommended treatments for women experiencing menopause. After a shocking study done in 2002 by Women's Health Initiative unearthed the many health risks that accompany HRT, it has become the most controversial menopausal treatment. Although there are many health risks associated with HRT, women who have undergone HRT claim that the increase in their quality of life was worth the risks.

So, what is the future of HRT? It's a very difficult question to answer because HRT offers many benefits to many women; however, those women must decide for themselves if the benefits outweigh the risks. Each individual struggles with different menopausal symptoms, with varying severity and frequency. It's very difficult to say that HRT should be banned, or that more women should begin using HRT to combat their menopausal symptoms, because each woman is different.

Anyone considering using HRT must first talk to their doctor so that they can make the decision that is best for them. If you want more be more well-informed, continue reading to learn about the risk and benefits of this treatment and discuss them with your doctor.

The Good

Low dosage of HRT combat menopause symptoms without risks

When HRT is administered for a short period of time in the lowest dosage possible, it is able to quickly combat the symptoms of menopause without the numerous risks that can accompany HRT. Some of the benefits include relief from hot flashes, mood swings, vaginal dryness, irritability, insomnia, palpitations, and joint aches.

 In some cases, women have reported relief from hot flashes and night sweats only three weeks after beginning treatment. After 1-3 months, HRT can reverse changes around the vagina and vulva. The subsequent effect of easing these symptoms is that women often experience less stress and anxiety in their everyday lives. Systematic HRT can also help women who believe that they are prone to osteoporosis fight the condition before it becomes more serious.

The Bad

HRT could increase rates of heart diseases

The largest clinical trial to date that studied the risks involved with an estrogen and progesterone HRT regimen discovered an alarming number of serious health risks. These risks include higher rates of heart disease, breast cancer, strokes, blood clots, and abnormal mammograms. These risks increase the longer a woman stays on HRT. Your doctor will be able to tell you if you are at risk to experience these side effects and will be able to guide you through the process of deciding which treatment is best for you.  

If you want to learn more about other alternatives to HRT, click on the previous link.

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