Do you feel your health and vitality dwindling as you get older? Have you been interested in hormone replacement therapy but don’t know where to start? The right hormones can help improve overall energy levels, boost fertility, and improve the quality of life. Hormone replacement therapy isn’t something you want to decide in haste; here are some essential tips on getting started.
What is Hormone Replacement Therapy?
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is a form of hormone therapy that replaces the hormones that the body is no longer making in sufficient quantities. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is the use of artificial hormones to replace ones which the body has stopped producing in adequate quantities. Hormone replacement therapy differs from hormone supplementation in that HRT involves administration of hormones by injection, by oral administration or via implants.
What are the types of hormone therapy (HT)?
HT is a medical treatment that uses hormones to treat certain conditions. Types of hormone therapy include:
– Menopausal hormone therapy, which uses estrogen and progesterone to lessen the severity and frequency of menopausal symptoms
– Breast cancer prevention hormone therapy, which prevents breast cancer from developing by lowering the amount of estrogen in the body
– Prostate cancer prevention hormone therapy, which lowers the amount of testosterone in the body to prevent prostate cancer
The three types of hormone therapy include oral hormone therapy, transdermal hormonal therapy, and injectable hormonal therapy.
Oral hormone therapy consists of tablets, pills, or patches that contain estrogen and progesterone. These medications can come in different forms and may be taken alone or with a birth control pill, and these medications can be taken for short or long periods.
Transdermal hormonal therapy involves applying a patch that contains both estrogen and progesterone to the body’s skin. This is more commonly used than other forms of hormonal therapy.
Injectable hormonal therapy consists of an injectable form of testosterone and estrogen. After the first trimester of pregnancy, most doctors do not recommend hormone therapy as it can decrease a woman’s chance of getting pregnant. It also puts her fetus at risk of health complications due to the high estrogen levels.
What are the benefits of taking hormone therapy (HT)?
Hormone therapy (HT) is a common type of treatment for menopause symptoms. It includes estrogen and progesterone, which are the female sex hormones. HT has many benefits, including improved health of the skin, decreased risk of osteoporosis, lowered heart disease risk, relief from hot flashes, improved mood, and improved sexual function. However, women who take HT must take the medication every day and usually cannot miss more than two days in a row.
What is the follow-up after starting hormone therapy?
Following hormone therapy, a person needs to get checked for negative symptoms that can occur from hormone therapy. After starting hormone therapy, a person needs to follow up with their doctor to make sure they are safe from negative symptoms and any other side effects of the hormone therapy. In addition to monthly visits, a person may also need to have tests done to make sure their levels of hormones are balanced and to check for any other health problems.
Who Shouldn’t Take Hormone Replacement Therapy?
Many people, including menopausal women, may not want hormone replacement therapy. Hormone replacement therapy can cause serious side effects, including an increased risk of cancer, stroke, heart attack, and blood clots. Women with a history of breast cancer or estrogen-sensitive cancer should not take hormone replacement therapy, and the risks are more pronounced for those over 65 years old. Women who are pregnant or want to become pregnant should not take hormone replacement therapy.
How long should I take hormone therapy (HT)?
The duration of hormone therapy treatment can be determined by taking into account the person’s health history, overall wellbeing, and the presence of any known disease or condition. The doctor will consider your risk factors, such as family history of cancer, heart disease, and other medical conditions. The doctor may suggest a watch-and-wait approach for some types of cancer and other diseases, allowing the body time to recover from the cancer or disease and the person’s overall health to improve. The doctor will take your specific medical history and will monitor you for any side effects from the treatment. For the first 6–8 weeks after starting hormone therapy, you will receive blood tests to check that your body is absorbing the hormones correctly. Many women with breast cancer who have a strong family history of breast cancer may be advised to consider genetic counseling and testing before starting hormone therapy. Genetic counseling and testing may include a discussion of risks and benefits, a complete physical examination, and/or genetic tests.
What Are the Side Effects of Hormone Replacement Therapy?
There are many side effects of hormone replacement therapy, including: stroke, breast cancer, high blood pressure, heart disease, and colon cancer. Some women on hormone therapy will also have hot flashes. If you have any of the following health problems, discuss with your doctor how hormone therapy may affect your medical condition and how it can be used to treat or manage your medical problem: certain heart problems, high blood pressure, diabetes, or a history of stroke or heart attack. Talk to your doctor about whether hormone therapy is right for you. Other possible side effects include: nausea, vomiting, bloating, diarrhea, skin problems, mood swings, vaginal dryness, headache, depression, and breast pain. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that bothers you or does not disappear.
Before starting hormone therapy, tell your doctor if you have ever had: heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer of the uterus, ovaries, vulva, vagina, or bladder, a history of stroke, a personal or family history of certain types of cancer, irregular menstrual periods, mental health problems, and if you smoke. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Do not breastfeed while taking this medicine. Estrogens and progestins may affect the results of certain medical tests.
Get started on hormone replacement therapy with these simple steps.