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Women's Health Topics..

You are here : home > Women's Health > Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) > What is HRT

What is HRT

What is HRT

Hormone Replacement Therapy or HRT is very beneficial for coping with menopausal symptoms. Read on to learn more about hormone replacement therapy.

Hormone Replacement Therapy is very effective in treating menopausal symptoms. The principal hormones used in HRT are estrogen and progesterone. This therapy reduces the risk of osteoporosis, heart attacks and strokes.

What is Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)?

All menopausal and post-menopausal women go through estrogen deficient years, which can manifest in both physical and emotional ways leading to impairment of the quality of life.  As the female life expectancy has increased, it is possible for a woman to live one third of the life after menopause. Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is a treatment for menopause given to women to correct the hormonal deficiency in peri- and post-menopausal state.

Which hormones are used in HRT?

The principal hormones used in HRT are estrogen and progesterone. There are two types of estrogen available: synthetic and natural.

Synthetic estrogens: Synthetic estrogens give rise to substances in the plasma which have potent estrogenic activity but which are structurally dissimilar to the estrogens produced by the ovary. Examples include ethinyl estradiol, mextranol and stilboestrol. Synthetic estrogens, as prescribed in the oral contraceptive, exert a pharmacological effect.

Natural estrogens: Natural estrogens, on the other hand, give rise in plasma to estrogens which are identical to those produced by the pre-menopausal ovary e.g. estradiol, estrone and estriol. These get classified by route of administration i.e. oral or vaginal.

What is the scientific basis of HRT?

The problems associated with menopause are due to the deficiency of a female hormone called estrogen.  These problems, therefore, can largely be prevented by estrogen replacement therapy (ERT).  ERT reduces the incidence of osteoporosis, heart attacks, strokes and generally improves the well being and life span of women. For more than three decades estrogens have been prescribed to relieve menopausal symptoms. Treatments like Estrogen Replacement Therapies (ERT) and Hormone Replacement Therapies (HRT) can reduce the gynaecological and psychological changes associated with menopause while inhibiting bone resorption and reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

What kind of menopausal symptoms can be treated using HRT?

Here is a list of menopausal symptoms that can be dealt with using HRT.
  • HRT can help to cope with the menopausal symptoms like depression
  • It can help to deal with mood swings and feelings of sadness.
  • It helps to deal with problems like joint aches and pains.
  • It helps to cope with osteoporosis.
  • It is beneficial for dealing with problems like lack of concentration and memory loss.
  • It is helpful in dealing with issues like vaginal dryness.
  • It can help to cope with the symptoms of hot flushes and night sweats.
  • It is also beneficial in improving the sex drive which gets reduced due to menopause.

What are the side effects of HRT?

There are some side effects which women may experience after undergoing hormone replacement therapy. Let us take a look at such side-effects.
  • Fluctuations in the mood
  • Tenderness or swelling in breast
  • Nausea
  • Tenderness in other parts of body
  • Bleeding from vagina
  • Cramps in legs
  • Headache
  • Indigestion
The above mentioned side-effects will face away naturally. However, it is a must to inform the doctor about them. He or she may suggest appropriate measures to deal with such symptoms.

Most of the women who are coping with the menopausal symptoms may undergo HRT but it is not suitable in certain cases. Women who have a history of womb cancer, ovarian cancer or breast cancer should not use HRT. It is also not suitable for women who have liver disease, untreated high blood pressure or history of blood clots. If you are coping with menopausal symptoms and if you wish to use HRT, you must consult your doctor. You doctor is the right person to help you with appropriate measures.

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Suhana.10 years ago
this is really a very informative article for the women passing through the phase of menopause.
sarah o'brien
sarah o'brien.10 years ago
what about information on h.r.t with fertility.after loseing my 2nd pregnancy with i.v.f and h.r.t ,i thought i was safe with a succesful pregnancy taking h.r.t ,i was wrong, why?
manoj.10 years ago
for research purpose
michelle.10 years ago
this was not able to tell me the correct info i needed to do with hrt.
sandy.10 years ago
study for knoledge
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