Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is a hormone treatment prescribed to women experiencing many of the symptoms related to perimenopause – the phase leading up to menopause. These include hot flushes, night sweats, mood swings, vaginal dryness, and low libido.
HRT works by replacing the hormones oestrogen and progesterone that decline as a woman transition to the menopause. Taking HRT upon diagnosis of symptoms that are related to perimenopause can help women better manage this phase in their life by reducing the physical and psychological symptoms caused by changing hormone levels.
What are the benefits of HRT?
Perimenopause symptoms can have a serious impact on a woman’s personal and professional life. HRT not only offers relief from perimenopause symptoms, but it also helps prevent diseases associated with declining hormone levels such as osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease.
According to studies, the risk of fragility bone fractures is decreased in women taking HRT, and oestrogen-only HRT treatment is associated with no or reduced risk of developing coronary heart disease.
Although the risk of developing osteoporosis and breaking a bone is low in women around menopausal age, HRT reduces the risk further as it increases the body’s level of oestrogen.
As the ovaries become less responsive the amount of oestrogen produced also declines. A lack of oestrogen causes the bones to become thinner, therefore increasing the risk of developing osteoporosis.
The benefit of HRT on bone health lasts only as long as HRT is being taken but may last longer if HRT is taken for a longer period of time.
Are there different HRT treatment regimes?
There are two main different types of HRT treatment regimes, these are sequential and continuous.
Sequential HRT is recommended for women taking both oestrogen and progesterone. It consists of taking oestrogen daily alongside progestogen for part of the calendar month. There are two approaches, monthly HRT and 3-monthly HRT.
Monthly HRT is where oestrogen is taken daily, and progesterone is taken alongside it for the last 14 days of each month.
3-monthly HRT is where oestrogen is taken daily, and progesterone is taken alongside it for around 14 days every 3 months.
Continuous combined HRT simply means taken oestrogen and progesterone together each day without a break. It is usually recommended for women who are postmenopausal.
It’s important for women to learn about HRT treatments and how it can help them with their perimenopause symptoms. Schedule a time to speak with one of our board-certified physicians about ReVital’s Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy.