What is HRT for women?

June 13, 2019

What is HRT for women?

What is HRT (hormone replacement therapy)? 

HRT or hormone replacement therapy is a conventional treatment to alleviate painful perimenopause and menopause symptoms. Menopause signals the end of a woman's menstrual cycle and generally occurs in the late 40s or early 50s. Symptoms of menopause include hot flashes, weight gain, vaginal atrophy, and for some, depression. The cause of these chronic symptoms is due to lower levels of estrogen and progesterone in the body. HRT mimics the exact hormones in your body and replenishes them to help ease the menopause transition.


What are the benefits of HRT?


Relieves menopausal symptoms 

While there are many benefits of replacement therapy, the main benefit is relieving menopausal symptoms. Symptoms vary from women to women, but the Women’s Health Initiative conducted a study showing that hormone therapy reduced the following symptoms:

  •      Vaginal dryness
  •      Unexplained Weight gain
  •      Extreme mood swings
  •      Chronic night sweats
  •      Insomnia
  •      Thinning hair
  •      Dry skin


Anti-aging benefits

Sex hormones, like progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone, play an essential role in fertility and energy levels to decline.  Through hormone replacement therapy (HRT), you provide hormonal balance by adding back the depleted hormones, helping you to feel years younger. For some, the anti-aging effect is profound.  


Improves sleep cycles

It’s common for people to have poorer sleep as they grow older. The recommended amount of sleep is 8-10 hours per night, but when you have a hormone imbalance, stress, or anxiety, your sleep cycles and length can be affected. Undergoing hormone replacement therapy with a progesterone cream may help you sleep longer and deeper.


Increases energy levels

Low energy has a severe impact on all areas of your life. When one feels depleted due to low levels of progesterone or estrogen, hormone therapy can help. HRT affects people differently, but hormones are critical for maintaining healthy energy levels.


What are the types of HRT?

Hormone replacement therapy comes in a few different options, depending on your doctor’s recommendations and your personal symptoms.


Common HRT Treatments

  • Topical estrogen or progesterone: This includes creams, rings, and vaginal tablets. It can help with menopausal symptoms, including vaginal dryness and irritations.
  • Estrogen-only HRT: This treatment is for women who have had a hysterectomy (uterus, or womb, or ovaries have been removed).
  • Ongoing HRT: Women take a continuous dose of estrogen and progesterone during postmenopause.
  • Cyclical HRT: For women still have a monthly cycle, but experiencing perimenopausal-like symptoms. It’s a combination of estrogen and progesterone.


What are the risks of HRT?

With any kind of hormone treatment, there are risks. Studies show mixed results of the actual risk and health benefits. For women with a history of severe migraines, uncontrolled hypertension, heart disease, or breast cancer should speak to their healthcare professional before undergoing HRT treatment. In most cases, it isn't advised.

Hormone replacement therapy helps women balance hormones and ease the menopausal transition. Younger women who’ve had hysterectomies benefit as well. Many treatment options are available in the form of creams and tablets, helping you live your life to the fullest.

Female Sex Hormones: Types, Effect on Arousal, and 8 Other Functions. (n.d.). Retrieved January 13, 2019, from https://www.healthline.com/health/female-sex-hormones


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