5 Minor Hormone Replacement Therapy Side Effects

Studies in recent years have indicated that women taking hormone replacement therapy are at a higher risk of blood clots, stroke, heart disease, and breast cancer. Besides this, there are also a few other minor side effects associated with the hormones used in HRT (Oestrogen and Progesterone)

Hormone replacement therapy can be defined as the treatment used to relieve menopause symptoms or any other age-related symptoms. As a woman approaches menopause, her hormone levels begin to decline. HRT seeks to restore the balance of the female hormones that are on the decline.

Oestrogen and Progesterone are two of the most important hormones in women which are vital in reproduction. Falling levels of these two hormones are associated with a range of both physical and emotional symptoms. Some of the most common symptoms associated with falling estrogen/progesterone hormones include but are not limited to mood swings, hot flashes, and vaginal dryness.  It’s important to always go to a board-certified physician like Dr. Angie who can make sure you’re getting proper treatment. You can find her by clicking here.

The Different Types of Hormone Replacement Therapy

Choosing the right HRT is daunting with all the different preparations. This section highlights three of the main types of hormone replacement therapy.

1) Cyclical Hormone Replacement Therapy

This treatment option otherwise known as sequential HRT is recommended for women who are experiencing menopausal symptoms but are still having their periods. This category can further be divided into:

  1. Monthly HRT – this treatment option is recommended for women with regular periods and normally involves taking estrogen every day and progesterone at the end of a menstrual cycle for around 12-14 days.
  2. Three-Monthly HRT – women with irregular symptoms are advised to go for this option which involves taking estrogen every day and progesterone every 13 weeks for around 12-14 days.

2) Oestrogen-Only HRT

This option is available and highly recommended for women who at one point have had their wombs removed during a hysterectomy. Since the woman has no risk of womb cancer, administering progesterone is not required.

 3) Continuous Combined HRT

This treatment option is ideal for women who are post-menopausal meaning that they’ve not had their periods for more than a year.

Minor side effects associated with HRT

  • Fluid retention
  • Bloating
  • Nausea
  • Mood swings
  • Acne

One common misconception about hormone replacement therapy’s side effects is its association with weight gain in women. A good number of women strongly believe that taking HRT will make them gain weight. Contrary to this, there is no evidence brought forward that fully supports this argument. As a matter of fact, a woman in her menopause can expect to gain a bit of weight with or without taking HRT.

If that’s your biggest concern in relation to taking hormone replacement therapy and menopause, you can always hit the gym or better yet eat healthy foods to keep you in shape and lose that extra flab.

It should be noted that the absolute risk of adverse hormone replacement therapy effects including breast cancer and cardiovascular complications is extremely low for women on the estrogen-progestin regimen.  Natural or bioidentical hormones are seen as the best alternatives to restoring the hormonal balance when compared to synthetic hormones which are riskier.

As for perimenopause women exhibiting symptoms, a short-term dose of estrogen is recommended to help deal with the symptoms.

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