Hormone Replacement Therapy – Benefits and Side Effects

Often women approaching menopause are in a quandary over the effectiveness of hormone replacement therapy. During menopause, the ovaries of women are no longer able to produce estrogen and progesterone hormones. Hormone replacement therapy helps to provide relief from the symptoms of menopause by replenishing the depleted hormones.

The hormone replacement therapy supplies either only estrogen or both estrogen and progesterone.

Benefits of hormone replacement therapy

Hormone replacement therapy is the best available treatment for healing the symptoms of menopause. It could reduce vaginal dryness, mood swings, hot flashes, night sweat and sleeping difficulties. The dwindling estrogen level during menopause is associated with increased risk of osteoporosis.

Hormone replacement therapy could prevent loss of bone mass in older women. Researchers have found that hormone replacement therapy could even reduce the risk of certain age related diseases in women such as macular degeneration and memory loss. It could perhaps reduce the risk of colon and endometrial cancers in women. By raising the estrogen level, hormone replacement therapy could perhaps preserve the healthy total cholesterol level in the bloodstream.

Side effects of hormone replacement therapy
Several recent studies have shown that the disadvantages of hormone replacement therapy might outweigh its benefits. Whether you are taking estrogen therapy or combined therapy, your doctor should recommend you the lowest dose of hormone for the shortest period. Long-term hormone replacement therapy could produce several complications. Hormone replacement therapy increases the risk of breast cancer. Women with a personal or family history of breast cancer should avoid hormone replacement therapy. It could also increase the risk of blood clot and stroke.

Hormone replacement therapy could develop endometrial cancer if a woman is undergoing only estrogen therapy. Although, hormone replacement therapy does not cause lung cancer, it can worsen the symptoms of lung cancer. It is recommended that before taking hormone replacement therapy, a woman should quit smoking and tobacco consumption. Sometimes hormone replacement therapy could cause bladder and liver problems.

If you are experiencing abnormal vaginal bleeding, you should avoid hormone replacement therapy. To reduce the risks associated with hormone replacement therapy, your physician should evaluate the necessity of continuing the therapy every year.