Hormone replacement treatment (HRT) is a treatment method employed to alleviate signs and symptoms of menopause. It replaces the feminine hormones no longer created right after menopause.
The menopause, occasionally referred to as the “adjust of life”, is when a woman’s ovaries halt making an egg every single several weeks. This implies that she will no for a longer time have regular monthly periods or be ready to have young children. The menopause usually takes place when a female is in her 50s (the regular age is 52).
Go through much more about the menopause.
Oestrogen and progesterone (see beneath) are female hormones that participate in important roles in a woman’s human body. When stages fall, it leads to a assortment of bodily and psychological signs, including sizzling flushes, feeling swings and vaginal dryness.
HRT helps to restore feminine hormone levels, enabling the human body to function commonly yet again.
Oestrogen can help to release eggs from the ovaries. It also regulates a woman’s periods and aids her to conceive.
Oestrogen also plays a component in managing other features, which includes bone density, skin temperature and keeping the vagina moist. It is a reduction in oestrogen that leads to most signs and symptoms connected with menopause, including:
reduction of sex generate (libido)
anxiety incontinence: leaking urine when you cough or sneeze
thinning of the bones: this can guide to brittle bones (osteoporosis)
Most signs will pass inside two-to-five years, although vaginal dryness is most likely to get even worse if not dealt with. Pressure incontinence could also persist and the risk of osteoporosis will enhance with age.
The main role of progesterone is to prepare the womb for pregnancy. It also aids to protect the lining of the womb, which is identified as the endometrium.
A reduce in the degree of progesterone does not affect your entire body in the exact same way as falling levels of oestrogen, but it does improve your threat of creating womb cancer (endometrial cancer).
Progesterone is for that reason generally employed in mix with oestrogen in HRT. However, if you have experienced a hysterectomy (an operation to take away your womb), you do not need progesterone and can get oestrogen-only HRT.
Study more about the different kinds of HRT.
How HRT is taken
There are a number of approaches HRT can be taken, such as:
as a cream or gel, which can be used to the pores and skin or right into the vagina if you are experiencing vaginal dryness
tablets, which can be taken by mouth or placed straight into your vagina to address dryness
a patch that you adhere on your pores and skin
an implant, under local anaesthetic, tiny pellets of oestrogen are inserted underneath the skin of your tummy, buttock or thigh
If you are only going through vaginal dryness, a type of HRT that can be used immediately to your vagina will most likely be advised.
Tablets, patches or implants are only necessary if you have other menopausal signs and symptoms, this sort of as sizzling flushes.
There are many various combos of HRT, so deciding which type to use can be challenging. Your GP will be capable to suggest.
Study far more about how HRT is taken.
Who can use HRT?
You can start HRT as soon as you commence to encounter menopausal signs and symptoms. Even so, HRT might not be appropriate if you are expecting or have:
a heritage of breast cancer, ovarian most cancers or endometrial cancer
a history of blood clots
a historical past of heart disease or stroke
untreated substantial blood pressure (your blood stress will require to be controlled ahead of you can begin HRT)
Study far more about who can use HRT.
If you are not able to have HRT, different medicine may be approved to support control your menopausal signs and symptoms.
Examine more about alternate options to HRT.
Side results of HRT
Hormones utilized in HRT can have linked facet consequences like:
breast tenderness or swelling
Go through far more about attainable facet results of HRT and how to relieve them.
Rewards and risks
More than the many years, a lot of reports have been carried out hunting at the rewards and risks of HRT.
The primary advantage is that it is a very successful approach of controlling menopause signs. It can make a important difference to a woman’s good quality of existence and wellbeing.
HRT can also lessen a woman’s danger of creating osteoporosis and most cancers of the colon and rectum. However, lengthy-time period use is rarely encouraged, and bone density will fall swiftly after HRT is stopped.
HRT a bit improves the threat of developing breast most cancers, endometrial cancer, ovarian most cancers and stroke. Other medicines are available to treat osteoporosis that do not carry the exact same stage of linked risk.
Most experts concur if HRT is utilised on a quick-phrase basis (no far more than five many years), the rewards outnumber the pitfalls.
If HRT is taken for for a longer time, notably for far more than ten a long time, you really should examine your person pitfalls with your GP and overview them on an annual foundation.