Hormone replacement therapy involves taking medications to manage female hormones. It was once the go-to solution for menopause symptoms. Doctors used to believe that it had positive long-term effects like prevention of heart disease and dementia. A clinical trial revealed that this type of treatment could pose several health risks for some patients. Today, many women still use hormone therapy to deal with the effects of menopause.
Hormone Replacement Therapy Risks
Clinical trials have found that hormone replacement therapy can increase the risk of serious conditions including heart disease, blood clots, stroke, and breast cancer. When combined with estrogen, this type of therapy can cause breast tissue to appear denser which makes it harder to detect cancer. Risk factors will vary based on the patient’s age and medical history, dose size, and how the treatment is administered.
Hormone Replacement Therapy Benefits
Hormone replacement therapy can help patients reduce common menopause symptoms. Systemic estrogen can be used to treat night sweats and hot flashes. It can also reduce vaginal dryness and discomfort during intercourse.
Low-dose vaginal products may be recommended to help with urinary symptoms. These are designed to minimize absorption into the body to provide relief without increasing risk.
Is Hormone Therapy a Good Choice for Me?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to hormone replacement therapy. The only way to decide is to talk to your doctor. Get in touch with your Women’s Health and Menopause Center gynecologist to learn more about benefits and risk factors that affect you.
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