Hormone Replacement Therapy: What does it involve?
During the menopause, women’s levels of female hormones, namely estrogen and progesterone, decrease substantially, a condition known as hormone replacement therapy, or HRT. By replacing the hormones, HRT replaces the deficiency in levels.
Is HRT available online?
In certain situations, HRT online can be prescribed by the Online Clinic. We will assess your situation after completing a brief consultation form. Your treatment can be delivered the next day.
What does menopause mean?
In the UK, the onset of menopause usually begins in a woman’s 50s (51 years of age on average), but it can begin earlier. Menopause occurs approximately one year after the last menstrual period. Women are post-menopausal one year after menopause.
Oestrogen is the primary hormone responsible for controlling menstruation (‘periods’) and egg release (‘oestrogen’) during the monthly cycle. The oestrogen level declines in older women, causing her monthly periods to become less frequent until they stop. Because of this, she is unable to become pregnant naturally as her ovaries gradually stop producing an egg every month (ovulation). The progesterone in women allows the uterus to receive the egg during pregnancy, as well as protect the endometrium (lining of the womb). Ovulation triggers the production of progesterone. In addition, the number of eggs released decreases with age.
(Oestrogen and progesterone deficiency) What are the effects of menopause?
Oestrogen levels are reduced during the menopause, resulting in many of the menopause’s characteristic symptoms. There are several short-term symptoms that are often experienced during the first couple of years following diagnosis, including hot flushes/flashes, night sweats, emotional disturbances (e.g., mood swings, irritability, depression, and anxiety), weakness, and loss of libido (sex drive).
A deficiency of oestrogen leads to drier and thinner skin and hair in the long run, including that of the vagina, which causes pain during intercourse.
Also, it increases the risk of urinary infections and urinary incontinence, makes your bones thin (osteoporosis), and increases your risk of heart and blood vessel disease. A low level of progesterone is like a low level of estrogen. Some of them are infertility, dry skin, depression, headaches, fatigue, and low libido.
Menopause is diagnosed in what way?
HRT is only recommended if you exhibit menopausal symptoms. If you have atypical menopausal symptoms, or if you have had a hysterectomy, a blood test may be necessary.
Menopause symptoms treated with hormone replacement therapy
Menopause symptoms can be treated with HRT for a short period of time. In most cases, symptoms resolve over time; however, if left untreated, they may persist longer. Vaginal dryness, urinary incontinence, and osteoporosis can persist or worsen without treatment.
Hormone Replacement Therapy: how does it work?
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) usually involves synthetic progesterone (progestin) and oestrogen (hormone). Women’s preferences and circumstances will determine the type and preparation of HRT that is suitable for them.
HRT provides a bloodstream injection of oestrogen. On the other hand, oestrogen is usually given in combination with progesterone, so as not to increase the lining of the womb, which increases the risk of endometrial cancer (womb cancer).
HRT is available in a wide range of forms, such as tablets, patches, implants, sprays, or specific vaginal preparations (creams, rings, and pessaries). A woman who does not have a uterus after a hysterectomy may take oestrogen only HRT, while women who still menstruate may take cyclical or sequential HRT, or women who have gone through menopause may take continuous combined HRT.
Most women start treatment with the lowest effective dose of oestrogen, and the dose can be increased or the type of HRT changed later if it is no longer effective. It is generally not recommended to take HRT long-term (over five years). Once menopausal symptoms have subsided, it is appropriate to stop HRT after two to five years.
To prevent recurrence of symptoms, gradually reducing the dose is recommended. It may be necessary to continue treating oestrogen deficiency symptoms such as osteoporosis or vaginal dryness for long-term effects.
Hormone Replacement Therapy can be used by anyone.
The menopause does not affect all women the same way. Some experience considerable discomfort. Women suffering from hot flashes or other symptoms of the menopause may benefit from HRT.
Pregnant women, women with breast, ovarian, or uterine cancers, those with abnormal periods, women with blood clots, stroke victims, patients with heart disease, patients with liver disease, and those with uncontrolled (untreated) high blood pressure should avoid this product.
HRT has side effects
Some of the most common side effects of HRT are fluid retention, bloating, tenderness and swelling of the breasts, headaches, nausea, and digestive problems, mood swings, and depression. No matter whether HRT is taken or not, women can gain weight during the menopause.
Using HRT long term can decrease the risk of osteoporosis, colon and rectal cancer, as well as stroke, deep vein thrombosis, and pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lungs).
What is the best time to contact a doctor?
Seek advice from your physician if you are experiencing troublesome menopausal symptoms. A mammogram should be performed on women who take hormone replacement therapy on a yearly basis.