Menopause is a natural process that all women experience, but it can be accompanied by uncomfortable symptoms. Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is a common treatment for menopause symptoms, and it supplements women with hormones that are lost during the menopausal transition. There are several forms of HRT available, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Tablets are one of the most popular forms of HRT.
They are usually taken once a day and both estrogen-only and combined HRT are available in tablet form. For some women, this may be the easiest way to get treatment. Every woman experiences menopause differently, so there's no way to know how long the symptoms will last and, therefore, how long hormone therapy will need to be taken. Some women with long-term symptoms may need to continue taking hormone replacement therapy to ease symptoms and have a good quality of life.
Conventional HRT includes an estrogen and progesterone component to mimic the hormones created by the human ovary. Estrogen therapies are numerous and include those native to the human ovary, such as estradiol and estriol. Other estrogenic compounds include conjugated equine estrogen (CEE), which is the most commonly prescribed estrogen in the United States. They are not identical in terms of their effect on the human body, but they share the same FDA indications.
A woman who wants hormone replacement therapy and has an intact uterus must have a progestogen with estrogen to protect her uterus from endometrial hyperplasia or malignancy. Menopause symptoms may return after stopping hormone therapy, but they should go away within a few months. After stopping hormone therapy, you may still need help to control vaginal dryness and prevent osteoporosis. Estrogen-only HRT is generally only recommended if your uterus was removed during a hysterectomy.
It doesn't carry the usual risks of hormone therapy and doesn't increase the risk of breast cancer, so you can use it without taking progestin, even if you still have a uterus. Ingesting pills is the oldest HRT route (estrogen pills have been prescribed since 1994 and, medically, until very recently, the most popular route). Gel can also be a convenient way to take HRT and doesn't increase the risk of blood clots. Many women believe that hormone therapy will cause them to gain weight, but there is no evidence that this is the case. If you want to start hormone replacement therapy, it's a good idea to have an initial conversation with your primary care doctor or nurse at your local primary care office.
Recent findings show that, although not completely risk-free, HRT is still the most effective solution to help with menopausal symptoms and is also effective in preventing osteoporosis.