If you are going through menopause you may be considering hormone replacement therapy. Also called HRT, hormone replacement therapy is a controversial subject. Some say it’s great. Others say it can be extremely risky. Knowing the facts can help you make an educated decision for yourself.
Myth#1 Hormone Replacement Therapy Causes Cancer
Fact: The truth is a bit of a mixed bag. Hormone replacement therapy can lower the risk of some types of cancer. For example, studies have shown that estrogen alone can decrease the risk of colorectal cancer.
However, it can also raise the risk of breast cancer. According to studies, hormone replacement therapy increases your risk of developing breast cancer by 24%. This means for every 10,000 women eight more will develop breast cancer if they’re taking estrogen and progesterone replacement therapy.
Myth #2 HRT Only Offers Relief from Hot Flashes and Low Libido
While it’s true that HRT does minimize the side effects of menopause it’s also true that studies have shown that hormone therapy taken soon after menopause may help protect against dementia. It also reduces the risk of heart attack in women age 50-59. It may also protect women against osteoporosis, a condition where the bones become thin and fragile.
Myth #3 Hormone Replacement Therapy is Perfectly Safe
This is not the case. HRT increases the risk of many major illnesses including:
* Heart Disease
* Blood Clots
Hormone replacement therapy has serious risks. However, it’s riskier for some than others. If you have a history of breast cancer, cancer, heart disease or other conditions HRT may not be right for you.
Myth #4 Hormone Replacement Treatments Are Ongoing
HRT is generally best suited as a short term solution to symptoms of menopause. Women that take estrogen only, progesterone only or a combination for a short period, less than two years, tend to be at much less risk for serious side effects.
However, those that take it for five years or more are at a greater risk for the conditions discussed.
If you’re considering HRT talk to your doctor about your risk factors and the severity of your menopausal symptoms. Your doctor will likely evaluate your:
* Health history
* Family health history
* And the severity of your symptoms
Before deciding which protocol, if any, is right for you.
There are other solutions to HRT that are more natural and have fewer risky side effects. Consider herbal remedies, supplements, acupuncture, massage and research bioidentical hormones.
The symptoms and side effects of menopause are not fun. However, HRT may not be the solution you’re looking for. Talk to your doctor and research natural remedies to ease your symptoms.