A women’s life never stays the same post-menopause. Almost every woman encounters this cyclical beast at some stage or the other, which marks the cessation of her ovulation period. Menopause is just as natural as puberty, life and death, but it comes tagged along with numerous health issues that can pose as a concern for your wife, mother, friend or co-worker. Often referred to "The Change", menopause is a scary phase which most women need to face. Menopause is nature’s way of putting a halt to the biological process. With age, the female hormones that regulate ovulation and menstruation begin to decline; till one day when it completely stops, marking the not-so-easy menopausal phase. Menopause opens the latch to numerous health issues like hot flashes, sleeping disorders, mental discomfort, poor libido and more. Apart from this, it increases the risks of heart diseases in women, osteoporosis, depression and much more.Hormone replacement therapy, or simply hormone therapy, is the medical treatment where the body is supplemented with hormones, in order to treat certain conditions, especially the ones triggered by menopause. Though this therapy is believed to offer great benefits if continued for a short time, prolonged treatment can often trigger side effects that may be even life-threatening at times. Take a dig on the pros and cons of hormone replacement therapy for more.
Advantages Of Hormone Replacement Therapy
- One of the best things about hormone replacement therapy is that it boosts the quality of life post-menopause and also relieves one of various uncomfortable menopausal symptoms. It adds to the wellbeing of a person and checks the mood from plummeting, thereby limiting one from feeling blue always.
- Hormone replacement therapy helps to alleviate one of the most annoying symptoms of menopause, i.e. hot flashes. Hot flashes can leave one with a clammy feeling at any time of the day and can interfere with one’s sleep. What’s worse, it may make life miserable for a woman. Hormone replacement therapy offers relief from hot flashes and induces good sleep.
- It is been proved that estrogen significantly uplifts the mood of a woman who is experiencing the menopausal stage. Though the real reason behind this mood-enhancing estrogen is yet to be known, women, who have tried this, have confirmed a positive feedback, stating that it has helped them feel revitalized, rejuvenated and more efficient in their day-to-day life.
- One of the most amazing advantages of hormone replacement therapy is enhanced short term memory. A recent study has disclosed a distinct difference in short-term memory between women who had active ovaries or were on postmenopausal HRT, as compared to menopausal women without ovaries or HRT.
- Hormone replacement therapy is presumably one of the best bet against osteoporosis, though studies are yet to confirm the fact. Estrogen increases bone mass by inhibiting the function of osteoclasts, the cells that eat old bone so that new bone can be laid down.
- Hormone replacement therapy reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVD). Heart disease develops about ten years later in women than in men, with risk being higher during the post-menopause stage. Low estrogen levels have long been considered as a major risk factor for the heart disease in women. Since estrogen plays an important role in lipid metabolism, it is assumed to be a beneficial factor for preventing cardiovascular disease as well. However, scientists are not certain whether the beneficial effects observed from HRT are due to progestins or estrogen or both.
Disadvantages Of Hormone Replacement Therapy
- Hormone replacement therapy increases the risk of endometrial cancer, especially if estrogen is being taken without any progesterone or progestin.
- Hormone replacement therapy increases the risk of blood clots, ovarian cancer, stroke and heart attack, if taken together with progestin and oral estrogen.
- Undergoing prolonged treatment of hormone replacement therapy heightens the risk of developing breast cancer in women, apart from increasing breast density too. Increased bone density can obstruct mammograms that can make the detection of breast cancer difficult at times. However, the chance of increased density is caused mainly by women taking oral progestin alongside estrogen.
- Women undergoing hormone replacement therapy may experience pain in their breasts sometimes. They may also experience some bloating and fluid retention, nausea, depression and other mood swings.
- In addition to all this, women who take estrogen and progestin in cycles or only take progestin may experience monthly vaginal bleeding. They may also experience bleeding or spotting when taking estrogen and progesterone or a progestin daily.