Is Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) Right for You?

HRT can reduce menopause symptoms, but there are other factors to consider. Here's what you need to know.

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) replaces the oestrogen and progesterone that women’s ovaries no longer produce after menopause. It greatly reduces or eliminates many menopausal symptoms in most women and also lowers the risk of osteoporosis and fractures experienced by 60 percent of older women.

There is evidence that HRT may reduce thickening of the arteries in women starting therapy soon after menopause, but it does not help, or may even increase, heart problems in older women with established heart disease who start HRT in later life.

While hormone replacement therapy is not for everyone, your doctor might suggest it if:

  • Frequent hot flushes interfere with your regular activities (also, here’s a plant remedy that could help with that)
  • You are at an increased risk of osteoporosis
  • Vaginal dryness and tissue changes make sex uncomfortable (here’s how to make sex more comfortable)
  • You have symptoms such as mood swings, irritability, urinary incontinence, urinary tract infections, joint pains, palpitations, muddled thinking or short-term memory loss

As there may be extra risks, specialist advice about hormone replacement therapy is advisable after:

  • Breast or endometrial (uterine lining) cancer
  • Blood clots or a clotting disorder
  • Liver problems

The decision to undergo hormone replacement therapy is a highly personal one, made with your doctor after exploring your options and considering your health status and medical history. After careful consideration, you and your doctor may decide that the benefits of HRT significantly outweigh the risks.

Now that you’ve learned more about hormone replacement therapy, check out how wild yam can be a natural remedy for menopause relief.