Hormone replacement therapy: Benefits and risks

The article was professionally consulted with General Internal Medicine Doctor - Department of Examination & Internal Medicine - Vinmec Nha Trang International General Hospital.
In order to alleviate symptoms such as sleep disturbances, temper tantrums, osteoporosis... at menopause, many women choose to use hormone replacement therapy as an effective method to deal with the problem. Weighing the pros and cons of hormone replacement therapy is very important, helping us make the right decisions during treatment.

1. What is hormone replacement therapy?

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT), also known as menopausal hormone therapy (MHT), is a hormone therapy used to treat symptoms that occur in menopausal women including: atrophy and dryness vaginal discharge, hot flashes, osteoporosis, sleep disorders....
Some hormone replacement drugs for the treatment of menopausal symptoms are estrogen and progestogen. In 2002, research by the National Institute of Health's The Women's Health Initiative produced mixed results on all causes of death. In association with hormone replacement therapy, in older patients, the incidence of breast cancer, stroke and heart attack increases, and the incidence of colorectal cancer and fractures decreases.
In another UK study, results showed a sharp drop in the number of women taking hormone replacement therapy and it was recommended that women on noninvasive menopause take the highest dose of postmenopausal hormone replacement therapy in their lifetime. shortest time to help reduce the risks involved.

2. Benefits of hormone replacement therapy

Thuốc hormone thay thế
Lợi ích của liệu pháp thay thế hormone là gì
In fact, hormone replacement therapy cannot provide and respond to the full amount of estrogen for premenopausal women because it only introduces a small amount of estrogen into the body. The main benefits of hormone replacement therapy after menopause are estrogen supplementation to reduce the body's vasomotor symptoms, reverse skin aging, and minimize the symptoms of female genital atrophy. beneficial for the skeletal system, effectively limiting and reducing the rate of fractures.
In addition, timely estrogen supplementation is also very beneficial to the cardiovascular system and the condition of atherosclerosis, increasing sex drive, increasing memory, increasing brain perfusion and reducing the risk of Alzheimer's disease.. for menopausal women.

3. Risks from using hormone replacement therapy

The benefits of using hormone replacement pills are undeniable. However, just because of the desire to retain youth, some women abuse this hormone replacement for many years for the purposes of improving sex drive, sexual desire, treat depression or Alzheimer's disease and prevent some chronic diseases. However, this is a completely wrong thing to do, with advantages and disadvantages.
Women entering menopause are very susceptible to cardiovascular diseases or blood pressure. Therefore, the use of hormone replacement therapy excessively causing the body to add too much estrogen will lower cholesterol but increase triglycerides and increase blood clotting. Therefore, people with cardiovascular disease, weight gain, and high blood pressure should avoid using this therapy.
In addition, when using hormone replacement drugs not exactly prescribed by the doctor, poor monitoring and prolonged use will cause harms such as endometrial hyperplasia, increasing the risk of endometrial cancer. supply and breast diseases, hypertension and thrombotic diseases...
Harmful effects of hormone replacement drugs on the body will be more severe in cases where there is a family member with breast cancer or Cervical cancer, people with unexplained vaginal bleeding, cervical or ovarian tumour, or liver and biliary diseases, cardiovascular disease, cerebrovascular accident, high blood pressure, diabetes, lupus erythematosus... and especially pregnant women.a

4. How to supplement estrogen effectively?

Thuốc hormone thay thế
Bổ sung estrogen thế nào cho hiệu quả?
In addition to using hormone replacement after menopause exactly as directed by your doctor, you need to choose the right medicine because on the market today there are many forms of estrogen-containing drugs.
Do not combine many forms of hormone replacement medicine at the same time because this will easily lead to overdose and experience side effects. If you see symptoms such as breast tenderness, pain, bloating, nausea, weight gain, these are symptoms of estrogen overdose, patients should stop using the drug and see a doctor. for more specific advice.
Each body will have a unique dose of estrogen response, so use under the advice of a specialist and read the instructions carefully before use. Cases of supplementing hormone replacement drugs need to strictly follow the doctor's prescription and regular monitoring, absolutely do not share hormone replacement prescriptions with others to avoid possible unfortunate consequences. .

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