What to Know About Hormone Replacement Therapy

Hormone replacement therapy has been gaining in popularity with post-menopausal women. Menopause occurs when women have stopped ovulating and stop menstruating. This change occurs when their estrogen production stops. The video gives information about why these treatments are needed – and how they work.

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Changes in Female Hormones

A lack of female hormones results in hot flashes, mood changes, and weight gain. In addition to these discomforts, the change in estrogen levels puts women at risk for osteoporosis (a condition that results in brittle bones.) Doctors, therefore, prescribe oral or injected hormone replacement therapy – drugs to replace a woman’s estrogen. Sometimes, the doctor will add another hormone called progesterone – plus a medication that helps to prevent osteoporosis.

Risks from HRT Medications

When these medications are taken as prescribed, they can significantly decrease a woman’s hot flashes and their risk for osteoporosis. Because these hormones affect the blood, taking them has also been associated with an increased risk of blood clots in the legs. However, they also have been associated with an increased risk of having a stroke or endometrial cancer. Talk with your doctor and get as much information as you can before you begin taking HRT. Understanding the risks and benefits of HRT is important. Make sure you do research before deciding if you need it or not.

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