Menopause affects thousands of women every day with unpleasant symptoms that they may want to avoid or alleviate. Hormone therapy for women can be an option for some women to alleviate the symptoms of menopause. If you’re seeking relief from menopause symptoms, then being informed about the pros and cons of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) as a menopause treatment can assist you in deciding whether it’s right for you. Executive Pharmacy is a compounding pharmacy located in Miami-Dade county and serving both Miami-Dade and Broward county.
What Is Hormone Therapy?
When you go through menopause, your estrogen levels fall. Some women get uncomfortable symptoms such as hot flashes and vaginal dryness. HRT (also known as hormone therapy, menopausal hormone therapy, and estrogen replacement therapy) is the most straightforward and efficient treatment for the symptoms of menopause. Doctors typically will suggest a low dose of estrogen for women who have had a hysterectomy, the surgery to take out the uterus, and for women who have had a bilateral oophorectomy (the surgical removal of the uterus and ovaries). Estrogen comes in different forms. The daily pill and patch are the most popular, but the hormone is also available as a vaginal ring, gel, or spray. Your doctor should help you evaluate whether or not hormone therapy is the right choice for you, as even though hormone therapy for women who are going through menopause can be an effective treatment for unpleasant menopause symptoms for some women, there are many pros and cons of the treatment depending on the severity of your symptoms and most importantly your medical history.
HRT As Menopause Treatment
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) notes that HRT is able to help you relieve menopause symptoms through estrogen and/or progestin. Women are able to take only estrogen if they have had a hysterectomy (as discussed above), but if they still have their uterus, they have to take estrogen and progestin. There are two kinds of hormone therapy available- systemic and local. With systemic therapy, hormones are released into the bloodstream and head to the organs and tissues that require it. Local therapy is for women who are only seeking treatment from vaginal dryness.
Only you and your doctor can decide whether or not HRT is the right treatment for you, but here are some general benefits and cons of the treatment. Benefits of HRT for menopause include:
- Helping with vaginal dryness.
- Protecting against bone loss that can lead to hip and spine fractures.
- Reducing the risk of colon cancer.
- Relieving hot flashes, especially at night.
As with any type of treatment, HRT comes with certain drawbacks. The main drawbacks of HRT are certain health concerns, which include:
- Breast cancer (small but increased risk)
- Deep vein thrombosis (small but increased risk)
- Gallbladder (small but increased risk)
- Heart attack (small but increased risk)
- Stroke (small but increased risk)
- Uterine lining growth, which can increase the risk of uterine cancer
Patients report greater satisfaction with HRTs that are bioidentical and contain progesterone compared with those that contain a synthetic progestin. Bioidentical hormones have some distinctly different, potentially opposite, physiological effects compared with their synthetic counterparts, which have different chemical structures. Both physiological and clinical data have indicated that progesterone is associated with a diminished risk for breast cancer, compared with the increased risk associated with synthetic progestins. Estriol has some unique physiological effects, which differentiate it from estradiol, estrone, and CEE. Estriol would be expected to carry less risk for breast cancer, although no randomized controlled trials have been documented. Synthetic progestins have a variety of negative cardiovascular effects, which may be avoided with progesterone.
Conclusion: Physiological data and clinical outcomes demonstrate that bioidentical hormones are associated with lower risks, including the risk of breast cancer and cardiovascular disease, and are more efficacious than their synthetic and animalderived counterparts.
Until evidence is found to the contrary, bioidentical hormones remain the preferred method of HRT. Further randomized controlled trials are needed to delineate these differences more clearly.
Contact Us Today
Hormone therapy for women who are going through menopause may be an effective menopause treatment for you. Call Executive Pharmacy at 1 (800) -918-4169 for your compounding pharmacy needs today!