Understanding HRT – an introduction to hormone replacement therapy 

 

Human bodies aren’t built to last forever. We do somewhat regenerate, but the process isn’t perfect. You see, as our strands of DNA (which look like a twisted ladder) occasionally unzip themselves from top to bottom and attempt to marry up with a newly constructed other half of the ladder, thus making new bits of us to replace old bits of us, mistakes begin to creep in over time. As the strands of DNA begin to replicate themselves from previous versions that have developed minor faults, we get new cells that aren’t exactly built from the original blueprint. The result is that we begin to look old. We literally begin to fall apart. 

For women, the process of getting older comes with lowered levels of certain hormones. This decrease halts the female reproductive cycle. After 12 months without a period, women experience the menopause (see the Miami HRT Clinic for more information). This is where hormonal levels continue to decrease in a fluctuating pattern over a typical period of four to five years. Symptoms range from a slowed metabolism and weight gain, to night sweats, trouble sleeping, hot flashes, and vaginal dryness. 

Relief from HRT

After having not experienced a period for up to 12 months, women may begin to feel the symptoms of the menopause – this typically occurs around the age of 50, or just over. 

HRT can improve the balance of hormones during this transition, helping to relieve the most common symptoms of unrest and increased temperature (especially at night). 

Importantly, the hormonal changes brought about by the menopause can reduce bone density, meaning patients should speak to their doctor about HRT therapy (which can help to avoid issues such as osteoporosis). 

Different types of HRT

Patients should be aware that there are different types of HRT available from the doctor, and while every effort will be made to prescribe the most effective type of dose of HRT on a patient by patient basis, treatment plans may need to alter over time to deliver the best results. Generally speaking, the treatment will involve a combination of progestogen and oestrogen, and treatment will continue for the duration of the menopause. Completing the treatment usually involves gradually reducing the dosage, although stopping suddenly may be an option for some women.  

Different types of HRT are also known to cause certain side effects, including headaches, tenderness in the breast area, and indigestion. Always speak to your doctor if you have any concerns.