Wednesday, 28 January 2015
Hormone therapy, also called hormone replacement therapy means when a woman is given estrogen or estrogen with progestin to help her cope with or relieve her of the symptoms of menopause or peri-menopause, which include, vaginal dryness, hot flashes, mood swings, brittle bones, to mention a few, which are all as a result of lower hormone levels.
The hormone therapy helps relieve the short term symptoms of menopause and reduces some long term risks associated with lower estrogen levels. There are two types of hormone therapy ; ESTROGEN REPLACEMENT THERAPY [ERT] which is estrogen alone, and HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY [HRT] which combines estrogen with progestin, another hormone. HRT is usually prescribed only for women who have a uterus, while ERT is for women who have had their wombs removed previously through an operation called HYSTERECTOMY. If a woman who has had HYSTERECTOMY previously takes ERT, she will need regular check-ups for uterine lining changes.
ADVANTAGES OF THE ERT/ HRT
· Hormone therapy reduces the discomfort caused by menopausal symptoms.
· Reduces the risk of osteoporosis and slows down the rate of bone loss that occurs after menopause. This in turn also reduces the risk of fractures.
· ERT reduces a woman’s risk of heart diseases. The risk of heart disease is much greater than other health risks for postmenopausal women.
· ERT/HRT combined protects against the risk of ENDOMETRIAL cancer.
DISADVANTAGES OF THE ERT/HRT
· Periodic vaginal bleeding.
· Breast tenderness
· ERT alone increases the risk of endometrial cancer, though the risk is said to be low.
· They increase the risk of gallbladder disease.
To gain the long- term benefits of hormone therapy, the medications must be taken for many years. Women on long term hormone therapy need regular visits to the doctor. However, certain women should not consider HRT or ERT. These are women who have breast cancer, trouble with blood clots, liver disease, and undiagnosed vaginal bleeding.