There was a time when hormone therapy was routinely used to treat menopausal symptoms so as to protect long-term health. Hormone replacement therapy includes medications containing hormones used to replace those which the body stops making following menopause. This used to be a standard treatment for women experiencing hot flashes & many other menopausal symptoms. It was also thought to have benefits preventing dementia & heart diseases.
Hormone therapy usage abruptly changed when clinical trials found that treatment actually posed more health risks than benefits, particularly when given to old post-menopausal women. As concerns about these health hazards grew, prescriptions for hormone therapy began to dilute. As of now, hormone therapy is no longer recommended for prevention of diseases like memory loss or heart disease. However, further clinical trials prove that hormone therapy in fact is a good choice for certain women based upon their risk factors.
Benefits of hormone therapy however depend upon whether you are taking systemic hormone therapy or low-dose vaginal preparations.
Estrogen alone or estrogen-progesterone combination can increase risk of serious conditions like –
Trials evaluating estrogen alone among women having undergone hysterectomy posed no increased risk of heart disease or breast cancer; but risks of blood clots & stroke remained similar to combination therapy. Estrogen combined with progesterone will make breasts look dense on mammograms & which will make detecting breast cancer more difficult. Moreover, when continued for more than a few years, hormone therapy will increase risk of breast cancer. Risks of hormone therapy however vary depending upon whether estrogen is taken alone or with progesterone, along with present age of the patient & age at menopause. All of these risks must therefore be taken into account in deciding if hormone therapy is right for you.
Systemic estrogen is still one of the most effective treatments for menopausal symptoms despite health risks as benefits far outweigh associated risks.
Typically, early menopause lowers risk of many types of breast cancer & therefore hormone therapy benefits usually outweigh risks. However, patient’s age, time & type of menopause play a significant role in risks which are associated with hormone therapy.
Women having present or past history of stroke, blood clots to lungs or legs, endometrial cancer, ovarian cancer & breast cancer should avoid undergoing hormone therapy. Women undergoing hormone therapy should not also smoke. Women who are not bothered by menopause symptoms or have started menopause after age 45 do not usually need hormone therapy in order to stay healthy. Instead they can adopt strategies to reduce risks including lifestyle changes & medications other than hormone therapy for protection.
The bottom line is that hormone therapy is neither all good nor all bad as a treatment option. Therefore, consult a physician in order to determine if this is right treatment option for your menopausal symptoms. Recommendations may also however change as researchers learn more about menopausal treatments & hormone therapy. So, review treatment options regularly & keep the conversation going throughout the menopausal years. IndianMedTrip is one of the fastest growing medical tourism companies in South Asia providing affordable healthcare solutions including hormone therapy for people from all around the world. They are associated with top doctors & best hospital facilities in the country so as to give excellent medical solutions money can buy.