Can Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) Improve My Sexual Function?
For years, hormone replacement therapy (also known as estrogen replacement therapy) has been the best known way to help with the symptoms of menopause. HRT has been known to help reduce hot flashes, vaginal dryness as well as the risks of developing osteoporosis. But since July 2002, research has shown that it can do more harm than good.
Side Effects of Hormone Replacement Therapy
Clinical trials have shown that HRT posed more health hazards on women, so doctors began to discontinue routine prescriptions for it. Studies show that hormone replacement therapy can increase your risks of developing the following:
- Breast cancer
- Heart disease
- Blood clots
Research has also shown that women who take combinations of estrogen-progestin had experienced an increase in abnormalities in their mammography exams. A lot of times results would show false-positives of breast cancer because it causes tissues in the breast to increase in density.
Does the Bad Out-Weigh the Good in HRT?
Researchers agree that HRT is a great therapy for fighting hot flashes and osteoporosis-related hip fractures and colorectal cancer. There are two types of hormone replacement therapys, estrogen-alone therapy (premarin) and combination estrogen-progestin therapy (prempro). Estrogen-alone therapy shows that there is an increase in chances of getting breast cancer, similar to combination therapy. When getting estrogen-alone therapy, it is important to have many mammograms and additional testing since many times the mammograms will produce false results. Being that HRT can cause so many risks, you should take into consideration how bad your menopause symptoms are. If you are experiencing unbearable hot flashes and extreme sexual discomfort, HRT may be able to help, but you are still at risk of developing the illnesses as mentioned earlier. And if you find that your menopausal symptoms are becoming better, you may want to decrease or eliminate your HRT treatments.
HRT and Sexual Improvement
Many women want to know if hormone replacement therapy can improve their sexual function. As far as vaginal lubrication, HRT may work. Every women should consider the side effects that have been proven to accompany HRT and seriously contemplate if it is worth the risk. It is known to ease vaginal discomforts such as dryness, itching, burning and uncomfortable intercourse. But of course, natural remedies are always recommended.
Who shouldn't do Hormone Replacement Therapy?
Women who have the following are not likely candidates for hormone replacement therapy:
- Breast cancer
- History of blood clots
HRT is not to be used for preventing memory lost, heart disease, heart attacks or strokes.
Alternatives to HRT
There are some safer ways to help with sexual functions besides hormone replacement therapy. You may discuss with your doctor a new lifestyle for you to pursue, such as exercising and dieting. If this doesn't work, you can seek natural treatments for your menopausal symptoms. Changing your eating habits by eating certain foods can help increase your hormone levels. Speak with your doctor for recommendations. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/hormone-therapy/WO00046 http://www.abc.net.au/science/menopause/hrt.htm