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Is Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) Safe? — an article on the Smart Living Network
August 6, 2009 at 7:57 AMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Is Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) Safe?

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Hormone replacement therapy made its grand entrance in the 1970s, although there is record of the first hormone replacement therapy appearing in the 1940s. Hormone replacement therapy was automatically accepted and considered as the only treatment against menopause, its inconvenient, and unwanted symptoms.

In the excitement of its entrance, hormone replacement therapy was prescribed for women 20-30 past their menopause onset for heart health. That is no longer practiced. Despite the expectations given to hormone replacement therapy, controversy has always surrounded it. The benefits of hormone replacement therapy include menopausal relief, cardiovascular health, bone health, mood improvement, reduces risk for bowel cancer, and enhanced feelings of sexuality. Hormone replacement therapy may provide support for women who have estrogen deficiencies. At its onset, it was believed that hormone replacement therapy would improve a woman's quality of life, as well as the length of her life.

Now, hormone replacement therapy is generally reserved for recommendation in those women who suffer severe menopausal symptoms. Studies may indicate that short-term use of hormone replacement therapy may not present potential side effects. Supposed benefits like the prevention of osteoporosis and Alzheimer's disease are now documented as undetermined. The increased risks of hormone replacement therapy include breast cancer, blood clots, dementia, and heart disease.

Some say the risks of hormone replacement therapy are the worth the benefits; while others insist the risks of hormone replacement therapy are not worth the benefits. It's an individual choice for every menopausal woman. Hormone replacement therapy may be taken in the following forms: cream, patch, or pill. Women with breast cancer are advised not to take hormone replacement therapy because it increases breast cell growth.

Ask yourself these questions before making a decision

  • How troublesome are your symptoms?
  • Are you alone, or do you have friends and family to help during menopause?
  • Should you adopt lifestyle or dietary changes other than hormone replacement therapy?
  • Do any of the reported side effects of hormone replacement therapy seem relevant to you?

Whatever your decision about hormone replacement therapy, both sides purport that if used, hormone replacement therapy should be used at the lowest dosage possible for the shortest timeframe possible.

What if you're taking hormone replacement therapy right now?

First of all, don't panic. You still have options like lowering the dosage, going off hormone replacement therapy, or switching to another therapy. You're taking hormone replacement therapy because your doctor thought it was right for you. However, after conducting your own research, write your questions down and ask your doctor. Don't make any decisions without conferring with your doctor.

It's your choice

No one should make this decision for you. Obtain counsel from other women and your doctor, but don't allow them to make the decision for you. With the inevitable risks linked to hormone replacement therapy, consideration for natural alternatives is being sought. Exercise, coupled with aspirin, provides excellent cardiovascular protection. Calcium and vitamin D address women's concerns for bone health naturally. Make your decision, make lifestyle changes, and live through your menopausal years with ease.

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