Hormone Replacement Therapy: Is it for You?

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Hormone Replacement Therapy: Is it for You?

Contrary to popular belief, new studies are showing that the benefits of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for women nearing menopause may outweigh the risks. Learn why.

Nearly a decade ago, the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) believed that hormone replacement therapy was dangerous and could lead to an increased risk of heart disease, stroke and breast cancer. Today, research suggests that HRT is actually beneficial to women just before they reach menopause.

Many women usually take estrogen while undergoing HRT because they no longer have a uterus. HRT serves as an option to help supplement these women with the hormones they need.

Benefits:

According to Robert Langer, principal investigator at the WHI center, explains that HRT near the time of menopause offers many women advantages such as relief of hot flashes and night sweats. He, along with other experts, has even declared that HRT can reduce the risk of heart disease, colorectal cancer and bone fractures. It is suggested that women who start using HRT ten years prior to menopause or before 60 years of age relish the most benefits from HRT.

Risks:

Some studies have noted that there is a slight increased risk of stroke for women who begin HRT at an early age; however, these results have only been seen in oral HRT and not HRT in patch form. The risk of developing breast cancer from HRT still raises a debate. One article suggests that taking estrogen and progestin increases the risk of breast cancer, whereas women taking estrogen alone actually reduce their risk of breast cancer.
Research on the effects of hormone replacement therapy in women is still being conducted. Hormone replacement therapy is something that should be talked about with your doctor first to make sure that it is appropriate for you.

Written by Katherine Chua

Sources:

http://blogs.wsj.com/health/2012/05/22/benefits-of-hormone-replacement-therapy-outweigh-risks-reviews-of-studies-show/?Mod=WSJ_blogs_mostpop_read

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