There are a variety of management options for dealing with menopause symptoms. Some are available over-the-counter, while others require a prescription from your healthcare provider. One treatment option that’s a common topic of discussion, is hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
There’s a lot of misinformation out there about this treatment option, and we often receive questions and requests to provide more about HRT, so we’ve asked Bonafide® Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Alyssa Dweck, to give us an overview of what hormone replacement therapy is and why it may be helpful for some during menopause.
Check out the full video and summary, below.
Types of Menopause HRT and Symptoms They Manage
Hi. Dr. Dweck, here, gynecologist and Chief Medical Officer at Bonafide. I wanted to talk to you today about hormone replacement therapy, also called menopausal hormone therapy, HRT or MHT.
Typically, hormone replacement therapy is indicated for moderate to severe hot flashes or night sweats that are caused by menopause and is also indicated for the protection of bones from osteoporosis.
Additionally, [topical] vaginal estrogen can be used for vaginal dryness and painful intercourse that happens as a result of that dryness. Systemic hormone therapy, which contains estrogen and progesterone, for people who have a uterus, can come in the form of a patch, a pill, a vaginal ring, or even a cream; and dosing can be titrated based on somebody's needs.
HRT for Women in Menopause
In general, hormone replacement therapy is best prescribed for people who are less than 10 years from the onset of menopause, and who are also younger than age 60. This is done in an effort to lessen any risks that may be present due to hormone replacement therapy.
People who use hormone therapy typically feel better pretty quickly in regard to hot flashes and night sweats. Vaginal dryness can be addressed either with systemic hormone therapy, or with a specifically formulated, vaginal and minimally absorbed estrogen. Some people even use both.
Are There Any Risks with Hormone Replacement Therapy?
There are some risks that go along with hormone replacement therapy, including a potential increased risk of breast cancer, uterine cancer and cardiovascular event, including stroke. So, this option needs to be really well thought out and individually based on your own medical history, as well as a good discussion with your healthcare provider.
Of course, for those who cannot take hormone replacement therapy or who choose not to, there are many other alternatives.