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Think Carefully Before Treating Symptoms of Menopause with Hormone Therapy

Review on November 19, 2009

menopause symptoms phytoestrogen

For women reaching a mature stage of life the subject of which treatments to use in order to curb the symptoms of menopause is always an issue. Menopause itself is as a result of changing and decreasing hormonal levels in a woman's body. Such a change sometimes brings about painful and often embarrassing health related symptoms. These can be both mentally and physically taxing for sufferers and can range from: Sleepless nights to body odor. The common treatment for menopause is hormone replacement therapy (HRT) but such a medical procedure often carries with it side effects that are sometimes as dangerous as what it intends to cure. Such a treatment however is often seen as a more time and clinically tested method of curbing menopause symptoms in comparison to herbal treatments. Phytoestrogenic herbs are sometimes used to halt certain symptoms of menopause, but such natural treatment is not considered by many as scientifically conclusive in comparison to hormone replacement therapy. In addition to this the use of such phytoestrogenic herbs in order to rebalance the hormonal balance brings with it its own variety of side effects.

menopause symptoms HRT

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or hormone therapy (HT) as it is called in Britain is used by millions of women all over the world. As previously stated, menopause symptoms are the product of a decreased quantity of hormones in a woman's body. In answer to this, hormone therapy or treatment as it sometimes referred to as is one option often used by women in order to treat such menopausal symptoms. The process of HRT can be delivered in many forms and these include: vaginal rings, gels, tablets and patches to name a few. The levels of estrogen are transferred in the form of progesterone or progestins referred to as "sequentially combined HRT" or scHRT. The dangers of HRT are well known however and due to such media attention from a number of high profile studies, the take up rate of women opting for hormone replacement therapy has dropped drastically in recent years. The most renowned of these studies was Million Women Study, which established findings that those undergoing treatments for HRT suffered from a larger risk of heart attacks, strokes and breast cancer. Other hazards from hormone therapy include the increased risk of osteoporosis as a small percentage of menopausal women undergoing hormone therapy suffer from severe bone loss.

For menopausal women, hormone therapy is often seen as the best method of curbing some of the harmful effects of menopause also known as symptoms of menopause. Such therapy is able to be delivered to the body in a host of varying ways, making it very adaptable between patients. The side effects of hormone therapy are notoriously dangerous however and much consultation with medical professionals should be sought before making a decision on such a course of treatment. This includes the increased risk of contracting heart disease and the small chance of suffering major bone loss, a very dangerous side effect for those suffering from osteoporosis.

Sources:
  • JAMA - The Journal of the American Medical AssociationArch Intern Med. 2001;161:1639-1644.