The menopause is no fun. As you go through the perimenopause, your hormonal balance will change and you can experience a wide variety of unpleasant symptoms. Mood swings, hot flashes, loss of libido, a dry vagina, memory and concentration problems, and even occasionally urine leakage can all be among the symptoms. Your menstrual cycle will be extremely irregular and unpredictable during the perimenopause, with some women also experiencing unexpectedly heavy bleeding.
Who would want those symptoms? Pretty much nobody. It's logical, then, that you'd want to take a treatment that has been shown to be effective in the fight against menopause symptoms. Why shouldn't you use the available treatment? That's what we'll take a look at in this answer.
What Causes Menopause Symptoms?
They're caused by the fact that your ovaries start producing less and less estrogen as you approach the menopause. You can describe it somewhat like the withdrawal process the body goes through when someone stops taking antidepressants. The body was used to the presence of that substance, and now that it is gradually disappearing, a new state of normal has to be attained.
Since a reduction in the amount of estrogen is to blame for your menopause symptoms, why not just fix that with artificial estrogen?
That's exactly the premise of hormone replacement therapy. An estrogen cream or patch can reduce your mood swings and hot flushes and make your life much more enjoyable and productive. It can also reduce bone-mineral losses and bring the risk of fractures, which are more common in postmenopausal women, down.
Why Not Take HRT For Menopause Symptoms?
Why not take something that makes you feel drastically better, and that has helped many women feel pretty great during the perimenopause? Though known to be an immensely effective symptom reliever since the 1960s, the risks of HRT weren't understood until much more recently.
The effect of the widespread and indiscriminate use of HRT among the menopausal women was analyzed later, and HRT was found to come with an increased risk of breast and uterine cancers, along with a significantly increased risk of heart disease and strokes. These findings literally halted the widespread and overenthusiastic use of HRT and nowadays, only a few women are advised to take it.
Who Should Take HRT?
Those women experiencing severe hot flushes and night sweats, repeated urogenital symptoms, or postmenopausal bone erosion may be candidates for HRT. Those who have undergone the surgical removal of both ovaries also benefit.
But how long can you take HRT without increasing your risk of cancer? Current guidelines make it clear that you should take the smallest dose possible for the shortest time possible.
You should not take hormone replacement therapy for longer than five years, and will need to check in with your doctor to discuss the dosage from time to time. Monitoring your breasts and pelvic region is also required, as that is where the cancers associated with HRT appear.
To conclude, the days of widespread and indiscriminate use of HRT for menopause symptom relief are over. Scientific studies have revealed a high risk of cancers among HRT users. You should opt to use HRT only when you genuinely need it, and for the shortest possible amount of time.
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