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Hormone Replacement Therapy-The Types

HRT (Hormone replacement therapy, also referred to as hormone therapy, estrogen replacement therapy, or menopausal hormone therapy, is a treatment that uses the female hormones progesterone and estrogen to treat the symptoms of aging and menopause. Often, doctors prescribe it during or after menopause.

After your periods have stopped, the level of your hormones decreases, causing uncomfortable symptoms like hot flashes and vaginal dryness, and sometimes conditions like osteoporosis. The HRT replaces the hormones that your body is no longer capable of making. It is the most effective treatment or menopausal symptoms.

The Importance of Estrogen
Often, when one thinks about pregnancy, they tend to think about estrogen. In women who are in the age of childbearing, estrogen helps the uterus to get ready to receive the fertilized egg. It has other functions as well–it controls how your body uses calcium, which helps in bone strengthening, and raises the good cholesterol levels in the blood.

When Progesterone Should be Taken
If you still have your uterus, using estrogen alone without progesterone raises your risk for cancer of endometrium, the uterus lining . Since the cells from the uterus lining are not leaving your body during the menstruation any more, they may build up in your uterus and lead to cancer. The work of progesterone is reducing that risk by thickening the lining.

Hormone Replacement Therapy Types
Estrogen Therapy: Doctors suggest a low dose of estrogen for women who have undergone hysterectomy. There are many forms of the estrogen hormone with the most common being the patch and the pill, but there are also other forms available such as the vaginal ring, gel or spray.

Estrogen/Progesterone/Progestin Therapy
Also referred to like the combination therapy since it combines doses of estrogen and the synthetic form of progesterone, progestin. This treatment method is meant for women who still have their uterus.

Women who have acute to severe menopausal symptoms, as well as those with a family history of osteoporosis, are ideal candidates for hormone replacement therapy.On the other hand, women that have breast cancer, heart disease, liver disease, or a history of blood clots as well as those without the menopausal symptoms should not go to the hormone replacement therapy.

HRT Regimes
Depending on whether you are in the early stages of the menopause, or you have had the menopausal symptoms for a while, you have different HRT courses to choose. The common regimes are the Cyclical or Sequential and the Continuous HRT.

The Cyclical HRT is recommended for women taking the combined Hormone replacement therapy who have menopausal symptoms but have their periods. Cyclical HRT is of two types; the Monthly HRT for women with regular periods and the three-monthly HRT for irregular periods.

The continuous combined HRT is meant for women who are post-menopausal. It involves taking estrogen and progesterone daily without stopping.

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