Everything you need to know about HRT

Everything you need to know about HRT

Everything you need to know about HRT 

I've not started HRT on my perimenopause journey yet. It’s a personal preference at this stage, I am attempting to manage my symptoms in a holistic way. I’m not adverse to HRT or medication I just feel there is a time and a place in my life for it. And when I can no longer manage the symptoms myself I will turn to HRT options.  

So I have some research into the subject to understand what’s it all about.  

What is HRT?  

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is a treatment that replaces hormones that the body is no longer able to produce, typically due to aging or menopause. HRT is used to relieve symptoms associated with menopause, such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and mood changes. It can also help to prevent osteoporosis, a condition that causes the bones to become weak and brittle. 

HRT is available in several forms, including pills, creams, patches, and gels. The type of HRT that is right for you will depend on your symptoms and health history. 

HRT can have some risks and side effects, including an increased risk of blood clots, stroke, and certain types of cancer, such as breast cancer. It is important to talk to your doctor about the potential risks and benefits of HRT before starting treatment. 

What options are available for HRT?  

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is available in several forms, including: 

  1. Oral tablets: These are taken by mouth and contain oestrogen and progestin, the two hormones that are typically replaced during HRT. 
  1. Transdermal patches: These are applied to the skin and release hormones through the skin. 
  1. Vaginal creams: These are applied to the vagina and can help with vaginal dryness and other symptoms associated with menopause. 
  1. Gels and sprays: These are applied to the skin and release hormones through the skin. 
  1. Vaginal ring: A small, flexible ring is inserted into the vagina, which releases hormones over time. 
  1. HRT implants: Hormone pellets are inserted under the skin which slowly releases hormones. 

The type of HRT that is right for you will depend on your symptoms and health history. It is important to consult with a doctor or healthcare provider to determine the best course of treatment. 

What is the best HRT option for me?  

The best Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) option for you will depend on several factors, including your symptoms, health history, and personal preferences. It is important to consult with a doctor or healthcare provider to determine the best course of treatment. 

Some general guidelines that can help you and your doctor decide the best HRT option for you: 

  • If you have moderate to severe hot flashes and night sweats, oral tablets or transdermal patches may be the best option. 
  • If you have vaginal dryness, itching, or pain during sex, vaginal creams, gels or ring may be the best option. 
  • If you have osteoporosis or are at high risk for it, oral tablets or transdermal patches may be the best option. 
  • If you have a history of blood clots, stroke, or breast cancer, HRT may not be suitable for you. 
  • If you have any other medical condition, it is important to discuss with your doctor about the potential risks and benefits of HRT for you. 

It's also worth noting that HRT is not recommended for all women, and the decision to start HRT should be made after careful consideration of the potential risks and benefits, and after a thorough discussion with your healthcare provider. 

Will I still get periods on HRT? 

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can affect the menstrual cycle in different ways depending on the type of HRT used. 

If you use HRT in the form of oral tablets or transdermal patches, which contain both oestrogen and progestin, you will likely have menstrual periods similar to what you experienced before menopause. 

If you use HRT in the form of a vaginal cream, gel, or ring, which contains only oestrogen, you may have lighter or shorter periods, or your periods may stop altogether. 

If you use HRT in the form of an implant, you will not have menstrual periods as long as the implant remains in place. 

It's important to keep in mind that every woman's body is different, and the effects of HRT on the menstrual cycle will vary from person to person. It is important to discuss with your doctor about the potential effects of HRT on your menstrual cycle and any other questions or concerns you may have. 

Can you still have symptoms of perimenopause with HRT?  

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can help to relieve symptoms associated with perimenopause and menopause, such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and mood changes. However, the effectiveness of HRT in relieving these symptoms can vary from person to person. 

Perimenopause is a transition period leading to menopause, during which the body's production of oestrogen and progesterone decreases and becomes irregular. Symptoms of perimenopause can include hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, irregular periods and vaginal dryness. HRT can help to alleviate these symptoms by replacing the hormones that the body is no longer producing. 

It's important to keep in mind that HRT may not completely eliminate all symptoms for everyone, and some women may not experience symptom relief at all. It's important to discuss with your doctor about the potential effects of HRT on your symptoms, and any other questions or concerns you may have. 

Also, HRT is not recommended for all women and the decision to start HRT should be made after careful consideration of the potential risks and benefits and after a thorough discussion with your healthcare provider. 

How fast does HRT work?  

The speed at which hormone replacement therapy (HRT) begins to work can vary depending on the type of HRT used, the individual woman, and the symptoms being treated. 

For some women, relief from hot flashes and other symptoms may begin within a few days or weeks of starting HRT. For others, it may take a few months to notice a difference. 

It's important to keep in mind that HRT is not a quick fix and it may take some time to find the right type, dose, and schedule of HRT that works best for you. It is also important to note that HRT is not recommended for all women and the decision to start HRT should be made after careful consideration of the potential risks and benefits and after a thorough discussion with your healthcare provider. 

If you are considering HRT, it's important to work closely with your doctor to find the right treatment plan for you. Be patient and give the treatment time to work and be prepared to make adjustments if necessary. 

What natural options are available instead of HRT?  

There are several natural options that may help to relieve symptoms associated with perimenopause and menopause, such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and mood changes. These include: 

  1. Herbs: Some herbs, such as black cohosh, red clover, and dong quai, may help to reduce hot flashes and other symptoms. 
  1. Diet and exercise: Eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise can help to improve overall health and may help to reduce hot flashes and other symptoms. 
  1. Acupuncture: This traditional Chinese practice uses thin needles inserted into the skin to stimulate specific points on the body. Some women find relief from hot flashes and other symptoms with acupuncture. 
  1. Mind-body techniques: Relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation, and deep breathing may help to reduce stress and reduce hot flashes and other symptoms. 
  1. Phytoestrogens: These plant-based compounds mimic the effects of oestrogen in the body, and can be found in foods such as soy, flaxseed, and sesame seeds. 

Is Ashwagandha good for menopause symptoms?  

Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is an herb that has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries to help alleviate stress, anxiety, and other health conditions. Some studies have suggested that ashwagandha may help to reduce symptoms associated with menopause, such as hot flashes and night sweats. 

A study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine in 2018, found that supplementing with Ashwagandha root extract improved the menopause-specific quality of life, including sleep, mood, and physical symptoms such as hot flashes, headaches, and menstrual-related symptoms. 

Another study published in the Journal of Mid-life Health in 2020, found that Ashwagandha supplementation improved the severity and frequency of vasomotor symptoms (hot flashes, sweating) in perimenopausal women. 

It's important to note that more research is needed to fully understand the effects of ashwagandha on menopause symptoms. Also, Ashwagandha may interact with certain medications, so it's important to talk to your healthcare provider before taking it, especially if you are taking any medications. 

Conclusion 

For the time being I will continue to source natural ingredients in herbs and plants to support me during my perimenopause symptoms. The three blends from my wellness collection are proving to be a great support to me personally and I am hearing great reviews from my customers about the positive effects my tea is having on their journey.  


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