May 28, 2012

Hormone Replacement Therapy

Hormone replacement therapy is when a patient undergoes treatment to replace hormones that the body has stopped producing, or to supplement a hormone that the body is not producing in sufficient quantity. Hormone replacement therapy is done on patients with certain types of cancer. The most common use of hormone replacement therapy is among women who are going through menopause.

In hormone replacement therapy to overcome the stress of menopause; two female hormones are replaced that a woman's body no longer produces because of menopause. These hormones are oestrogen and progesterone. The oestrogen hormones used for hormone replacement therapy is taken either from plants, or from the urine of pregnant mares. The progesterone hormone uses a substance produced artificially by a chemical process known as progestogen as it is easier for the woman body to absorb.

The second type of hormone replacement therapy is for transgender, transsexual and gender variant people. This type of hormone replacement therapy includes hormone replacement therapy for people who want to change their gender from female to male, and male to female.

The other type, continuous combined HRT, is recommended for post-menopausal women who have not had their period for the last one year. Oestrogen and progesterone are given to such women every day without a break. The third common type of hormone replacement therapy is oestrogen-only HRT, which is usually recommended to those women who have got their ovaries and womb removed by hysterectomy. These women are treated with only oestrogen, and they do not need to take progesterone as they do not have wombs. There is no risk of endometrial cancer.

Hormone replacement therapy is also done to maintain elasticity of the skin. It has been noted that hormone replacement is very effective in controlling wrinkles. For women, hormone replacement therapy will also help eradicate problems of lack of concentration, lack of sex drive, mood swings, depression and tension. For men, hormone replacement therapy is usually done to end testosterone hormone deficiency. In this therapy, blood tests are taken during the stages of the treatment. Hormone replacement therapy for men is done through oral medicines, patches, injections, implants, nasal and trans-dermal procedure. However, hormone replacement therapy for men is usually costly.

Some studies suggest that if estrogen hormones are taken in the early years of menopause, it may help in protecting the heart. If you do decide to go for hormone replacement therapy you should take the minimum recommended dosage, and for the smallest period of time needed to overcome your symptoms. Once you feel you have recovered, go back to your doctor and let the doctor perform tests to verify whether the therapy can be stopped or should be continued. There are several ways in which hormone replacement therapy can be administered, and it's up to you to select the way its most convenient for you to take. Hormone replacements can be in the form of pills, gel, patches, suppositories and cream. You and your doctor can decide which would suit you the best and will be convenient for you.


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