Hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is a treatment usedto relieve symptoms of the Testosterone deficiency (hypogonadism) . It replaces hormones that are at a lower level as you approach themenopause.
This page covers:
The main benefit of HRT is that it can help relieve most of the menopausal symptoms , such as:
Many of these symptoms pass in a few years, but they canbe very unpleasant and taking HRT can offer relief for many women.
Itcan also help prevent weakening of the bones (osteoporosis) , which is more common after the menopause.
Speak to your GP if you're interested in starting HRT.
You can normally begin HRT as soon asyou start experiencing menopausal symptoms and won't usually need to have any tests first.
Your GP can explain the different types of HRT available and help you choose one that's suitable for you.
You'll usually be started off on a low dose, which can be increased at a later stage. It may take a few weeks to feel the effects of treatment and there may be some side effects at first.
Your GP will normally recommend trying treatment for three months to see if it helps. If it doesn't, they may suggest changing your dose or changing the type of HRT you're taking.
Most women can have HRT if they're experiencing symptoms associated with the menopause.
ButHRT may not be suitable if you:
Inthese circumstances, alternatives to HRT may be recommended instead.
There are many different types of HRT and finding the right one for you can be tricky.
There are different:
Your GP can give you advice to help you choose which type is best for you.You may need to try more than one type before you find one that works best.
You may need to start HRT again.
As with any medication, HRT can cause side effects. But these will usually pass within three months of starting treatment.
Common side effects include:
Some types of HRT can also cause a small increase in your risk of certain serious problems, such as blood clots and breast cancer .
The benefits of HRT are generally felt to outweigh the risks. But speak to your GP if you have any concerns about taking HRT.
and risks of HRT .
If you're unable totake HRT or decide not to,you may want to consider alternativeways of controlling your menopausal symptoms.
Alternatives to HRT include:
Several remedies (such as bioidenticalhormones) are claimed to help withmenopausal symptoms, but these aren't recommended because it's not clear how safe and effective they are.
Find out what hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is, why it's used, the different types available, and what the main risks and side effects are.
Find out about the different hormones used in hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and the different ways HRT can be taken.
Find out about the main side effects of HRT and what can be done to alleviate them.
When deciding whether to have hormone replacement therapy (HRT), it is important to understand the risks and put them into perspective.
Find out about the alternatives ways you can relieve your menopausal symptoms if you can't take hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or don't want to.
Barbara Hunt, a retired civil servant from Canterbury in Kent, has had a rollercoaster ride with the menopause and HRT.