Hot flashes are one of the most frustrating and long-lasting symptoms of menopause. And this symptom is prevalent. Experts agree that HRT is the most effective treatment for menopausal hot flashes. If a woman has had a hysterectomy, HRT might include estrogen alone. For women who still have a uterus, estrogen should be taken in combination with progesterone.
What are the risks of HRT?
Some women are hesitant to consider HRT because of the risk factors. Most women experience some side effects like headaches, nausea, or breast pain. However, additional risks are low in women who are good candidates for hormone therapy. Women who start the treatment before the age of 60 and within 10 years of menopause are better candidates for HRT.
How long does HRT last?
Typically, women shouldn’t be on HRT for more than 5 years. Any woman on hormone therapy should have regular check-ups with a healthcare provider to ensure the effectiveness and safety of the treatment.
Who should avoid HRT?
Some women have higher risk factors for HRT and should avoid the therapy. For example, women who are prone to blood clots or have a family history of breast, uterine, or endometrial cancers should avoid the treatment. Heart disease is also considered a risk factor. Each woman should speak with a healthcare provider to discuss medical history and decide if HRT is the right option.
Lifestyle changes to treat menopause
HRT is beneficial for many women. Some lifestyle changes can also help decrease menopause symptoms. Maintain a healthy weight and improve sleep hygiene to lower the severity of night sweats. Wearing light, breathable clothing can also make menopausal symptoms easier to deal with.
What to ask the doctor
Menopause symptoms can be uncomfortable. But for many women, a better quality of life is on the other side. And, in the meantime, HRT can be an effective treatment option for managing the side effects and symptoms of menopause. Each woman should consult with a healthcare provider to discuss symptoms, health history, and risks versus benefits of hormone replacement therapy.