Also known by the acronym HRT, this type of treatment is usually administered to women who have experienced significant drops in levels of oestrogen or progesterone, usually associated with the early stages of menopause. A male who suffers from drops in testosterone may also receive these treatments. Transgender individuals may additionally elect to receive this replacement.
As the name denotes, an oral dosage or subcutaneous injection of the necessary hormones is administered. Such hormones will normally be taken into the body as if they were the natural product of the body itself. Thus, the hormones that were previously lacking will be replaced. This therapy is usually longitudinal in its process; that is, results will often take time to exhibit themselves and should the individual stop taking the hormones, the effects will slowly diminish. The end objective is to eliminate problematic menopausal symptoms in women such as hot flushes and vaginal dryness, while men who experience erectile dysfunction or have undergone a sex change can use this replacement to enhance their sexual desire and physical features.
Process and intentions of HRT:
- The use of oral or subcutaneous hormone uptake.
- Hormonal substitution for men and women.
- HRT is utilized to ameliorate symptoms of menopause in women.
The Benefits HRT
This type of treatment is widely used for patients of all ages and there are indeed many benefits that are direct results of such therapies. Many of these benefits revolve around the treatment of menopausal women. Not only will HRT help reduce hot flushes, irritability and other unwanted effects, but it has been shown to prevent osteoporosis (brittle bones) as well as help slow the onset of dementia. In both men and women, the chances of heart disease are also significantly reduced although it should be noted that should one begin treatment past the age of sixty, the chances may actually increase.
Notable benefits of HRT:
- The lessening of menopausal effects.
- The decreased chance of brittle bones.
- The risk of dementia may be reduced.
Most of the risks involved have been noted in women, as this type of treatment has been more extensive with females. Some doctors have proposed that there is an increased possibility of breast cancer although this will depend on the type of hormone replacement treatment and the length of time it is administered. There is also a slight chance of developing potentially dangerous blood clots, although this is only with oral dosages. The unwanted growth of sexual organs and even psychological changes is risk for both sexes, however, the incidences of such events are comparatively low and many doctors consider such risks negligible.
Potential side effects of HRT:
- In women, a slight increase in breast cancers.
- The possible development of blood clots.
- Unexpected physical or psychological changes.