Hormone Replacement Therapy Flashcards, test questions and answers
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What is Hormone Replacement Therapy?
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is a medical treatment that replaces natural hormones in the body with synthetic alternatives. It is most commonly used to treat menopausal and postmenopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, mood swings and loss of libido. HRT can also be used to combat the effects of aging on hormone levels in both men and women.The most common form of HRT involves taking one or more drugs containing female hormonesestrogen and/or progesteroneas replacement for those no longer produced by the ovaries after menopause. Depending on a woman’s health profile, her doctor may suggest taking estrogen alone or may combine it with progesterone. Estrogen-only HRT is usually recommended for women who have had their uterus removed (hysterectomy). Progesterone must be taken in combination with estrogen for women who still have their uterus because it helps protect against cancer of the uterus.In addition to providing relief from menopausal symptoms, research suggests that long-term use of HRT can reduce the risk of osteoporosis, colorectal cancer and heart disease in postmenopausal women. But there are risks associated with long-term use of HRT as well including an increased risk for breast cancer and stroke so it is important to discuss all possible benefits and risks with your doctor before starting treatment. Overall, hormone replacement therapy can provide relief from uncomfortable symptoms associated with menopause while also reducing your risk for certain diseases but there are potential side effects which should be considered before beginning treatment so make sure you thoroughly discuss any questions or concerns you may have about HRT with your healthcare provider before making any decisions about treatment.