You never know what you’re going to get when you hitmenopause. Some women claim “the change” is nothing and navigate it with grace.
Most women, however, go through a drastic transition filled with dreadfulmenopause symptoms that leave them desperate to travel back in time and enjoy youth once again.
Maybe you've already suffered through some of these:
Hot flashes & night sweats - affecting 80% of menopausal women.
Weight gain & bloating - affecting 6 in 10 menopausal women.
Mood swings - affecting 70% of menopausal women.
Fatigue- affecting 1 in 5 menopausal women.
Brain Fog - affecting 60% of menopausal women.
The worst part is that studies have shown how menopause can hit women, starting as early as when they're in their 30s or late 40s- which is known as peri-menopause. They also state that these symptoms could last after menopause for up to 20 years- through post-menopause.
As you attempt to regain a sense of control and normalcy in your life, you'll likely come across hormone replacement therapy - or HRT. But what are the pros and cons of hormone replacement therapy? Is this the right approach to managing menopause, or is there a safer, more natural alternative worth trying first?
In this article, we will go on a journey to understand HRT in-depth and offer a list of hormone replacement therapy pros and cons. We'll illustrate the full picture and help you weigh other options - like thebest supplements for menopause.
That being said, let's start by looking at what hormone therapy is in the first place.
What is HRT?
HRT is a treatment used to relieve symptoms of menopause. The treatment involves replacing certain hormones that are at a lower level as you approach menopause.
3 important hormones drastically fluctuate and decline during menopause - Estrogen, Progesterone & Testosterone. These are involved in making menopause a terror in women worldwide; due to their wide range of symptoms & side effects.
Therefore, many doctors recommend either- Estrogen Therapy, Progesterone Therapy, Testosterone Therapy, or a combination of these hormones- depending on the symptoms faced by each individual.
So, let’s get into the depth of each of these therapies to understand their “pros” & “cons”!
Estrogen Hormone Replacement Therapy Pros and Cons
Estrogen therapies are recommended by doctors after completing the “FSH” or “Hormonal” blood test, along with the list of symptoms you encounter. Normally, estrogen levels start to decline during perimenopause and the rate at which it declines, increases as we get older (till post-menopause). Therefore, most of the recommended Hormonal Replacement Therapies include a high dosage of ‘Estrogen Therapy’.
Let’s understand the range of symptoms encountered by menopausal women due to low estrogen levels.
List of Menopausal symptoms caused by low estrogen levels:
Irregular periods/missed period
Hot flashes & night sweats
Increase in urinary tract infections
Mood swings - depression, anxiety, irritability
Fatigue, low energy, low concentration level
Therefore, by introducing estrogen therapy- we will increase the amount of estrogen to bring back the balance in our body.
The most common proven benefits of estrogen therapy include:
Reduced hot flashes & night sweats
Reduced Mood Swings
Reduced Vaginal Dryness
Protecting against bone loss that can lead to hip & spine fractures
However, certain risks that come with estrogen therapy:
Heart diseases & strokes
Deep vein thrombosis
Uterine lining growth (which can increase the risk of uterine cancer as well.
Progesterone Hormone Replacement Therapy Pros and Cons
Progesterone therapies are recommended by doctors after completing the “FSH” or “Hormonal” blood test, along with the list of symptoms you encounter. Normally, progesterone levels start to decline during menopause, as progesterone is primarily produced during the menstrual cycle (ovulation phase) and during pregnancy to increase fertility.
Therefore, most of the recommended Hormonal Replacement Therapies include a high dosage of ‘Progesterone Therapy’.
Let’s understand the range of symptoms encountered by menopausal women due to low progesterone levels.
List of Menopausal symptoms caused by low progesterone levels:
Headaches or migraines
Mood changes - including anxiety or depression
Irregularity in the menstrual cycle
Infertility (Miscarriages during pregnancy)
Abnormal uterine bleeding
Therefore, by introducing progesterone therapy- we will increase the amount of progesterone to bring back the balance in our body.
The most common proven benefits of progesterone therapy include:
Reduced hot flashes and night sweats
Reduced insomnia/sleep disturbances
Reduces abnormal thickening of the endometrium
Reduces breast pain
However, certain risks that come with progesterone therapy:
Testosterone Hormone Replacement Therapy Pros and Cons
Testosterone therapies are recommended by doctors after completing the “FSH” or “Hormonal” blood test, along with the list of symptoms you encounter.
Although known as the “male” hormone, testosterone is also important for menopausal women as it- plays a key role in the production of estrogen. Like the other hormones, testosterone also starts to decline during menopause.
Therefore, most of the recommended Hormonal Replacement Therapies include a small dosage of ‘Testosterone Therapy’.
Let’s understand the range of symptoms encountered by menopausal women due to low testosterone levels
List of Menopausal symptoms caused by low testosterone levels:
Thinning skin or hair
Fatigue & poor tolerance for exercise
Loss of muscle tone
Poor memory or concentration
Loss of libido
Depression or anxiety
Gaining fat around the abdomen or “love handles”
Difficulty building or maintaining muscles
Loss of bone density or osteoporosis
Therefore, by introducing testosterone therapy- we will increase the amount of testosterone
The most common proven benefits of testosterone therapy include:
Increased sex drive
Increased red blood cell production
Increased muscle mass & fat distribution
Protecting against loss of bone density
Reduces irregular menstrual cycle
Reduces sleep disturbances
Reduces vaginal dryness
However, certain risks that come with testosterone therapy:
Excess facial hair
A deepening voice
Knowing the Pros and Cons of Hormone Replacement Therapy, is it Right For You?
HRT has been used for 50 over years by many menopausal women to cure their symptoms. But, after reading through the most noteworthy hormone replacement therapy pros and cons, is it worth the risk? Does the upside outweigh the downside, or vice versa?
A large randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial recently raised questions about the short-term risk and long-term benefits of HRT.
This study and clinical trial show that HRT is very effective in the treatment of vasomotor symptoms (hot flashes and night sweats). It has also been proven to reduce vaginal dryness and urethritis.
Additionally, the trial showed intermediate outcomes of cardiovascular benefit and prevention of bone loss, but clinical trial evidence showing prevention of cardiovascular disease or a hip fracture is lacking.
However, HRT has been on the news recently for the risks it causes (short-term or long-term). Studies have shown possible risks of breast cancer and blood clots due to HRT.
Women who have or previously had breast cancer, ovarian cancer, uterus cancer, cervical cancer, endometrial cancer, blood clots in the legs or lungs, stroke, liver disease or unexplained vaginal bleeding should usually not take HRT. This is especially true for women who have estrogen-positive breast cancer.
All in all, despite the health risks, HRT is still the most effective treatment for most menopausal symptoms. Most doctors run thorough tests and understand the details of your ‘medical history’, lifestyle, and hormonal imbalance before prescribing the correct type of HRT treatment for you.
How can you reduce the risk of HRT?
If after reading through the pros and cons of hormone replacement therapy you decide to take a chance on it, you may still ponder methods to reduce the possible risks and side effects of HRT. Talk to your doctor regarding some strategies listed below:
1. Minimize the amount of medication you take.
You can start by using the lowest effective dose for the shortest amount of time needed to treat your symptoms.
However, if you’re younger than 45, you might need enough estrogen to protect against the long-term health effects of hormone deficiency.
2. Find the best product and delivery method for you.
There are various methods to take HRT - pill, patch, gel, vaginal cream, or slow-releasing suppository or ring you can place in your vagina.
Therefore, it is important to understand which form of consumption suits your body type the best by keeping an eye out for ‘reactions’.
3. Seek regular follow-up care.
It is essential to regularly follow up with your doctor to ensure that the benefits of HRT continue to outweigh the potential risks.
Additionally, it’s important to go for regular mammogram screenings and pelvic exams.
aged 45 to 54 should go for a mammogram yearly
over age 55 should go for a mammogram every 2 years
women who are or have been sexually active should have a Pap test every 3 years
Is there an alternative to HRT?
Maybe you decided after weighing the hormone replacement therapy pros and cons that this treatment isnot right for you. This might be useful for women who:
Opt-out from HRT.
Are recommended not to go through HRT.
Want to increase the benefits of their HRT.
That doesn't mean you have to suffer through the dreadful menopause symptoms. While menopausal hormone therapy may not be an option, here are some tips and methods for you to try!
1. Work on your diet
Many things you eat could trigger various menopausal symptoms. For example:
High blood sugar levels could cause drastic mood swings or fatigue
Dehydration or consuming spicy food could cause hot flashes and night sweats
Eating food with high sodium could retain salt & water in your intestine causing you to feel bloated.
Lack of vitamin D and calcium could increase the risk of osteoporosis and loss of bone density
Increasing the amount of soy or plant-based phytoestrogens could help reduce most menopausal symptoms.
Exercise helps to stabilize your blood sugar level, give you more energy and boost your mood. Studies have shown that increased or regular exercise helps reduce the risk of osteoporosis, improve your sleep quality, and aid in weight management.
Some common and proven exercise routines are:
Aerobic exercise: running, brisk walking, swimming, cycling, etc, helps to maintain a healthy weight, reduces the risk of heart diseases, and releases mood-boosting endorphins.
Resistance training: this helps preserve your bone mass and reduces the risk of osteoporosis. Additionally, it adds muscle mass to your body, reduces anxiety, and improves mental health.
Flexibility training: yoga, pilates, or regular exercise improves your coordination and improves arthritis and other bone conditions.
3. Herbal Supplements
There are some herbal supplements that have been traditionally used to help manage various menopause symptoms.
(I) Dong Quai
This herb has been traditionally used in Chinese medication when it comes to improving women’s health. These have properties to alleviate insomnia and fatigue. Additionally, studies have shown it to reduce hot flashes & night sweats in menopausal women within 12 weeks.
This magical herb is found in our leading sleep supplement-inergySLEEP- which has helped many women with their anxiety, depression, mood swings, fatigue, and insomnia.
(II) Blue Ginger
Has been clinically proven to be a fast, effective, and safe way to boost energy. Studies done on a study group showed an increase of alertness and focus by 30% for up to 5 hours without crashes or jitters.
This magical herb is found in our leading sleep supplement-inergyPLUS- which has helped many women with their fatigue, brain fog, and mood swings.
(III) Moringa & Curcumin
These herbs have been traditionally used in both Ayurvedic and Chinese Traditional Medicine treatment to reduce inflammation in our body- to effectively manage weight, reduce bloating, and reduce joint pains.
Additionally, they have been clinically proven to work together to regulate mood, boost cognitive function, boost energy, and maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
These effective herbs are found in our leadingprobiotics for belly fat supplement - Provitalize - which has helped thousands of women to combat unwanted weight gain, bloating and boost energy. That being said, let's introduce you to the #1 alternative to menopausal hormone therapy at Better Body...
Provitalize: Address the Frustrating Menopause Symptoms Without the Risk of HRT!
This supplement harnesses the power of time-honored herbs, Moringa and Curcumin, traditionally used in Ayurvedic and Chinese Traditional Medicine, to bring you a safer alternative to combat unwanted weight gain, bloating, and fatigue, which are often associated with menopause. Read the full list ofProvitalize ingredients to see what makes it so special.
What sets Provitalize apart? Our formula is scientifically designed to work in harmony with your body, rather than merely mimicking the role of hormones. By leveraging the health-promoting effects of natural ingredients, we help you navigate menopause smoothly and comfortably.
Combat Unwanted Weight Gain and Bloating: Menopause often results in weight gain and bloating, which can be a source of frustration for many women. With Provitalize, you can regain control. Moringa and Curcumin are known for their anti-inflammatory properties, which can assist in managing weight and reducing bloating effectively.
Boost Energy: Fatigue is a common complaint among menopausal women. The unique blend of ingredients in Provitalize can provide an energy boost, helping you tackle the day with newfound vigor and vitality.
Regulate Mood and BoostCognitive Function: Menopause can also affect mood and cognition. Curcumin, in particular, is known for its mood-regulating and cognitive-enhancing properties. Provitalize supports your brain health and emotional well-being, making mood swings, brain fog, and lack of concentration a thing of the past.
Maintain Healthy Blood Sugar Levels: Fluctuating blood sugar levels can contribute to mood swings and fatigue. Our supplement aids in maintaining a balanced blood sugar level, promoting overall wellness and health.
Provitalize also incorporates a blend of probiotics that help maintain a healthy gut environment.
Probiotics are crucial as they can improve digestion, boost immunity, manage weight gain common during menopause, and aid in mood regulation since a significant amount of serotonin, the hormone responsible for mood, is produced in the gut.
Certain probiotic strains might also assist in the absorption and metabolism of estrogens, further alleviating menopause-related hormonal imbalances.
Moreover, these probiotics support bone health, vital during menopause, as the risk of osteoporosis increases. Lastly, Provitalize includes bioavailable B-vitamins, essential for maintaining energy levels and overall health.
The best part? There are no concerns aboutProvitalize side effects to worry about, as there are with menopausal hormone therapy! You can enjoy peace of mind starting this journey.
Remember, every woman's journey through menopause is unique, and the choices you make about managing your symptoms should align with your individual needs, health conditions, and lifestyle.
Closing Thoughts on the Pros and Cons of Hormone Replacement Therapy
We hope this detailed comparison of the hormone replacement therapy pros and cons has helped you weigh your options and make sense of the treatment - both its benefits and risks. While menopausal hormone therapy may be a viable avenue for some women, the side effects may not outweigh the upside potential.