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Should I start HRT before there is a problem?

By Anonymous June 16, 2009 - 9:25am
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I am 39 and am very healthy. I am an athlete, a runner. My weight is good, I am very youthful in apperance and generally doing great. I am not on the pill. I have not had kids (at least yet).
My periods are very regular and I am not suffering any symptoms of perimenopause but was wondering if it is wise to start HRT before I feel any signs? Also, are there natural suppliments I can take instead of HRT? I heard that melatonin works well?
Either way, is it too soon to start if I feel great?

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HRT, or hormone replacement therapy, is used for women who are not able to produce hormones (estrogen and progesterone) on their own, either because they have had their ovaries removed through a hysterectomy, or have reached menopause or perimenopause.

Taking more estrogen and progesterone, while your body is still producing adequate amounts of these hormones, could potentially be harmful.

Taking more estrogen and progesterone would also not prevent any "signs" (of menopause, I assume?), as you do not know what signs of menopause you may or may not experience when that time comes. You may have 10 more years before menopause, and there is still much debate about HRT even for women who have reached menopause or have had a hysterectomy.

Synthetic melatonin is not exactly "natural", as your body is naturally producing melatonin. It is a supplement recommended for a few conditions, but relief of menopause symptoms is not among them.

The bottom line: there are side effects with taking drugs and supplements, even if they are labeled as "natural", and should not be taken if not medically indicated. Over-dosing can happen if your body is already receiving the right amount of these hormones, and you prematurely introduce more hormones to your body. You may be interested in reading the pros/cons of HRT for when you do reach menopause, as there are studies showing that HRT has some protective factors (against osteoporosis), but that long-term use of HRT may increase a women's risk of heart attack.

I am curious why you are wishing to take drugs, medications and supplements when you are showing no signs or symptoms, nor do you have any medical conditions? Is your real question that you would like to prevent some specific risks, health conditions or signs/symptoms as you age? If so, what are your concerns, and we can help provide you with some information in this regard.

I'm also wondering where you recently read or heard about the idea of using HRT before it's needed? If so, it would be great if you could share this source, so we can review the information and provide more answers.

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June 16, 2009 - 1:34pm
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