Hormone replacement therapy, also known as HRT, is a very controversial subject when it comes to women’s health issues. Some doctors believe HRT can do more harm than good, others recommend specific types of HRT because they believe they are safer, and still others fall somewhere in the middle of the discussion. This article will explain the basics of HRT and why some women chose to have it. If you are considering HRT, you’ll need to talk to your doctor or doctors to decide what is best for your own health.
Hormones are chemicals that act as messengers inside our bodies. Some hormones have specific functions in reproductive health. The primary male sex hormone is testosterone. The primary female sex hormones are estrogen and progesterone, although testosterone is needed by the body to make estrogen. For more information about how these hormones function in the body, read the articles on estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.
By mid-life, a woman’s reproductive system starts to shut down and the levels of these hormones begin to fluctuate. This period of adjustment is known as pre-menopause or perimenopause. When the hormones levels become low enough, a woman stops having her period and is said to have reached menopause. You can read more about this time of adjustment in the article on menopause.
Why consider HRT?
Hormone replacement therapy is typically triggered by the onset of the symptoms of menopause or perimenopause. When confronted with hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, and depression, some women chose to “tough it out” while others try to help their bodies adjust by taking supplements of the hormones that their bodies are lacking.