Hormone Replacement Therapy Pros and Cons

There is little doubt that choosing to undergo hormone replacement therapy can be a difficult decision, especially in light of the potential side effects as well as the overall cost. However, for many women who undergo the treatments, they believe that the benefits outweigh the disadvantages even though a certain percentage still experience unwanted side effects of the treatment.

With new studies being performed and the news about this form of treatment seeming to shift back and forth on a regular basis, it is understandable that many women are concerned about this form of treatment.

The Pros of Hormone Replacement Therapy

First and foremost, while there is still considerable debate about the risks and potential side effects, there is little doubt that this treatment does offer significant help in fighting the symptoms of osteoporosis and menopause. Even the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recognized these benefits in spite of some of the setbacks that this therapy might bring to certain patients.

Hormone replacement therapy is generally considered to be the best treatment for severe symptoms of menopause, particularly in the pre and postmenopausal state. As a preventative measure, this particular treatment is also considered highly effective in preventing osteoporosis as well. In particular for women who cannot take traditional medicines to protect the health of their bones.

The Cons of Hormone Replacement Therapy

As effective as hormone replacement therapy is, there are some unwanted side effects that may affect the health of women when undergoing the treatment.

Increased Risk of Heart Attack and Cancer:
There is a slight increase that occurs when undergoing the therapy. However, studies have shown that the risks are decreased if both estrogen and progesterone are used in the therapy or if the woman has undergone a hysterectomy. However, women who have a family history of heart attack, stroke and cancer should be wary of the risk that hormone replacement therapy offers even if they are only slight.

The same risks apply when using the treatment for osteoporosis, however the FDA recommends that hormone replacement therapy should not be used just for the treatment of the bone disease alone. There are doctors who take exception to this general rule depending on the health and particular condition of the patient, but overall most women who have this form of therapy for osteoporosis are also being treated for menopausal symptoms as well.

Hormone replacement therapy is not the panacea that it was once thought to be a couple of decades ago. Back then, it was believed it could treat Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and other conditions which have now proven to be ineffective. However, it is still very effective when fighting the severe symptoms of menopause, particular both just before and after the condition has passed. This has led to welcome relief for women around the world.

Despite the risks, hormone replacement therapy will continue to be used as one of the primary treatment for menopause symptoms and osteoporosis for the foreseeable future. Be sure to take to your doctor about the risks that this form of treatment does carry.

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