Womens Health

Menopause: Guide for hormone replacement therapy

The hormone replacement therapy (or HRT) is the treatment that gives women the onset of menopause to address the physiological changes specific to this stage of life and at the same time avoid its annoying symptoms (including, hot flashes).

hormone replacement therapy

A treatment that, nevertheless, has been subjected to medical and scientific disagreements about the relationship between benefits and risks for women. When menopause is reached, the end of the childbearing age, there is a decrease in the physiological production of hormones, and so far had served as a shield for the woman, such as heart or bones problems, as the osteoporosis. Main reasons for that hormone replacement therapy is beneficial for women, although we must not forget that, like all drugs, can have side effects.

What did that hormone replacement therapy was put into question? A study, published in 2002 and performed in the United States, which sought to assess the risks and benefits of the administration of estrogen and progestin at menopause, involving 16,000 women aged 50 to 79 years. The study, which initially was to last eight years, it was concluded before, to the five, because the results obtained so far were not as expected. In fact, it detected a high rate of cardiovascular mortality and breast cancer in women treated with this therapy.

After its publication, the social alarm was immediate, and in fact, for some years the prescription of this therapy in women is reduced.

HRT: Errors of old scientific research

In light of numerous other scientific research carried out over the last decade has found that the survey data that warned of its risks departed a database error and that would alter the final results, because that was detected that 30% of women participating in the study already had problems of obesity, hypertension and other cardiovascular risk factors, while in some cases therapy was administered in excessive doses and for too long.

Guidelines for replacement therapy

When administering hormone replacement therapy? From the outset, we must bear in mind that every woman has needs and therefore, treatment is individualized. Therapy should begin to be administered only to women in transition to menopause have annoying symptoms such as classic hot flashes, due to hormonal imbalance, which also becomes a risk factor for cardiovascular and bone. In women whose descent is not high, these risks are lower and therefore, in principle there is no reason to administer the therapy. The doses are administered for a limited period of time: 18 to 24 months.