Is Hormone Therapy Safe?

Is Hormone Therapy Safe?

by Natalie (SU)

Today it is cautiously applied in relevant cases with full knowledge of the benefits and risks, allowing hormone therapy to be an important and effective therapy.


Menopause and Hormones


During menopause, the ovaries stop producing eggs. The production of the estrogen and progesterone hormones also reduces. Menopause can span several years until the menstrual cycle stops completely. Menstrual flow may stop all at once after surgery to remove ovaries, chemotherapy, or after breast cancer treatments.


Menopause symptoms include:


•             Hot flashes and night sweats

•             Vaginal dryness

•             Moodiness and irritability

•             Difficulty sleeping

•             Reduced libido


What is Hormone Therapy?


The term hormone therapy (HT) generally refers to either administration of estrogen (ET) alone for women who have had a hysterectomy, or combined estrogen/progestin therapy (EPT) for women who still have a uterus.


This method of prescribing hormones is also known as combination hormone therapy.

Sometimes testosterone is added to the mix.


HT is effective for treating menopausal symptoms that are not relieved by non-hormonal treatments.


Forms of Hormone Therapy

HT is administered by different methods, Your doctor will advise which one is most suitable for you, trying different forms to find the one that works best. The type of HT your doctor prescribes may depend on what menopause symptoms you have.


Estrogen is available in:


•             Nasal spray

•             Oral Pills or tablets

•             Skin gel

•             Skin patches

•             Vaginal creams or tablets

•             Vaginal ring


Progesterone or progestin comes in:


•             Pills

•             Skin patches

•             Vaginal creams

•             Vaginal suppositories



Benefits of Hormone Therapy


Systemic hormone therapy - systemic estrogen is the most effective treatment for relief of all menopausal symptoms.


Low-dose vaginal products effectively treat vaginal and some urinary symptoms while minimizing absorption into the body.


Hormone therapy can relieve:

•             Problems sleeping

•             Vaginal dryness

•             Anxiety

•             Moodiness and irritability


Side Effects of Hormone Therapy


Tell your doctor about all side effects. He may change the dose or type of HT. It is important NOT GOOD to make any changes without consulting your doctor. Continue to see your doctor regularly during this treatment. Some concerning side effects of hormone therapy are:


•             Bloating

•             Tender or sore breasts

•             Headaches

•             Mood swings

•             Vomiting or Nausea

•             Fluid retention

•             Vaginal bleeding



Risks of Hormone Therapy


Consult with your doctor about the risks of HT. These risks depend on age, medical history, whether ET or EPT is to be administered, the dosage, other health risks and family medical history.


Hormone therapy can result in denser breasts, making breast cancer difficult to detect. When taken for more than five few years, hormone therapy increases the risk of breast cancer.


Taking estrogen alone can increase risk for endometrial or uterine cancer.  Women who have uteruses should take HT with both estrogen and progestin.


HT may increase risk for blood clots, especially if you are obese or a smoker. Use of estrogen skin patches instead of pills, vaginal creams, tablets, and the low-dose estrogen ring can reduce this risk.


HT may increase the risk of heart disease in older women, or those women who begin using estrogen more than 10 years after their last period. HT is safest when taken before age 60 or within 10 years of starting menopause.


Women may have an increased risk of stroke. Using the estrogen patch instead of an oral pill decreases this risk.


Taking HT may increase your risk of gallstones.


All of these risks should be considered when deciding whether hormone therapy might be an option for you


HT For Men


The jury of medical experts is still unresolved about the efficacy of hormone therapy for men.  The natural decrease in production of testosterone with age doesn’t seem to affect overall health. They disagree about the significance of a testosterone level decrease and the health benefits of hormone therapy to combat the natural aging process.

The condition hypogonadism, a dysfunction of the testicles that prevents the production of adequate amounts of testosterone, can benefit from testosterone therapy.


Whether testosterone therapy can benefit healthy men whose testosterone levels are reduced by aging, is still unclear.


Testosterone therapy options include:

•                 Intramuscular testosterone injections into the muscles of the buttocks every two to three weeks.

•                 Testosterone patches applied to back, arms, buttocks, or abdomen.

•                 Topical testosterone gel applied daily to shoulders, arms, or abdomen.


Risks of testosterone therapy


Minor side effects include:

•             Fluid retention

•             Acne

•             Increased urination


Potentially severe side effects include:


•             Breast enlargement

•             Shrunken testicles

•             Aggravated sleep apnea

•             Increased cholesterol

•             Decreased sperm count

•             Infertility

•             Increased red blood cells

•             Muscle pain

•             High blood pressure

•             Blurry vision

•             Chest pain

•             Blood clots


The Takeaway


Hormone therapy certainly has its share of pros and cons, but it can be a very effective and important treatment in the right situation.


Talk to your doctor about your individual symptoms and health risks, throughout your menopausal years, to determine if hormone therapy is the right option for you. As hormone therapies and menopausal treatments advance, recommendations and options may change.


If you want to learn more about hormone therapy and would like to explore your options for medical treatment, call SynergenX Health today, at 1 (877) 915-2554, or request an appointment online.