Are you suffering from menopause symptoms and considering hormone replacement therapy as a solution? But what are the risks to your heart and is hormone replacement therapy is right for you?
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is prescribed for postmenopausal women to eliminate hot flashes and also various other menopause symptoms. It was believed that HRT decreases the risk of heart disease.
Research outcomes can be impacted by lots of variables, such as the participant’s age, time since menopause started, and length of time on HRT. Continued studies will help doctors further understand the relationship between hormone replacement therapy and heart disease.
It’s all about putting risk in perspective
If you are struggling with menopause symptoms but worry about the possible dangers of hormone treatment, talk with your medical professional to better understand your personal risk. Take into consideration these factors:
- The risk of heart problems for an individual taking HRT is really low. If you’re in early menopause, have modest to extreme hot flashes, and other menopausal signs, and for the most part healthy, the benefits of hormone therapy likely surpass any kind of possible risk of heart disease.
- There are many variables when it comes to risk including family medical history, personal medical history, and lifestyle. Talk to your physician about your personal situation. If you’re at low risk of cardiovascular disease, and your menopause symptoms are significant, HRT is a route you could consider.
- There are differences in risk profiles for women with early natural menopause or premature ovarian failure. If your periods stopped prior to age 40 or ovaries were non-functional before age 40, you have a different set of heart and cardiovascular risks compared to women who reach menopause closer to the age of 51. Risk of coronary cardiovascular disease also increases. HRT in this instance protects against heart disease, and your doctor might recommend that you take hormone therapy until around age 51 when most women enter menopause.
Your risks will vary based on:
- Whether estrogen is prescribed by itself or with progestin
- Current age and the time you started menopause
- Dosage, type of estrogen – pill, patch, cream, etc.
- Various health risks, including family history and cancer risks
Who should not take HRT
If you’ve had a heart attack, HRT is not for you. For those with heart disease or who have a background of blood clots, the risks of hormone treatment may outweigh the benefits.
Women with a background of estrogen-sensitive breast or endometrial cancer might need deeper investigation before considering HRT.
Minimize your risks
Talking to your doctor about the best ways to minimize your risks:
- Try a form of HRT that has limited whole-body (systemic) results. HRT are readily available in many forms, consisting of pills, patches, vaginal cream, gels, and slow-releasing suppositories.
Low-dose vaginal preparations of estrogen, which come in cream, tablet, or ring form, can effectively treat vaginal symptoms while minimizing absorption to the whole body. Hormones supplied through skin patches are not as thoroughly metabolized in the body compared to pill form and have much less chance of undesirable side effects.
- Dosage of hormone replacement therapy specific to your needs. Results will vary based on the form of HRT, how its administered and length of time on it. Talk with your medical professional concerning your goals and risks associated with hormone replacement therapy.
- Healthy lifestyle will make a difference! The way you live your life can help reduce your risk of heart disease. Exercise often, don’t smoke, and eat healthy are some lifestyle choices you can make. Go to your doctor and get checked up often to detect early signs of heart disease.
- Visit your doctor regularly. See your doctor regularly to ensure that the benefits of HRT is still exceeding the risk. Also include cancer screenings such as mammograms and pelvic exam.
Menopause can be difficult but there’s help
Heart disease should be taken seriously no matter what age you are. Among American females, greater than 1 in 5 deaths each year results from heart and cardivascular disease.
There is hope. Most healthy women under 60 years old, and with 10 years of the start of menopause, can take HRT safely without significant increase risk of heart disease. The younger you are, the safer you’ll be, especially those near their last menstual period. Those with the highest risk are older women whose had a lot of time since menopause started.
Talk to your doctor if you have menopause symptoms that affect your every life. Hormone replacement therapy could be a solution to relieve your symptoms without the risk.