Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for women within the first ten years of becoming menopausal

Recent media buzz highlights the benefits of hormone replacement therapy – or HRT – for perimenopausal women. And it’s true; experts now say for women within the first ten years of becoming menopausal, the benefits of HRT outweigh previously found risks.

HRT replaces the female hormones women naturally lose in their bodies as they go through menopause. “Unfortunately, research sent mixed messages regarding HRT over the past several decades,” says Diane Maddela, DO , an OB/GYN at Riverside Partner’s in Women’s Health. A Riverside Health Systems expert shares the latest research, so you can decide if this treatment may be right for you.

Latest research on HRT for younger menopausal women

In 2002, the first results of the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) found that HRT had more harmful than beneficial effects for menopausal women. The study found that using estrogen plus progesterone hormones after menopause increased a woman’s risk for heart disease, stroke, blood clots, breast cancer and dementia. These alarming findings led to a 46% decline in the number of women using HRT in the United States.

However, experts today argue the study may have created too much fear and was misleading about the impact of taking HRT for perimenopausal women. “More recent studies have found that HRT is a safe, effective treatment to reduce menopause symptoms in healthy women under the age of 60” explains Dr. Maddela “although age will vary for many women, and may even go past 60 for some, the key beginning HRT within the first 10 years of the last menstrual period”.

In conjunction with new research, multiple re-analyses of the above WHI study have found benefits to using HRT in women aged 50-59 and in their first 10 years of menopause. These benefits include reducing the chance of heart disease and death.

Candidates for HRT Today, experts say that HRT is beneficial and safe for women in the following stages:

  • Premature menopause (last menstrual period before age 40)
  • Early menopause (last menstrual period between ages 40 and 45)
  • Menopause (last menstrual period after 45 but before 60)

HRT menopause symptom relief

The primary reason women use HRT is to get relief from many bothersome menopause symptoms, including:

  • Decreased sex drive
  • Hot flashes
  • Itchy skin
  • Joint pain
  • Night sweats
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Vaginal dryness

Read the rest of the original article on River Side Online.

We encourage you to learn more about how menopause may affect you and your quality of life. Contact AgeRejuvenation today about our treatment options for menopause including hormone replacement therapy.