What Is HRT And Why Is It Useful To Women?

Hormone replacement therapy, also known as HRT, is a treatment used to alleviate symptoms of menopause in women. First available in the 1940s, HRT has revolutionised the management and perception of the menopause and it is now used by many women to help them lead happier lives.

However, there is still some confusion over what HRT truly is and how it benefits the female body.

HRT for women

According to the NHS, HRT replaces female hormones that reduce as a woman reaches the menopause. On average, this is reportedly at 51 years old in the UK. It does this by providing adequate levels of oestrogen and progesterone, which both play critical roles in a woman’s body, and has long been a trusted and well-used solution to easing menopausal symptoms including:

  • Hot flushes and nighttime sweats.
  • Loss of libido.
  • Stress and anxiety.
  • Mood swings.
  • Osteoporosis.

There are many different types of HRT. These include oestrogen-only HRT (where there is no need to take progestogen), cyclical HRT (recommended to women who are having menopausal symptoms but are also still having periods) and continuous combined HRT (for patients who are post-menopausal or who have not had a period for at least one year).

Some medical professionals also advocate the provision of testosterone for women as a form of HRT. Women require at least some testosterone in their bodies just as much as men need oestrogen, and potential benefits include boosted sex drives, enhanced cognitive ability and better energy levels

Why it is useful?

HRT is considered the most effective treatment for the alleviation of menopausal symptoms, according to the Women’s Health Concern organisation. As these symptoms can be very physically and emotionally detrimental to a woman, this is why HRT is believed to be so useful. Here are some of the most beneficial effects of HRT use in women.

Better sleeping patterns

HRT can help sufferers sleep easier, as it is given to lower the rate of uncomfortable hot flushes and night sweats. As a result, the patient will likely feel more rested and alert during the day, leading to a happier, more alert emotional state.

Emotional health

The menopause can bring on severe mood swings and low feelings in women. As many women going through this stage of their lives have families, these negative emotions can be extremely harmful to both the patient and those closest to her. HRT is considered a method of lightening negative feelings by reducing mood swing tendencies. Consequently, this should help improve relationships with loved ones, and in turn, create a calmer more positive atmosphere and state of mind.

Improved sex drive

Loss of libido is a major side effect of the menopause in women and this can have a damaging effect on a woman’s relationship with her partner. Fortunately, HRT should also assist in boosting a patient’s sex drive and desire to engage in this side of her romantic life, thereby creating a better, less strained relationship.

Bone thinning 

As mentioned earlier, the menopause can cause osteoporosis, which is when a person’s bones weaken, making them susceptible to fractures. Knowing you have this condition can make you hesitant to enjoy life to the fullest and cause unnecessary worry and anxiety. Another benefit of HRT in women is the improvement of bone density and strength, which will help stave off the risk of developing the condition.

HRT has been used to help women get through the menopause for decades. If you’re considering a form of HRT, speak with your doctor to discuss the medication available to you.