HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY (HRT)

WHAT IS HRT?

Hormone replacement therapy are medications used to replace female hormones (oestrogen and progesterone) that are depleted in the body and are no longer produced by the body during menopause. [2; 3]

HRT should generally be started two to three years of menopause. HRT can be in the form of cream or gels, vaginal rings, tablets or skin patches. [1]

INDICATIONS FOR HRT [1]

  • Treatment of menopause symptoms.

  • To prevent osteoporosis in older women (>55 years) and bone loss in women with premature menopause (<40 years).

  • Symptoms which indicate urogenital atrophy.

CONTRAINDICATIONS [1]

  • History of thromboembolism.

  • Thrombophilia.

  • History of chronic heart disease or stroke.

  • Current or history of breast, endometrial or other oestrogen dependent cancers.

  • Liver disease.

  • Undiagnosed persistent urinary tract bleeding.

  • Hypertension that is untreated.

  • Porphyria.

  • Severe migraines.

 

COMPLICATIONS [3]

  • Heart disease.

  • Stroke.

  • Blood clots.

  • Breast cancer.

 

SIDE EFFECTS OF HRT [3]

  • Breast tenderness.

  • Breakthrough bleeding.

  • Bloating.

  • Nausea.

 

LIFESTYLE CHANGES WHEN ON HRT [2]

  • Sensation of smoking.

  • Healthy lifestyle which should include eating a balanced diet, eating healthy, managing stress and any other chronic conditions you may have such as cholesterol.

  • Limit the alcohol that you consume.

  • Wearing loose clothing.

REFERENCES

  1. Johannesburg Hospitals, University of the Witwatersrand, Department of Gynaecology. 2017. Wits Gynaecology. South Africa: Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

  2. Brazier, Y. [Internet]. What you need to know about HRT. United Kingdom: Healthline Media; [updated 2017 May 25; cited 2019 Aug 14]. Available from: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/181726.php.

  3. Mayo Clinic Staff [Internet]. Hormone therapy: Is it right for you?. America: Mayo Clinic; [updated 2018 May 24; cited 2019 Aug 14]. Available from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/menopause/in-depth/hormone-therapy/art-20046372.

  4. Renew Health and Wellness [Internet]. Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy or BHRT. United States: Renew Health and Wellness; [cited 2019 Sep 11]. Available from: https://www.renewmetoday.com/bio-identical-hormone-replacement-bhrt/.

  5. Woller, S. [Internet]. HRT Drug Boost: Women on hormone replacement therapy are living longer as menopause treatment cuts death risk by 30 %. United Kingdom: The Sun; [updated 2018 May 25; cited 2019 Sep 11]. Available from: https://www.thesun.co.uk/uncategorized/3045401/women-on-hormone-replacement-therapy-are-living-longer-as-menopause-treatment-cuts-death-risk-by-30/.

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