What is HRT? Hormone replacement therapy, or HRT, is widely used to treat menopausal symptoms.
As you approach the menopause, your ovaries produce less and less of the hormone estrogen. Estrogen controls a woman’s reproductive cycle as well as controlling other functions, including bone density, skin temperature and keeping the vagina moist. This reduction in estrogen causes most symptoms associated with the menopause, including:
- Hot flushes
- Night sweats
- Vaginal dryness
- Loss of sex drive
- Stress incontinence (leaking urine when you cough or sneeze)
- Bone thinning (which can lead to osteoporosis and fractures)
The aim of HRT, as its name suggests, is to replace or ‘top up’ the body’s natural supply of estrogen. Estrogen also stimulates the lining of the womb, so you will also need to take another hormone, progestogen, at the same time to protect your womb lining.
If you have had a hysterectomy, you may not need progestogen and may be prescribed estrogen-only HRT. However, depending on the reason for your hysterectomy and the type of hysterectomy you have had, you may be advised to use estrogen and progestogen combined HRT.
Visit our Menopause page to find out more about it's symptoms.
What are the alternatives to HRT?
The alternatives to HRT can be broadly classified as:
- Herbal medicine- a practice based on the use of plants or plant extracts to relieve symptoms, e.g. evening primrose oil or St John’s Wort
- Alternative medicine- a range of therapies used instead of conventional medicine, such as acupressure, acupuncture and homeopathy
- Complementary therapy- interventions that tend to be used alongside conventional medicine, e.g. aromatherapy with HRT
- Non-hormonal medical treatments- treatments such as antidepressants
Why would I choose an alternative to HRT?
Not every woman chooses HRT or can have HRT to help their symptoms of the menopause. For you, this may be because:
- You want an alternative treatment that works especially well for one particular symptom
- You have concerns about the safety and side effects of HRT
- You would prefer alternative treatments to help alleviate symptoms of the menopause
- You may have an adverse reaction to HRT
Making a choice about your treatment
There will be choices to make about the type of treatment you wish to receive. You will probably have a lot of questions and may wish to discuss your options with family and friends.
At Ghosh Medical Group our women’s health specialist Dr Trish Jain, can help guide you through the treatments available and provide you with advice to help you make the right decision.
Meet Dr Trisha Jain
- A convenient and effective way for you to access private health care services when you need it.
- We can tailor your treatment to your needs
- A range of finance and payment options available
- We offer a friendly, trustworthy and above-all-else familiar service.