Hormones are your body's chemical messenger. They tell your body what to do and when to do it. Having too much or too little of any hormone causes an imbalance in the body. Hormones are in charge of your moods, reproduction, metabolism, growth, sexual functions, among many other things and sometimes require care or treatment to maintain.

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Your hormones may be imbalanced due to certain factors, like age or other health issues. Taking hormone replacement therapies may be just what your body needs to restore your hormones to their normal levels. Balanced hormones help reduce menopausal symptoms and generally increase your quality of life.

What You Didn't Know About Hormone Replacement Therapy

1. HRt Has an Age Limit

HRT is recommended for women below the age of 60 experiencing extreme menopause symptoms. Although older women can take HRT, it is not highly recommended. Administering the treatment after the recommended period is on a case-to-case basis. However, if you started the treatment before you were 65, you don't have to stop it. Always consult with your doctor to do what is best for your body.

2. Estrogen and Progesterone Are Equally Important for Menopause HRT

Although there are various treatments, the most recommended HRT treatment for menopause includes both estrogen and progesterone. Estrogen helps ease menopausal symptoms, while progesterone protects you from diseases such as uterine cancer or developing osteoporosis. Patients who have had a hysterectomy do not necessarily need progesterone.

3. Bioidentical Hormones Could Be Harmful to You

Bioidentical hormones are hormone preparations specially tailored to patients by compounding pharmacies. They are derived from plant estrogens that are chemically similar to those your body naturally produces. Most people believe these hormones are safer, but that is not the case. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved any custom-compounded bioidentical hormones.

4. HRT Comes in Various Forms

You may think the only way HRT is offered is through pills. Although it is the most common form, patients can have options. Some of the other forms include creams, patches, lozenges, sprays, and gels. Patients who require treatment for vaginal symptoms can use low-dose vaginal products as a replacement. These products come in ring forms or creams. They are used to treat vaginal dryness and urinary symptoms.

5. HRT Is Not for Everyone

HRT can come with its fair share of risks. Don't take it if you don't need it. On the other hand, some women may have menopausal symptoms bothering them but still can't take the treatment. If you have a history of breast cancer, deep vein thrombosis, vaginal bleeding, ovarian or endometrial cancer, you should avoid this type of treatment. Before taking the treatment, consult with your doctor to see if you are the right fit while discussing the various benefits and risks involved.

6. It Can Contribute to Health Complications

As stated earlier, HRT has several risks. You may be healthy and a perfect fit for the treatment, but that does not exclude you from the risks involved. You may end up developing unrelated health problems like DVT, stroke, heart disease, and breast cancer (if taken consecutively for at least five years).

7. This Treatment Is Not Just for Women

Although it is popular among women, men can also take this treatment. As they age, men also experience lower hormonal levels. Men may suffer from low testosterone that affects their muscle mass and can decrease their sex drive. HRT can be of great benefit to men too.

Talk to Your Doctor

There is a lot about this treatment you may not have known, and more is still being discovered. Before deciding to go ahead with this treatment, consult with your doctor and find out the best options for you.

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