Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT): Risks and Benefits

HRT is still an effective, short-term treatment for menopausal symptoms, but as with everything, there are many benefits, as well as risks. Of course, each risk will vary depending on every woman’s body. 

Let’s go over some of the benefits first:

  • HRT reduces the symptoms of menopause
  • It can make a signifiant difference to a woman’s quality of life
  • It may slightly reduce the risk of bowel cancer and some other diseases
  • Might help protect bones
  • May help to improve energy
  • Can help to decrease hot flashes/night sweats and improve sleep
  • May improve sex drive and reduce vaginal dryness

Okay, so now that we know the benefits, here are a few of the risks. Remember, these may vary by each person’s body. Some people’s body and immune systems can handle more than others. It is wise to to first consult with your specialist to see if you’re a good candidate for HRT. A health assessment is critical in determining to see if you would benefit from HRT. 

Some of the risks may include:  

  • HRT increases the risk of breast and ovarian cancers. These risks start to drop back down once a woman stops taking HRT
  • HRT can also affect womb cancer risk, but this depends on many factors including the type of HRT
  • It can increase the risk of other conditions, such as heart disease and strokes

Keep in mind though that the increase in cancer risk is small compared to many lifestyle risk factors, for example:

  • Minimizing HRT could prevent 1,400 cancer cases per year
  • Keeping a healthy weight could prevent 13,200 cancers per year
  • Being smoke free could prevent 22,000 cancers per year

If you’re ready and tired of pre-menopausal and/or menopausal symptoms, request an appointment to see us here.





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