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Pros & Cons of Using Hormone Replacement Therapy

by Mary Flinn
  • Overview

    Pros & Cons of Using Hormone Replacement Therapy
    Pros & Cons of Using Hormone Replacement Therapy
    For decades, women in or past menopause were given hormone replacement therapy, or HRT, to lessen the symptoms of menopause and protect against menopause-related health risks. The estrogen-only or estrogen-progestin synthetic hormones took over where Mother Nature left off. But in 2002, a large clinical trial, Women's Health Initiative, revealed long-term HRT can pose serious health threats. Before beginning a regime, women should carefully weigh the pros and cons of hormone replacement therapy.
  • Osteoporosis

    Hormone replacement therapy can protect against bone loss that leads to osteoporosis, decreasing the risk of broken bones (Mayo Clinic, 2008).
 
  • Heart Disease

    Research suggests estrogen-only replacement therapy may decrease the risk of heart disease if taken early in menopause (Mayo Clinic, 2008).
  • Colorectal Cancer

    Some studies suggest the use of hormone replacement therapy may lead to a decreased risk of colorectal cancer (Mayo Clinic, 2008).
  • Menopausal Symptoms

    Hormonal replacement therapy can ease night sweats and hot flashes as well as vaginal itching, dryness and burning (Mayo Clinic, 2008).
  • Blood Clots

    Women taking hormone replacement therapy may be at an increased risk of developing blood clots (Women's Health Initiative, 2002).
  • Stroke

    Hormone replacement therapy may increase the risk of stroke (Women's Health Initiative, 2002).
  • Breast Cancer

    Hormone replacement therapy may increase the risk of invasive breast cancer (Women's Health Initiative, 2002).

    References & Resources