Understanding Hormone Replacement Therapy

The symptoms associated with perimenopause can be severe, and when they are, you may find it difficult to function and meet your day-to-day obligations. Dr. Parisa Pourzand may have solutions to help you, including hormone replacement therapy, or HRT. 

There’s a significant amount of confusion regarding HRT, largely because researchers are still studying its effect on women at various points in their lives. In the 1990s, a large project called the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) found that HRT may increase the risk of developing heart disease, stroke, blood clots, and breast cancer. 

Those results were surprising, because previously, most doctors and researchers thought that HRT protected women from many of those conditions, as well as having other health benefits. 

However, the results turned out not to be so cut-and-dried. There are different types of HRT, and the risk varied depending on the type of HRT. Additionally, timing made a difference. Your age at the time you begin HRT and the length of time you continue it affect your risk level. 

Benefits of HRT

If you can’t sleep because you have night sweats or insomnia, your life may be profoundly affected. Hot flashes can be embarrassing and difficult to manage. Vaginal dryness is uncomfortable; a lower sex drive impacts your relationship. 

In other words, the symptoms of perimenopause can lower your quality of life. Your job, relationships, ability to enjoy the things you love may all be affected. HRT can often ease or even alleviate those symptoms, allowing you to continue living your life comfortably. 

Balancing the benefit and risk

As confusing as the research regarding HRT may be, Dr. Pourzand is an expert, and you’re an individual. Studies that involve thousands of people are informative for developing best practices in medicine, but working with a professional who understands your specific circumstances is the best way to make decisions about your care. 

There are several different types of HRT. You may take estrogen only, or a combined therapy. Perhaps you’re in the midst of perimenopause, with several years to go before you reach menopause. 

Your medical history makes a difference, as well. If you have a family history of osteoporosis, HRT may provide bone health benefits that outweigh other risks. If you have a family history of heart disease, the risk of HRT may outweigh the benefits. 

In addition to all of that, there are different forms of HRT. Most often, people think of taking a pill, but there are also creams and patches to deliver the medication. 

If you’re struggling with the symptoms of perimenopause, book an appointment with Dr. Pourzand. HRT may be the best solution for you, or there may be other treatments that would work better. Dr. Pourzand suggests treatment plans based on your specific situation, and thoroughly describes the risks and benefits so you have the information you need to make the best decision for you. 

Book an appointment today, at the location that works best for you. You can schedule at either our Glendale or Los Angeles office online or by phone.

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