How to Understand Hormone Replacement Therapy

During menopause, your production of estrogen and progesterone becomes erratic before slowing down. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is a doctor-prescribed program to treat hormonal imbalances associated with menopause.

Things You’ll Need:
Step1Understand that HRT can involve estrogen alone or a combination of estrogen, natural progesterone, progestins and testosterone. HRT can alleviate symptoms such as mood swings, hot flashes, memory loss and vaginal dryness.
Step2Keep in mind that HRT can also reduce long-term effects of menopause such as osteoporosis and heart disease.
Step3Learn about hormones. Some medications are derived from animals. Premarin, for instance, is made from the urine of pregnant mares. Synthetics, which are plant derived, are called phytoestrogens.
Step4Consider that when a small amount of testosterone is added to HRT, a woman's sense of well-being is increased.
Step5Understand that your HRT schedule can be cyclic or continuous. On a cyclic schedule, you'll take estrogen for 25 days out of the month, adding progesterone on day 12. This schedule allows you to have a period. A continuous schedule means that you'll take HRT every day.
Step6Think about whether you'd prefer to receive HRT via pills, creams or patches.