There are many different hormones in the human body, but hormone replacement therapy typically focuses on replacing the hormones made by sex glands (ovaries and testes), which are estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. As we age, our body produces less of these hormones which can create uncomfortable symptoms, particularly for women.
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Menopause is different for every woman, but it tends to begin anytime after the age of 40 and continues into the decades following. Menopausal and perimenopausal symptoms don’t happen to every woman, and those that have symptoms can experience them in varying degrees, but for the most part menopause can come with hot flashes, poor sleep patterns, diminished libido, mood fluctuations, and low energy. The goal of hormone replacement therapy is to improve these symptoms.
Like many popular health topics, there is a lot of information available on the internet and some of it’s contradictory! So we’ve created an article that acts as a great place to start for any woman who is considering hormone replacement therapy. Here are some of the basic facts that every woman should know…
There Are Two Different Types
Before we get into much of anything, we should explain that there are two different types of hormone replacement therapy. The first is estrogen-only therapy (ET) which is used to treat menopausal symptoms, but is typically only ever prescribed to women who do not have a uterus. This would include any woman who has gone through a hysterectomy, says the North American Menopause Society (NAMS).
The second type of HRT is EPT which stands for estrogen and progestogen therapy. “Progestogen is added to ET to protect women with a uterus against uterine (endometrial) cancer from estrogen alone,” writes the source.