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All about menopause menopause periods signs and symptoms of menopause causes of menopause premature menopause perimenopause postmenopause menopause relief and treatment hormone replacement therapy (HRT) benefits of hormone replacement therapy risk factors for hormone replacement therapy hormones for hormone replacement therapy ways of taking HRT natural hormone replacement therapy (NHRT) herbal remedies for menopause relief estrogen replacement therapy (ERT) menopause diet

What hormones are used in hormone replacement therapy (HRT)?

The menopause is associated with a relative lack of oestrogens and progestogens. Replacement therapy always requires oestrogens, which are given continuously. Cyclical progestogen is also required in women who have not had a hysterectomy. Progestogens are necessary to prevent hyperplasia (excessive formation of cells) and neoplasia (tumour cell formation) in the womb and to regulate any uterine bleeding that may occur. Oestrogens can be synthetic or purified from the urine of horses. A natural form of progestogen can also be used, but often it is not well tolerated because of drowsiness.

It should be noted that some of the synthetic hormones are exactly the same as those the woman would have produced during her active reproductive life. These include the oestrogens oestradiol, oestrone and oestriol. It is important for any woman to find a specific preparation that does not upset her, and of course she must not have any other contraindications to hormone replacement therapy.

However, there are many alternatives to these products, including natural or bio-identical hormones, which are identical in chemical structure to the hormones naturally produced by our bodies. This type of HRT is referred to as natural hormone replacement therapy, or NHRT. NHRT is available both in brand-name products and from compounding pharmacies, which can supply any of the bio-identical hormones alone or combine them into one dose in the form desired (e.g, sublingual tablets, oil caps, or cream).

Estrogen replacement therapy (ERT) refers to taking some form of estrogen alone. Estrogen taken by itself is also referred to as unopposed estrogen—meaning that no progesterone or progestin is taken to counteract the effects of estrogen on the uterus. Unopposed estrogen can cause endometrial cancer (cancer of the lining of the uterus). ERT is an option mainly for women who have had a hysterectomy (removal of the uterus).

Women with symptoms during perimenopause might decide to take low-dose birth control pills (which contain both estrogen and progestin). Some women may benefit from taking natural progesterone alone, or progesterone combined with a low dose of estrogen. A low-dose estrogen patch works particularly well to provide a steady amount of estrogen, preventing the wide swings in estrogen levels that many women experience during perimenopause.

More information on menopause

What is menopause? - Menopause is a stage of the human female reproductive cycle that occurs as the ovaries stop producing estrogen, causing the reproductive system to gradually shut down.
When does menopause occur? - Most premenopausal women experience changes in their menstrual cycle. Perimenopause is the phase before menopause actually takes place, when ovarian hormone production is declining and fluctuating, causing a host of symptoms.
What are the signs and symptoms of menopause? - The symptoms of menopause can be divided into early and late onset symptoms. Early symptoms include abnormal vaginal bleeding, hot flashes, and mood changes. Late symptoms include vaginal dryness and irritation, osteoporosis, and heart disease.
What causes menopause? - Menopause occurs when the ovaries are totally depleted of eggs and no amount of stimulation from the regulating hormones can force them to work.
What is premature menopause? - Premature menopause is menopause that happens before the age of 40 - whether it is natural or induced.
What is perimenopause? - Perimenopause is the stage of a woman's life before menopause. The perimenopause is a normal period of transition between the childbearing years and menopause.
What is postmenopause? - Postmenopause is the time when most of the transitional stress of menopause has passed. Since postmenopausal women produce less estrogen, there are some symptoms that they might experience.
What are the treatment options for menopause? - Treatments for menopause can be divided based on those symptoms that are present in a given woman at a specific time. The standard of treatment for menopausal symptoms is replacement of one or both of the major female hormones.
What is hormone replacement therapy (HRT)? - Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is a treatment for women who have reached or passed menopause, which often is referred to as "the change of life."
What are the benefits of hormone replacement therapy? - The benefits of hormone replacement therapy include controlling menopause symptoms, preventing heart disease, preventing osteoporosis, preventing some hard-to-detect female cancers.
What are the risk factors for hormone replacement therapy? - Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) risks and possible side effects include increased risk of cancers, blood clots, gallbladder disease, and heart attack or stroke.
What hormones are used in hormone replacement therapy? - The menopause is associated with a relative lack of oestrogens and progestogens. Replacement therapy always requires oestrogens, which are given continuously.
How is hormone replacement therapy taken? - There are many ways of taking HRT, including a daily tablet, skin patches, a small pellet or implant under the skin, a gel applied daily to the skin, or a nasal spray.
What is natural hormone replacement therapy? - Natural hormone replacement therapy (NHRT) is a combination of human estrogens and natural human progesterone.
What are herbal remedies for menopause? - Some women take herbal, natural, or plant-based products to help their symptoms. Wort and chasteberry may help some women with depressed mood.
What is estrogen replacement therapy (ERT)? - Estrogen Replacement Therapy (ERT) is therapy to replace estrogen no longer made by a woman's body because she is post-menopausal or her ovaries have been damaged or removed.
What menopause diet is suggested? - Eating right can definitely ease the various discomforts of menopause including hot flashes, bloating and mood swings.
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Menopause relief herbal remedy
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All information is intended for reference only. Please consult your physician for accurate medical advices and treatment. Copyright 2005, health-cares.net, all rights reserved. Last update: July 18, 2005