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Everything you must know about HRT: Uses and types

With aging, women’s reproductive cycle tends to slow down and stops in their 50s, and the stage is termed Menopause. It is a normal part of aging when a woman’s reproductive cycle comes to an end, and they do not have periods for over 12 months. The results of Menopause can vary from women to women, but there are only a few symptoms that can help diagnose it.


Hormone Replacement Therapy – HRT for short, is a widely used treatment to cover the deficiency of lost hormones like estrogen and progesterone when menopause hits. If you have started to experience the symptoms of Menopause, then keep reading this article till the end to know about the uses and types of HRT.


Uses of Hormone Replacement Therapy

Since every female experiences menopause differently with some common symptoms. Hormone Replacement Therapies are helpful to alleviate the following symptoms during the time of menopause:


  • Hot flashes and night sweats
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Bone thinning or osteoporosis
  • Urinary problems
  • Hair loss
  • Sleep disorders
  • Mood changes
  • Irregular periods
  • Difficulties with concentration and memory


Types of Hormone Replacement Therapy

Mainly, there are three types of Hormone Replacement therapies. These are:

  1. Estrogen Therapy
  2. Progesterone Therapy
  3. Combined Therapy


Estrogen Therapy

This therapy or treatment is a form of HRT prescribed to many females to treat menopausal symptoms with or without Progestogen therapy. Studies have found that it is the most consistent and effective therapy for vasomotor symptoms. The treatment comes in many forms, such as:

  • Estrogen gels 
  • Estrogen pills
  • Estrogen sprays
  • Skin patches
  • Topical creams


All these forms of estrogen are ways to get estrogen into your system. These types of estrogen treatment are absorbed through the body directly into the bloodstream. Also, they are safer to consume in different forms, and you can take them in any of the suitable methods and prescribed by practitioners. You can check out for the best hormone therapy treatments. 


Risk factors associated with this therapy

There are some risks associated with estrogen treatments, and some of them are as follows:

  • Acnes
  • Indigestion
  • Breast cancer
  • Swelling in other parts of the body or around the breast
  • Inside or back pain


Progesterone Therapy

 Progesterone is another type of HRT. This therapy is required when there is less progesterone during menopause in females. The treatment prepares the uterus for a possible pregnancy and makes breast milk more readily available. There are different forms of progesterone, such as:


  • Progesterone pills
  • Vaginal rings
  • Patches
  • Mini pill
  • Injections/shot


You can use progesterone in all these methods, and you must ask your practitioner first before using any of these forms.   


Risk factors associated with this therapy

There are some risks associated with taking progesterone treatments, and some of them are as follows:

  • Tiredness
  • Headache
  • Abdominal pain or nausea
  • Fluid retention or weight gain
  • Breast tenderness
  • Vaginal bleeding


Combined Therapy 

This type of therapy is a form of HRT that includes estrogen and progestogen therapies. Several combination tablets are available in the form of:

  • Vaginal rings
  • Patches
  • Mini pill
  • Injections/shot
  • Skin patches
  • Topical creams
  • Sprays


Risk factors associated with this therapy

There are some risks associated with taking combined treatments, and some of them are as follows:


  • Headache
  • Abdominal pain or nausea
  • Migraine
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Mood swings
  • Depression


Ways of taking HRT therapies for Females


There are various forms of HRT approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which include:


Intrauterine device (IUDs)

These devices are placed inside your uterus by your doctor. A progesterone product is available in this form.


Combination tablets

These can be taken by mouth. Many medications are available in this form, such as conjugated (mixed) estrogens, medroxyprogesterone acetate (Premphase, Prempro), and ethinyl estradiol drugs. 


Estrogen tablets

 Estrogen pills are taken by mouth. Tablets such as conjugated (mixed) estrogens, esterified estrogens (Estratab, Menest), estropipate (Ogen) are a few examples of these tablets.


Progesterone tablets

 Like other tablets, these pills can be taken by mouth. Some examples included are medroxyprogesterone acetate (Cycrin, Provera), norethindrone acetate (Aygestin, Norlutate), and progesterone USP (Prometrium).


Skin creams and gels

These gels and creams can be applied to clean, dry, unbroken skin on your arms or legs. Do not try or apply these creams preparations to your breast as your breast tissues might change in response to estrogen. 


Skin patches

 Patches or transdermal patches can be applied to clean, dry, unbroken skin on your stomach, lower back, or buttocks. Estradiol is available as a skin patch with various brand names, such as Climara, Estraderm, and Vivelle. Combination products are also available in skin patches. 


Skin sprays

You can apply skin sprays or transdermal spray to clean, dry, unbroken skin on your forearm. Estradiol (Evamist) is available as a spray.


Vaginal rings

These rings are inserted into the upper portion of your vagina and can remain there for 90 days at a time. Estradiol is available as a vaginal ring.


Vaginal tablets

You can insert these tablets into your vagina. These tablets are available in Estradiol (Vagifem) form.




There are both benefits as well as risks associated with HRT. One must consult experienced practitioners for their treatments. Before going for these therapies, you must know their pros and cons to avoid bad results. 


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