Is Hormone Replacement Therapy Safe?
When used under medical supervision and on a temporary basis, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) has been proven safe. Studies indicate that women and men on HRT experience a decreased risk of osteoporosis and colon cancer. Individuals who are involved in HRT have seen overall improvements in muscle tone, weight gain and overall physical and emotional health.
Medical Studies Support HRT as Safe
In September of 2017, JAMA (The Journal of the American Medical Association) published the results of a long-term clinical trial on hormone replacement therapy, or hormone therapy (HT). The trial followed more than 27,000 women for approximately 18 years, and conclusively found that, “menopausal hormone therapy for 5 to 7 years was not associated with risk of long-term all-cause mortality.”
An original study released by the Women’s Health Initiative in 2002 concluded HRT brought about an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, and breast cancer. Since that time, long-term studies support the belief that those conclusions were mistaken and exaggerated. In fact, a closer look reveals that 70 percent of the women who participated in that study were over the age of 60, which is still considered a higher risk group for HT.
According to a study completed by Harvard called the Testosterone in Older Men with Mobility Limitations or TOM, “Blood testosterone levels rose only in the treatment group, but never to abnormally high levels.”
The TOM study concluded that men did experience cardiovascular symptoms when using HRT, however these symptoms were not monitored due to the goal of the study. In a normal environment, these symptoms would not be as evident.
For perimenopausal and menopausal women as well as men with testosterone deficiencies enduring the symptoms, these findings are significant. HRT has been proven safe for both men and women.
Benefits and Risks of HRT
Many medical professionals now believe that individuals who begin hormone replacement therapy will experience health benefits. Additionally, hormone therapy reduces the risk of heart attack and does not increase the risk of stroke.
For women, additional benefits address the sometimes unbearable, on-going symptoms of menopause, including:
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Vaginal dryness
- Weight gain
- Low sex drive
For men, benefits address the nagging symptoms of testosterone deficiency such as:
- Low sex drive
- Breast development
- Lethargy and Fatigue
- Increased Body Fat
As with any medical treatment, there are always risks. These risks have been reported for men and women, however age has a direct effect on the level of risk. For women the risks include:
- Stroke, breast, and endometrial cancer and gallbladder disease are risks for those over the age of 60 who are obese, who smoke or who are immobile.
- High blood pressure and blood clots
- Ovarian cancer associated with prolonged use of HT.
For men, the risks include:
- Breast enlargement
- Worsening of existing sleep apnea
- Decreased sperm count
- Increased number of red blood cells
Is HRT Right for You?
Are you suffering needlessly from insomnia, depression, and a host of other symptoms that often coincide with testosterone deficiency or menopause? If so you may be a good candidate for hormone therapy.
It’s critical that you discuss all the risks and benefits of HRT with a qualified medical professional. We encourage you to meet with the medical team at Balance Hormone Center. We’ll review your symptoms, discuss your options, and help you make determine if hormone replacement therapy is safe for you. Contact us online to learn more.