The 4 Types of Hormone Replacement Therapy

Hormone Replacement Therapy

During menopause, estrogen levels in your body drop. Some women experience unpleasant symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal dryness. Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), also known as Estrogen Replacement Therapy (ERT), is the most effective way to treat these menopausal symptoms.

HRT involves estrogen-containing medications that replace the hormones that are no longer produced after menopause. Studies have found that hormone therapy also helps to prevent bone loss and reduce fractures in postmenopausal women.

If you want to relieve the symptoms of menopause, understanding the advantages and disadvantages of hormone replacement therapy can help you determine the right type for you. Highlighted below are the four types of HRT for menopause.

Here are the 4 types of Hormone Replacement Therapy:

1. Estrogen Pills

One of the most common forms of HRT is an oral medication. The pills include conjugated estrogens and are typically taken once daily without food. However, some have more complicated dosing schedules.


Like other forms of HRT, estrogen pills can lessen or remedy the bothersome symptoms caused by menopause. They also reduce the risk of osteoporosis (weakening of the bones).


Estrogen, on its own, slightly increases the risk of thrombosis and stroke. When used with the hormone progesterone, the risk of heart disease and breast cancer is heightened.

Like other HRT treatments, oral estrogens have side effects.

These include painful swelling of the breasts, vaginal discharge, headache, and nausea. People with liver problems should opt for other forms of estrogen as oral estrogens can be hard on the liver.

In addition, estrogen may not be absorbed, especially if you are taking certain medications or if you have stomach problems.

2. Skin Patches

Another type of HRT is skin patches, with examples including Alora and Estraderm. There are also combined estrogen and progesterone skin patches. Follow the instructions and replace the patch once or twice weekly.


First, the patch is convenient. You can stick it without worrying about taking oral medicine every day. The patch is also great for people with liver ailments as the estrogen goes passes directly into the bloodstream, avoiding the liver. Studies have proved that patches do not present a risk of thrombosis to postmenopausal women compared to oral estrogens.


Estrogen patches do have side effects. These include painful swelling of the breasts, vaginal discharge, headache, and nausea. The patch can also irritate the skin on which it is applied.

Do not expose estrogen patches to high temperatures or direct sunlight. The heat can bring about the rapid release of estrogen from some. Therefore, do not use a tanning bed or sauna when wearing an estrogen patch.

3. Topical treatment

Estrogen gels, creams, and sprays are another way of incorporating estrogen into your body. Like skin patches, this type of estrogen treatment is directly absorbed into the blood. They are normally administered once a day.


Since these topical estrogen treatments journey directly into the blood, they are low risk for people with liver problems.


A possible problem with the use of this type of estrogen treatment is that the gel, cream, or spray can be rubbed or washed off before being completely absorbed. Always let the treatment of dry before dressing and apply after bathing.

Since estrogen is directly absorbed through the skin, do not let your family members come into contact with these creams or gels. Ensure you clean and dry your hands after using the medication.

4. Vaginal Suppositories

These types of estrogen treatments are applied directly to the vagina. These treatments are most suitable for women who suffer particularly from vaginal dryness, itching, pain, or burning sensation during intercourse. The medication includes vaginal tablets, creams, and vaginal rings.

The exact dosing schedule depends on the product. However, the vaginal ring must be replaced every three months.


Research has proved that vaginal suppositories are more effective in treating vaginal symptoms of menopause than other types of estrogen treatment.

Some vaginal rings produce low doses, impacting the surrounding region only. This is favorable since they do not subject the whole body to high amounts of estrogen. In theory, this reduces the risks of estrogen treatment and is a safe method to reassure women unable to receive systemic treatment.


Vaginal suppositories containing low amounts of estrogen are only useful for menopausal symptoms brought about due to hysterectomy. They do not treat other symptoms, such as hot flashes. Although high doses of suppositories offer solutions to these symptoms, they may carry risks of cancer. Most doctors do not recommend long-term vaginal estrogen therapy in women who still have a uterus, as this may escalate the threat of endometrial cancer.

In conclusion, work closely with your doctor to decide on the best option from the various available hormone replacement therapies. Also, talk to your physician about how long you can take HRT and how to limit potential risks.

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How to Stay Healthy and Fit Despite a Hectic Schedule

With our busiest schedules to follow, we often get reluctant about hitting the gym or following a proper diet plan. Nobody has the kind of time to spend hours pampering themselves. The good news is health and fitness is not all about investing too much time in cooking healthy meals and working out at the gym, it is much more.Even the littlest healthy habits and avoidance of unhealthy habits can improve your overall lifestyle and turn you into a healthier YOU.Want to know what such habits are and how you can add them to your daily routine? They might not sound very new, but they are exactly the ones you usually miss out on. So, here is a reminder for you to follow them for a healthy and happy life. Read through and thank me later! How to Stay Healthy and Fit Despite a Hectic Schedule: Carry a Water Bottle: We all are aware of the fact that drinking 7 to 8 glasses of water is necessary for healthier skin and body. However, most of us get reluctant about it because it is way out of our reach and we are too busy to fetch a glass for ourselves.Therefore, I would suggest you carry a medium-size water bottle wherever you go and finish it at least twice to hydrate your body well. Drinking water is not only best for hydrating the body but it also helps flush out any toxins prevailing inside the body. Stay Socially Active: By staying socially active, I do not mean to stay updated with and connected to social media. It means taking time out for catching up with old friends in person and making new friends as well. Put all the gadgets away and spend some quality time with your family on the weekend.Staying socially active helps us relax and give us immense emotional strength. It is great for mental health and wellbeing. Get Rid of All Kinds of Addiction: If you are addicted to anything in your life, either it is some high-quality weed, video games or smoking cigarettes,  try to get rid of it. It is tough, I know. However, where there is a will, there surely is away.Telling yourself to avoid something takes you closer to it. Therefore, instead of doing that, just distract your mind by engaging in better and healthier activities whenever you feel the need for it. You will gradually be able to get rid of it without even knowing it. Proper and Uninterrupted Sleep: With all the smartphones and wireless gadgets in our room beeping every other minute, going deep into sleep has nearly become impossible. We all are so addicted to checking every notification immediately that we do not even keep our phones silent while going to bed. As a result, we end up staying up till late and feeling restless throughout the day.If you want a healthier lifestyle, start turning your phone on silent mode before you go to bed and put all your devices away at least half an hour before you go to sleep. If you want something to do in that spare time before you doze off, take a good book to read while sipping on chamomile tea.Read More:7 Ways To Kick Off Your Fitness Routine Go Trampolining To Have Fun And Maintain Your Fitness Who Can Benefit From The Elliptical? You Can’t Out-Diet Your Training

Functional Medicine Doctor

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All That You Need To Know About Dandy-Walker Syndrome

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