Menopausal hormone therapy is used by about 45% of all women worldwide. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is a treatment for menopause symptoms.
Migraines and nausea are two of the known side effects of HRT. Some kinds of HRT have been linked in the past to an increased risk of stroke in women, gallbladder problems, and some forms of cancer, such as breast and endometrial cancer.
Menopausal hormone therapy has recently been linked to an increased risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, according to a study out of Copenhagen University Hospital – Rigshospitalet.
About 5,600 women with dementia and about 56,000 age-matched women without a dementia diagnosis were evaluated by Dr. Nelsan Pourhadi of the Danish Cancer Society and the Danish Dementia Research Centre in the Department of Neurology at Copenhagen University Hospital and his team from a national registry database.
Women in Denmark who were 50-60 in 2000 and had no history of dementia or other contraindications to HRT were included in the data set, which spanned the years 2000-2018. Participants averaged 70 years old when diagnosed with dementia.
The average age at which estrogen-progestin (a synthetic type of progesterone) medication was initiated was 53, and 32 percent of women with dementia and 29 percent of controls had received this treatment prior to diagnosis.
Treatment for women with dementia averaged 3.8 years, while the control group received care for 3.6 years.
Menopausal Hormone Therapy Entails What Exactly?
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is a medicine used to restore a woman’s natural hormone levels, specifically estrogen and progesterone.
Both of these hormones are produced naturally by the ovaries, but their production diminishes throughout menopause, leading to menopausal symptoms.
A doctor may recommend one of two primary types of menopausal hormone therapy, depending on the individual woman’s situation and needs:
- Estrogen Therapy
- Treatment with estrogen and progesterone together
Pills, nasal sprays, skin patches, and vaginal creams or suppositories are only some of the delivery methods for HRT.
Some of the possible negative effects of HRT are:
- bloating headaches
- pain in the breasts
- nausea acne
- fluctuations in mood and menstrual flow