Menopausalwomen lack sufficient estrogen and progesterone for normalphysiological functioning. For this reason, they present symptomssuch as depression, mood swings, high fevers, hot flashes, memoryloss, insomnia and weight gain (Holloway, 2010). These problems mightaffect them for the rest of their lives. It is therefore vital toadminister (HRT) to replace the women’sdepleting hormone levels, hence alleviating menopausal symptoms. Infact, HRT reduces vasomotor symptoms, improves sleep, enhances mood,minimizes muscle pains and eliminates depressive symptoms (Holloway,2010). It also reduces the risk of osteoporosis (Arcangelo &Peterson, 2013). Further, it improves vaginal dryness and enhancessexual function (Makinen & Huhtaniemi, 2011).
However,there are a number of risks associated with prolonged use of HRT.Long-term use of HRT increases the risk of cardiovascular disease,stroke, breast cancer, ovarian cancer and colorectal cancer(Holloway, 2010). Based on these strengths and limitations, I findthat the benefits of HRT outweigh its risks, and I would thereforesupport the use of HRT on a short-term basis, preferably less thanfive years.
Beforeadministering HRT, all candidates should be thoroughly evaluated forany history of breast cancer, endometrial cancer, active liverdisease, undiagnosed vaginal bleeding, thromboembolic disease,angina, and myocardial infarction. Candidates presenting histories orsuffering from the aforementioned illnesses will not be advised touse HRT.
Formany years, HRT has been the best option of restoring women’sdeclining hormone levels and treating menopausal symptoms. Based on apatient’s medical history, HRT can be administered as estrogenalone, or a combination of estrogen and progesterone. However,according to research, women who use estrogen alone are at anincreased risk of developing endometrial cancer (Holloway, 2010). Thecombination however reduced the risk of uterine cancer. Consideringthe unpredictable adverse risks involved, I would not advise patientswith hormone deficiencies to undergo hormone therapy. In fact, Iwould recommend alternative treatments such as herbal remedies likeprimrose and ginseng that have been proven to alleviate menopausalsymptoms. They could also adopt other practices such as healthyeating, exercise, and reduce stress levels.
Arcangelo,V., & Peterson, A., (Eds.). (2013). Pharmacotherapeuticsfor Advanced Practice: A Practical Approach,(3rdEds). Ambler, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Pp 481-915
Holloway,D., (2010). Clinical Update on : BritishJournal of Nursing. 19(8)Pp 496-504.
Makinen,J., & Huhtaniemi, I., (2011). Androgen Replacement Therapy inLate-Onset Hypogonadism: Current Concepts and Controversies- AMini-Review. Gerontology.57(3)pp 193-202.