Hormone replacement therapy – Why age is crucial?

Studies have revealed that the age at which the women undergo hormone replacement therapy matters a lot and determines the fate of HRT to a great extent. Let us find here how this therapy impacts a woman health and overall well being.

When a woman is given the initial doses of the hormone in HR therapy, the risk of blood clotting is increased considerably. However, if you are approaching 50 and nearing menopause, even if the risk of blood clotting increases, it does not cause severe problems. While few are of the opinion that the risk is minimal, few prefer to oppose the view and instead have opined that the risk, regardless of the woman approaching menopause and whether or not crossed 50 remains the same.

Most importantly, the women that have attained 60 years and more are already prone to heart ailments if they have a tendency to develop arteriosclerosis. And during this period the risk is enhanced manifold since the risk of blood clotting in the initial stages remains. This only indicates that if a woman opt for hormone replacement therapy when she has attained 60 years already, the initial risks and consequences of blood clotting are more pronounced and the these ladies are even more vulnerable.

Reports published in the media on the studies of Women’s Health Initiatives, imply that if a women undergoes combined hormone therapy, the risk of breast cancer increases by as much as 33%. However, this does not necessarily mean that the risk of a single woman will also increase by the same percentage.

Important studies and research has proved that even if a woman does not undergo hormone replacement therapy, it is quite likely that 3 out of 1200 women will at some point of time or the other during their lifetime will develop breast cancer and the ones that are between ages 54 and 58. And if HRT is opted for by these women, may be 4 out of 1200 will get breast cancer. So, opting for HRT will not drastically increase the risk, but it will show up if you are unlucky or have rapidly dividing cells. In fact, if women drink 2 glasses of wine daily at night this too increases their chances of getting breast cancer. So, it is not just HRT alone that enhances the incidence of developing breast cancer.

So, if you undergo hormone therapy for a shorter time period, it does not increase the chances of developing cancer of the breast. In fact, as per reports published in Archives of Internal Medicine, women undergoing estrogen-only therapy manifested increased risk of breast cancer if the administration of the hormone lasted for 20 years and more. So, the long term effects are not good. Also, women that were administered therapy of both progestin as well as estrogen were at a higher risk too. So, while one school of thought claims that HRT should be minimally used, the other school of thought thinks otherwise. But as per U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA), hormone replacement therapy should be administered only to women that manifest menopausal symptoms that are severe.

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