HRT Topics of the Week
As we age, our bodies undergo various changes that can affect our overall health and well-being. One of these changes may be a decline in hormone production. This drop can lead to a number of symptoms, such as fatigue, low libido, and mood changes. In some cases, hormone therapy may be recommended as a treatment option. However, many people wonder if they are too old for hormone therapy.
What Is Hormone Therapy?
First, it’s important to understand what hormone therapy is and how it works. Hormone therapy involves the use of medication to replace hormones that the body is no longer producing enough of. For women, hormone therapy typically involves the use of estrogen and progesterone, with or without testosterone, to alleviate symptoms associated with menopause.
So, is there an age limit for hormone therapy? The short answer is no. There is no specific age at which hormone therapy becomes inappropriate. Rather, the decision to undergo hormone therapy should be based on a number of factors, including your overall health, your symptoms, and your personal preferences.
For women, hormone therapy is generally recommended for women who are experiencing significant symptoms related to menopause, such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and mood changes. Hormone therapy can also help reduce the risk of osteoporosis and dementia. However, it’s important to note that hormone therapy may not be appropriate for women who have a history of breast cancer (although this is debatable), blood clots, or other medical conditions that may increase the risk of complications.
I’ve Heard that Hormones Shouldn’t be Given to Women over 60. Is That True?
There is ongoing debate and research on the long-term effects of hormone therapy for women over the age of 60 or more than 10 years out from menopause.
What Are the Benefits of Hormone Therapy?
Hormone therapy has been shown to have benefits for managing menopause symptoms and improving bone density in women and for managing symptoms of low testosterone levels in men, regardless of age. However, there is some concern that hormone therapy may increase the risk of certain health conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, and breast cancer, especially in women who start hormone therapy later in life.
The Women’s Health Initiative (WHI), a large-scale study on hormone therapy, found that women who started taking hormone therapy after the age of 60 had an increased risk of certain health conditions, including stroke, blood clots, and breast cancer. However, it’s important to note that the study only looked at one type of hormone therapy (conjugated equine estrogen and medroxyprogesterone acetate) and that the risks and benefits of other types of hormone therapy may vary.
Women who are more than 10 years out from menopause and who are considering HRT should have a more in depth cardiovascular workup which includes a coronary calcium score, bilateral doppler of the carotid arteries and measurement of Lp(a) to make sure the potential risks of cardiovascular problems don’t outweigh the benefits of therapy.
Ultimately, the decision to undergo hormone therapy should be made in consultation with your healthcare provider. They can help you weigh the risks and benefits of hormone therapy based on your individual circumstances. It’s also important to keep in mind that hormone therapy is not a one-size-fits-all treatment and that the dosage and duration of treatment may vary depending on your needs.
Dr. Anna Garrett is a menopause expert and Doctor of Pharmacy. She helps women who are struggling with symptoms of perimenopause and menopause find natural hormone-balancing solutions so they can rock their mojo through midlife and beyond. Dr. Anna is the author of Perimenopause: The Savvy Sister’s Guide to Hormone Harmony. Order your copy at www.perimenopausebook.com.
Also, she offers a membership group, Hormone Harmony with Dr. Anna Garrett, which provides women in midlife with affordable expert guidance and community support.
Dr. Anna is available for 1-1 consultation. Find out more at www.drannagarrett.com/lets-