HRT can be very effective at improving the symptoms of the menopause which can be debilitating and lead to women giving up work, relationships breaking down, mental health and more. Many women find they are back to feeling like their normal selves again once they are on the right HRT for them.
Here are 3 added health benefits from HRT that you might not know about:
Before the menopause women have a much lower incidence of cardiovascular disease (heart attacks and blood vessel disease) than men but after the menopause we soon catch up with them. If started within 10 years of your last period or below the age of 60 and continued long-term, HRT can significantly reduce your future risk of cardiovascular disease.
As you reach the menopause, hormone levels change and as a results you are at a higher risk of losing muscle mass. An added benefit of HRT is that there is evidence that it can help you maintain your muscle strength during this transition. However, it is still important to ensure you exercise regularly and do not rely solely on HRT.
We all start losing bone density from our late 30s and this accelerates during and after the menopause. Certain medications, diseases and lifestyle factors, such as smoking and heavy drinking, can put you at higher risk and it can also run in families.
Osteoporosis has no symptoms until you start getting fractures after only minor trauma and it can lead to the classic stooping posture of some elderly people due to fractures in the spine. Fractured hips after falling are a common cause for hospital admission in the elderly, often leading to loss of independence.
Lifestyle factors such as weight-bearing exercise and a good diet are important in helping with bone health but HRT can also significantly reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis. It is an effective first line treatment if you are diagnosed with osteopenia or osteoporosis under the age of 60.
Although these benefits can come from HRT there are a number of healthy lifestyle changes you can start to make right away, check out our guide on healthy living and the menopause for more.