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HRT - hormone replacement therapy

Women going through menopause sometimes resort to hormonereplacement therapy (HRT) to reduce the symptoms of this condition, which involves taking a combination of estrogen and progesterone hormones in the formof tablets, skin patches or gel to restore their balance in the body. HRTimplants are also available, but as they only contain estrogen, progesteroneneeds to be taken as well.

Description

HRT implants are the small pellets releasing estrogen into thebloodstream, as they dissolve after being inserted under the skin of a buttock,thigh or abdomen. This implant needs to be replaced every 2 to 12 monthsdepending on the amount of hormone it contains. Some women find implants more practical than gels, patchesor tablets, since they do not have to worry about taking them every day.

Disadvantages

One downside of HRT implants is that they are virtuallyimpossible to remove, which can be a problem to women who discover that theimplant does not suit them. Frequent implant replacement makes the implant effects lastshorter causing the symptoms of menopause to reappear 2-3 months after implantinsertion. Even when they stop wearing implants, women who takeprogesterone must continue its use up to the point when their bleeding finallyceases, which can go on for the next two years.

Side effects

HRT implant insertion is a common and safe procedure.Nevertheless, women who decide on this option should bear in mind the potentialside effects. Not all women will experience them, and even those who dowill find them to be temporary. Once the HRT implant is inserted, women may suffer fromnausea, headaches, tender breasts, cramps in the legs and accumulation of fluidin the tissue that can lead to swelling. These side effects usually takeseveral months to disappear.

Having an HRT implant does not cause the woman to gainweight. However, estrogen can increase the risk of a stroke, breastor ovarian cancer or the formation of blood clots. Although these outcomes arenot very likely, they should be discussed with the doctor before opting forthis kind of treatment, which should be reviewed on a yearly basis. Women in HRT are advised to have their breasts checkedregularly.

Complications

After the procedure, some women may find that the implant sitehas been bruised. The infection may occur at the implant site in extremely rarecases. As the scar tissue begins to form in the place where theimplant has been inserted, some women may feel a thickening under skin surface.

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