Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)

Hormone replacement therapy is also known as menopausal or postmenopausal hormone therapy. It is one of the approved treatments for the relief of symptoms caused by menopause. Because of the lower levels of estrogen, many symptoms of menopause include sleep disturbances, hot flashes and vaginal dryness.

Hormone therapy is medication that contains female hormones. It also can prevent bone loss and reduce fracture in menopausal women.

When talking to your doctor about hormone replacement therapy you will need to discuss the different types offered, the correct dosage, how long you will take medication and all the health risks, which could affect you. Also, discuss your individual symptoms with your doctor.

The two most popular types of hormone replacement therapy are systematic hormone therapy and low dose vaginal products. Systematic hormone therapy is systematic estrogen, meaning it goes throughout your entire body, which can come in the form of a pill, ring, gel, cream and is used to treat any common symptoms of menopause. Low-dose vaginal products can come in a tablet, ring or cream form and minimizes the amount of estrogen your body absorbs.

Some risks of hormone replacement therapy can include stroke, heart disease, breast cancer or blood clots. However, these risks depend on age, health history and type of hormone therapy.

Benefits can outweigh the risks if you’re healthy but suffer from moderate to severe hot flashes, need help preventing bone loss or fracture or experience early menopause.

Hormone therapy is also used in the LGBTQ+ population. If you are questioning your gender, consider an appointment with Carrie Thonen, APRN, with UofL Physicians – Urogynecology Associates.

Talk to your doctor about strategies to reduce risk, and if hormone replacement therapy is right for you.

Are you looking for a gynecology provider? Call UofL Physicians – OB/GYN & Women’s Health at 502-588-4400 or call UofL Physicians – Urogynecology Associates at 502-977-5907.

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Article by: Carrie Thonen, APRN

Carrie Thonen, APRN, earned her bachelor's degree in nursing at Western Kentucky University. She went on to obtain her master's degree from the University of Colorado - Anshutz Medical Campus. At UofL Health Carrie's areas of interest include endocrinology - female hormone management and vulvar/genital dermatology. She specializes in urogynecology, female pelvic medicine & reconstructive surgery and women’s Health. "The mission to my work has always been to keep women healthy. If a woman is well, then she can better take care of her family and her community. Thriving women are essential to a healthy society. I strive to provide all of my patients with the highest quality of women's health care so they can live their best lives."

All posts by Carrie Thonen, APRN
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