The advancements in the medical and health sector have continually provided pharmacological interventions for various health issues that had previously remained unresolved. This is especially in relation to the aspects of hormonal changes that occur with advancement of age. One of the major achievements in the pharmacological inventions is the introduction and adoption of hormone replacement therapy (HRT). HRT while not being a conventional technique has gained popularity in its claim as a primary method that can be utilized in the treatment of menopause symptoms and related health issues (Hickey, Elliott & Davison, 2012). The benefits of HRT range from its ability to improve and manage depressive and mood symptoms in the short term, improving the quality of life and sleep in symptomatic women and the reduction of pain and muscle aches, prevention of bone loss which is a precedent for osteoporosis, reduced risk of colon cancer and reduced risk of loss of vision due to macular degeneration (Ghosh, Rodriguez-Garcia & Wira, 2014).
Despite these many benefits that HRT offer to the patient population and particularly women in their early menopause, the HRT has been mentioned to have various risk factors. These include the increased risk of stroke, blood clots, elevated blood pressure levels, breast cancer as well as endometrial cancer for women who still have a uterus and are probably not taking the recommended progesterone with estrogen (Hickey, Elliott & Davison, 2012).
In making decisions on the use of therapy, especially when the patient requests for the prescription, it is important that the physician or the primary care provider discuss with the patient on the risks involved and further determine from a medical perspective whether the use of HRT would help the patient overcome the health issues or pose further harm on their health. it is important to determine the medical necessary if the procedure before the primary care provider approves of this prescription. The decisions should be based on the patient’s past medical history as well as the family history (Schierbeck et al., 2012).
For those patients with hormonal deficiency, I would seek to ascertain the level of pain and discomfort that the patient is facing in relation to the symptoms associated with menopause. In case the level of pain and discomfort is significantly high, I would prescribe the HRT in the short term and then gradually integrate and replace the HRT with alternative non-pharmacological self-care behaviors. Such would include regular exercise and physical activity, staying cool in the evenings or at night with loose clothing, managing stress and depression through increased social activity as well as dietary planning such as cutting down on caffeine, smoking, spicy foods and alcohol (Alexander et al., 2014). These would be the ultimate long term solutions with minimal health risks or side effects as compared to HRT.
Alexander, J. L., Burger, H., Dennerstein, L., Woods, N. F., Davis, S. R., Kotz, K., & Kessel, B. (2014). Treatment of vasomotor symptoms in the menopausal transition and postmenopausally: psychiatric comorbidity. Expert review of neurotherapeutics.
Ghosh, M., Rodriguez-Garcia, M., & Wira, C. R. (2014). The immune system in menopause: pros and cons of hormone therapy. The Journal of steroid biochemistry and molecular biology, 142, 171-175.
Hickey, M., Elliott, J., & Davison, S. L. (2012). Hormone replacement therapy. BMJ, 344, e763.
Schierbeck, L. L., Rejnmark, L., Tofteng, C. L., Stilgren, L., Eiken, P., Mosekilde, L., & Jensen, J. E. B. (2012). Effect of hormone replacement therapy on cardiovascular events in recently postmenopausal women: randomised trial. Bmj, 345, e6409.