Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) – Questions to ask your doctor.

If my doctor suggested hormone replacement therapy for menopause (HRT), what questions would I ask about my hormones and Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) to understand the risks? Is there any alternative?

Some HRT FAQs to consider:

  1. because I am in menopause will my years to live be reduced if I take Hormone replacement therapy?
  2. can I start doing things that will increase my oestrogen levels?
  3. doesn’t oestrogen still get produced in other parts of my body? like adrenals and from fat cells?
  4. most importantly, will the HRT (hormone replacement therapy) improve my oestrogen levels? and will I get periods again?
  5. and will the HRT reduce the hot flushes, night sweats and vaginal dryness
  6. will this medication include progesterone?
  7. if one hormone is low and the other not, what affects does the treatment have on the other?
  8. will the meds improve or extend my life?
  9. will HRT save me from heart disease or any other known late life illnesses? like dementia?
  10. because I’ve had one of my ovaries removed – my question; is this known to impede my living to a grand old age?
  11. do I need to take anything other than the oestrogen to protect against uterine cancer?
  12. what other risks are there?
  13. I’ve heard about cancer risks? breast and colon cancer? what are my chances here?
  14. is there anything I can do more specifically? like use a vaginal cream for dryness and not take a pill, to avoid some of the side effects I asked about before?
  15. will HRT (hormone replacement therapy) affect my body weight?
  16. how will the treatment affect my bones?
  17. can I improve my diet to look after my bones? or should I take other forms of treatment for this, like tea?
  18. what about weight training? my question is; does it strengthen bones?
  19. how long do I have to take these drugs – 2 years or 10 years?
  20. does my family history matter with using HRT?
  21. If I have liver disease, should I take HRT (hormone replacement therapy)? or drink tea
  22. besides that, does my own health history matter if I decide to take HRT?
  23. what is the oestrogen made from? horses’ estrogen?
  24. if I eat foods like soy will that improve my symptoms and overall outcome?
  25. more importantly, rather than HRT medication can I try alternative, like homeopathy? 
  26. or herbs, like Cohosh, hops or wild yam
  27. I’m not on any other medication, but if I need, how will this HRT be affected?

thank you