Studies show that the number of people seeking natural hormone replacement therapy has increased dramatically over the last decade. While many people seek HRT for gender dysphoria, others seek the treatment to help adjust hormone imbalances.
However, HRT is not without controversy, and many myths still penetrate the field. If you’re curious to learn more about HRT and the truth behind the treatment, we’re happy to help. Read on for five common myths about HRT and whether they’re true.
1. Hormone Replacement Therapy Can Cause Stroke and Breast Cancer
One common myth that you hear repeated is that HRT can cause breast cancer or stroke in the patient. Some say that different types of HRT will cause the threats more often. Others say that HRT will cause a hormone imbalance, leading to cancers.
However, there are no studies to support this claim. Some follow the first HRT studies, which were conducted on women who had already undergone menopause.
Women will frequently suffer a hormone deficiency as a result of menopause. As such, women in such a situation commonly enroll in HRT. One of the first studies showed many of these women were suffering from medical issues that were not caused by HRT.
As a result, many believed that HRT was to blame for their ailments. Today, we understand that HRT is safe for most women in both the long and short term. It is unsafe for people who may have medical predispositions that HRT could worsen, but this is uncommon.
2. HRT Hormones Are Made From Horse Urine
In its earliest form, HRT hormones were truly made from horse urine. Many found these hormones to be a great fix for low testosterone, but many others were put off by their source.
These hormones were synthesized from the urine of mares. While the misconception that these hormones were pure horse urine exists, this was never true. The hormones used were not a match for our hormonal structure.
Nowadays, we have different sources of hormones. Today’s hormones are “bioidentical HRT,” often shortened to BHRT.
These hormones are sourced from plants instead of animals. The structures are synthesized to be identical to the hormones our body produces. Due to this, our body reacts to them as if we produced them naturally.
In short, the first HRT hormones were made from horse urine, but that is no longer the case. While this myth still appears, it’s no longer true.
3. There Are No Benefits to HRT
Some people truly believe that there are no benefits to HRT. Among the many myths, this is one that most people find somewhat outlandish. If there were no benefits to HRT, why would people have become interested in the first place?
One factor is that a hormone imbalance is natural, and therefore good. Using HRT to fix this imbalance is sometimes seen as doing harm. If something is natural, isn’t it therefore good?
Low testosterone is natural, but testosterone boosters will help alleviate the symptoms. Without these boosters, people may suffer impotence, depression, mood swings, a lack of energy, and more.
Cancer is also natural, but most will wholeheartedly agree that it isn’t good. Menopause is natural, but the massive number of consequences from the hormone imbalance still shouldn’t be suffered.
There are countless benefits to HRT, both in the form of fixing hormonal imbalances and adjusting to new identities. Some of the many benefits of HRT include:
- Improvements in sleep
- Higher levels of energy and brighter moods
- Healthier, softer skin
- Stronger bones and hair, as well as thicker and fuller hair
- Increased libido and sex drive
- Better vaginal lubrication
- Improvements against erectile dysfunction
Others believe that HRT is only useful in select cases. It’s useful for a man to use testosterone boosters to fix low testosterone, but not for women to undergo HRT to battle menopause. Some believe HRT’s only place is in helping transgender individuals adjust their hormones.
Hormone therapy is useful for all genders, races, sexualities, and walks of life. Anyone can suffer from a hormone deficiency or imbalance. As such, anyone can benefit from hormone therapy.
4. Only One Form of HRT Exists
In its early days, HRT was not as fleshed out as it is now. As such, some believe that HRT still only has one form.
Some say that HRT can only be taken orally, as other methods are ineffective or experimental. It’s also common to say that a single chemical HRT exists and that it’s marketed under different names.
HRT can be delivered in transdermal methods now, similar to insulin. These formulations are sometimes seen as more effective, but it depends on the patient.
Additionally, HRT exists in more than 50 types. Some of the newer forms contain progesterone, estradiol, and other hormones that our bodies need.
You can find HRT in transdermal, oral, or topical applications. These forms are used for different purposes, such as topical applications being best for vaginal estrogen.
5. HRT Increases Risk of Heart Disease
Finally, a common myth is that HRT increases our risk of heart disease. The myth is false and comes from skewed data in HRT’s earliest studies.
In 2002, a WHI study was done that included a high number of participants over the age of 60. Roughly 70% of the survey was made up of these participants, who had already undergone menopause.
Due to their age, these participants were at a higher risk of stroke, heart disease, cancer, and other ailments. However, as they were part of the WHI study, these ailments were seen as part of HRT.
To summarize: HRT does not cause or increase our risk of heart disease. The myth comes from a skewed survey. Less skewed surveys do not support this myth.
Ignore These Common Myths About Natural Hormone Replacement Therapy
The many myths surrounding natural hormone replacement therapy can seem threatening. It’s best to do thorough research from many different sources to get a full view. As for these five myths, you can rest assured that they have been thoroughly debunked.
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