The Role of Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) in Depression and Anxiety

Can HRT Affect Depression and Anxiety?

 Menopause marks an important biological benchmark; it's the measure of womanhood that signals the end of an era, more so, the end of a fertile era. Around their early 40's into their 50's, women lose their ability to ovulate. Their ovaries stagger and reduce the production of critical hormones FSH and LH. Follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone are instrumental in the regulation of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone, which are all fundamental in menstruation. 

What accompanies menopause, aside from irregular menstruation, are a plethora of symptoms such as vaginal dryness, hot flashes, sleep irregularities, lowered libido, anxiety, and depression. The latter two symptoms described aren't a guarantee for all women going through menopause. However, while we can assume that menopause is one of those certainties in life, the symptoms of depression and anxiety are experienced by some but not all. It's these symptoms, though, that can be some of the more disruptive and debilitating towards women going through this transition in their lives. The added symptoms of depression and anxieties worsen an already challenging change in a woman's life. Given the surmountable difficulties, scientists have studied ways to alleviate and cure these symptoms. One such promising field of research has been that of hormone replacement therapy.

In a study conducted at Harvard, researchers looked at perimenopausal and menopausal women suffering from depressive and anxious symptoms. They concluded that HRT has an impact on dispelling these symptoms. Within their study, 172 menopausal women ranging in age from 45-60 described low-levels of depression. Half of the women were given skin patches that administered the hormone estradiol as well as intermittent progesterone pills. The control group was assigned placebo patches and pills that had no actual hormones. At the beginning of the trial, the women were asked to evaluate their depressive levels using the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression scale. Over 12 months, the researchers continued to interview and assess the women's' depressive levels with the same scale. The results showed that only 17% of the 86 women in the experimental group (those given HRT) had developed clinically significant levels of depression. In contrast, the control group reported that 32% of women had developed clinical depression.  

So while HRT has been effective in reducing the proportion of women affected by mood symptoms from 1 in 3 women to 1 in 6 women, it also has other considerable alleviating benefits towards other symptoms like libido and hot flashes. 
 It can't be stressed enough how important our bodies operate on balanced hormone levels. When hormones are altered or adjusted, our bodies must compensate for these drastic changes, and more often than not, our bodies react adversely. Through advancements in medicine, options like HRT can problem-solve some of our most complex, but fundamental, biological systems. Vitality Aesthetic & Regenerative Medicine provides hormone replacement therapy for men and women after carefully evaluating full panel bloodwork. For more information regarding hormone therapy and all that Vitality Aesthetic & Regenerative Medicine has to offer, please visit our website: