Around the age of 55, women go through menopause and it is a natural part of aging. Since this can be a trying time in a female’s life, many of them have a difficult time adjusting to the emotional side effects of ever-changing moods and sentiment.
As a result, women tend to seek relief which may come in different forms such as from various vitamins, medications, supplements, and even menopausal hormone therapy. These methods can relieve them of the hot flashes and sweating that are a side effect of menopause. But little do these women know, menopausal hormone therapy may actually have negative adverse effects such as fecal incontinence.
Recent Studies on Menopausal Hormone Therapy
New data has emerged regarding the association of fecal incontinence and menopausal hormone therapy.
A group of 55,828 postmenopausal women with an average age of 73 were analyzed. The study discovered that “women who were past users of menopausal hormone therapy were about 26% more likely to develop incontinence (HR, 1.26) when compared to those who never used hormone therapy” (Source). In turn, more and more research is going into whether or not this treatment option is safe enough to suggest to patients.
The Risks Involved
Although hormone therapy (HT) is government-approved and designed to alleviate menopausal symptoms, it does come with some risks as well.
One of the biggest risks associated with HT is prolonged usage coupled with a high doses. The healthiest alternative would be to take the lowest dose for the shortest amount of time. Prolonged use of HT has been linked to fecal incontinence which may cause more downfalls than benefits for some.
Aside from the possibility of developing fecal incontinence as result of Menopausal Hormone Therapy, there are other significant risks such as: strokes, blood clots, heart attacks, and breast cancer.
“The longer you’re on hormone therapy, the higher your risk for fecal incontinence and the longer you’re off, the more that risk attenuates. I think this says to clinicians that they need to evaluate each time they see that patient whether she still needs to be on hormone therapy at that time”, states Dt. Staller, a neurogastroenterologist and motility specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston (Source).
If you are considering choosing menopausal hormone therapy as a way of regulating your symptoms, it may be worth reconsidering. Weighing the pros and cons of this alternative will help you to better understand whether or not menopausal hormone therapy is right for you.