In a woman’s life, sooner or later, there comes a time of menopause – a period when the reproductive function of the body is “turned off.” The climacteric is not easy for everyone, which is why there is hormone replacement therapy to help a female to get through this phase (HRT injections). Menopause in women is sharper and faster than in men: it lasts from three to five years. On average, it begins when a female reaches 50 years old. At this time, women can face different manifestations of the climacteric period, for example:
- hot flashes;
- profuse sweating;
- frequent mood swings for no reason;
- sleep disorders;
- the sharp appearance of wrinkles;
- feeling unwell/fatigue;
- general weakness;
- shortness of breath;
- frequent dizziness;
- weight gain;
- decreased libido;
- dryness and itching in the vagina;
- pain when urinating;
- absent-mindedness and forgetfulness.
Hormone replacement therapy exists to relieve the above-mentioned symptoms. During menopause, the level of progesterone and estrogen production in a woman’s body drops sharply. With the help of HRT, these hormones are introduced from the outside into oral (tablets), transdermal (subcutaneous implants), topical (creams), and in the form of hormone injections to normalize functions in the woman’s body.
What Are HRT Injections?
Hormone injections are one of the most effective HRT methods. This is due to the fact that the injection method allows estrogen to be absorbed very quickly. A woman literally the next day can begin to feel better, more often it takes 1-5 days.
The HRT injections successfully cope with all the typical symptoms of menopause caused by fluctuations in the level of hormones in the female body. For boosters, bio-identical hormones or synthetic ones can be used. Regardless of the type, HRT injections are given intramuscularly.
It is preferable that the manipulation is carried out by an experienced specialist since there is no ready-made serum for administration. The injectable form of conjugated estrogens is supplied as a powder that must be mixed with sterile water and injected into a muscle. The hormone injections are usually given by your doctor every 3-4 weeks. It is common practice to administer the full dose in one go, but there are exceptions. For example, if necessary to control vaginal bleeding, the GP may split one dose of the drug in half and give a second injection 6 to 12 hours after the first one.
Hormone Injection Therapy Memo
If the therapist gave the go-ahead for the woman to do the HRT injections herself, she should remember several important nuances, namely:
- powder and solution for preparing a shot cannot be stored in the bathroom;
- the packaging containing the product must be complete. If you find even a small gap in the original packaging, do not use the drug under any circumstances;
- use the needle and syringe only once and then place them in a puncture-resistant sharps container for disposal;
- be sure to prepare a hormone injection only when you are ready to do it. It is not permissible to use the HRT injection if it has changed color or there are incomprehensible particles in it.
Keep HRT Injection out of the reach of children and pets!
The attending physician of a menopausal woman should regularly check her condition and progress in treating her menopausal symptoms to determine if she needs to continue estrogen cure. Monthly, a female in the climacteric should independently examine the chest for the formation of breast lumps, and also regularly do mammography when taking HRT injections.
Contraindications To HRT Injections Therapy
The following conditions are undeniable contraindications to the use of HRT injections:
- the presence of an allergy to estrogen and its derivatives;
- predisposition to vaginal bleeding;
- heart disease of any severity;
- cancer of any nature (especially breast, uterine and endometrial cancer);
- pregnancy / lactation;
- liver problems;
- gallbladder disease;
- kidney disease;
- stomach diseases;
- frequent and prolonged headaches;
- unstable blood calcium levels;
- problems with the immune system.
Menopausal women must remember that hormone injections will bring them only additional health problems if they have diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol levels, or are overweight or smoke. They are contraindicated in therapy with estrogen and its derivatives.
Hormone Replacement Therapy Injections Side Effects
The manifestation of adverse reactions is a possible predicted outcome of taking any drug. This possibility is always indicated in the leaflets offered with the medicine. Despite this, the occurrence of negative reactions in a person to a particular remedy is individual and depends a lot on compliance with the recommendations given by the manufacturer regarding the intake of the medication. As for HRT injections, therapy with this agent may hypothetically lead to the following unwanted reactions:
- allergic skin rash and facial swelling;
- the occurrence of thickening in the mammary glands;
- blurred vision;
- chest pain;
- general malaise;
- nausea, vomiting;
- fluid retention leading to edema;
- stomach ache;
- severe headaches of an incomprehensible nature;
- unusual vaginal bleeding;
- yellowing of the eyes or skin;
- hair loss;
- increased hunger or thirst.
HRT Injections vs Pills
An important task for any medicine is to be in the right place at the right time. To do this, it must enter the body in a suitable form: tablet, capsule, suppository, powder, ointment, drops, or injection. Many patients are interested in what is more effective and better to use – HRT injections or tablets.
So, it is worth starting with the fact that both one and the other dosage forms contain the same active ingredient – estrogen. Dosage and method of taking the drug, of course, are different given. HRT injections begin to act faster due to the higher concentration, but they have one significant drawback – after all, no one will deny that injections are painful and scary.
Worldwide, there is a steady downward trend in the number of injections. Since injections are not only psychological discomfort but also a significant risk to health: a reaction at the shot site, the risk of infection, the likelihood of an unnecessary drug being injected by mistake, a puncture of a vessel, damage to the nerve trunks. Reputable experts agree that hormone injections should be given in a hospital. At home, it is better to give preference to tablets.
MtF HRT Injections
Estrogen injections are widely used and play a key role in transgender hormone therapy – feminizing MtF treatment. This therapy is the intake of hormones, focused on the desired change in secondary sexual characteristics.
Typically, treatment involves the use of estrogen, a female sex hormone responsible for feminizing a person and suppressing testosterone production. A synthetic form of estrogen that is intended to be artificially introduced into the body is called ethinyloestradiol (HRT injections). They begin to take it with minimal dosages, gradually increasing them under the supervision of a specialist. The therapy can be supplemented by taking anti-androgenic drugs – finasteride or cyproterone acetate.
The goal of hormone therapy for MtF transsexuals is to organize a safe gender change associated with the desired physical and psychological changes, as well as preparation for gender reassignment surgery. The therapy achieves the best effect when hormone injections are taken at a young age – up to 20 years.
HRT injections MtF therapy has a number of pronounced effects. Among them are:
- change in body hair.
- breast formation.
- decreased fertility and decreased sperm production.
- the decrease in the activity of the sebaceous and sweat glands.
- rebuilding muscle and adipose tissue.
- body odor changes.
- slow down of metabolism.
Hormone Injections’ Interaction With Other Drugs
You should always be very responsible when taking any medication. When it comes to hormonal medications, a menopausal woman should be very careful and attentive. Sometimes, it is unsafe to take certain medicines at the same time as they can interact and provoke the appearance of negative phenomena.
Before starting HRT injections therapy, it is vital to tell the doctor frankly about all the existing diseases and medicines that a female is taking to treat them. This includes prescription and over-the-counter vitamins and herbal products. It will not be superfluous to describe the components of the daily diet, since, for example, grapefruit juice negatively affects the absorption of the hormone injections.
HRT estrogen injections are one of the most effective ways to take hormone replacement therapy. The goal of this treatment is to reduce the frequency and intensity of menopausal symptoms, the most common of which are hot flashes, profuse night sweats, irritability, headaches, and vaginal dryness.
Hormone injections perfectly cope with the task of leveling these phenomena if the patient follows all the precautions and recommendations of the doctor. The main purpose of HRT injections is to establish such minimum-optimal levels of hormones in the blood, at which a therapeutic and prophylactic effect would actually be provided in menopausal disorders with minimal side effects of estrogens, especially in the endometrium and in the mammary glands. Excellent addition to hormone replacement therapy is lifestyle adjustment, proper nutrition, sports, and giving up bad habits, especially smoking. This will promote good results to appear.
🌸 How long does it take for HRT injections to kick in?
If you are using estrogen injection to treat hot flushes, your symptoms should improve within 1 to 5 days after you receive the injection. Tell your doctor if your symptoms do not improve during this time.
💉 How should these HRT injections be used?
HRT injections come as a liquid to inject into a muscle. These medications are usually injected by a healthcare professional once every 3 to 4 weeks.
⚡ What are the side effects of HRT injections?
HRT injections may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away: breast pain or, tenderness, upset stomach, vomiting, weight gain or loss, dizziness, nervousness, depression, irritability.
📲 What should I do if I forget a dose?
If you miss an appointment to receive a dose of estrogen injection, call your doctor as soon as possible.
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Thank you for such an informative article. It was also interesting to read how transgender people make the hormonal transition. You can talk about difficult things in simple terms. I would like to clarify some more details regarding injections with hormones. If I take medications, can I get these shots? Or is it preferable to finish the course of treatment first?