Does HRT make you look younger?
6th April 2020
Any woman who has been through it can tell you that the menopause is no picnic in the park. Not only does it cause hot flushes, mood swings and low sex drive, but it also signals the end of a woman’s reproductive years and can therefore leave women feeling older and unhappy about it.
When it comes to the unpleasant symptoms, that’s where hormone replacement therapy comes in. But does HRT also have the power to make you look younger?
Does HRT make you look younger?
How old a person looks or feels can be determined by a number of factors - is it hair colour, weight, energy levels? HRT is not a magical, fountain-of-youth style potion, but it can have an effect on a number of these things and contribute to a woman’s vitality.
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is a range of treatments for the menopause and these come in the form of tablets or patches and contain either oestrogen or oestrogen and progestogen. These are both female sex hormones and they play a vital role in a number of bodily functions.
As a woman approaches menopause, these natural levels begin to fall and the HRT is designed to replenish these. This can have an effect on a wide range of things:
Sexual function and sex drive
It’s probably not surprising that sex hormones are responsible for sex, but it may intrigue you as to the role that sex plays in how young you feel. Not only do most men and women find that their libido gradually decreases as they age, but women can also experience vaginal dryness, which can leave sex feeling uncomfortable or even painful.
Oestrogen is responsible for the natural lubrication of the vagina so if you’re experiencing vaginal dryness, then low oestrogen levels are the likely cause. A lubricating cream or gel such as Vagisil may help, but HRT will boost these levels at the source and can help you to want (and more importantly, enjoy) sex again.
Skin, hair and nails
Not only is oestrogen linked to sex, it’s also a vital component in the rest of the way that your body functions. Having healthy levels of oestrogen prevents a decrease in your levels of collage; a substance that protects the skin and keeps it looking elastic and hydrated.
This is why your skin can become thinner and more wrinkled as you age, and your hair can become thinner or lose pigmentation. Women tend to notice that their hair is at its thickest and fullest when their oestrogen levels are high (whether this is naturally or with HRT).
Ageing is both a physical and mental process, as well as an internal and external one. Something that can make us look youthful is our bodies, which can be leaner and more muscular when we’re younger.
As women age, they often find that their body changes and their fat distribution can be skewed towards being stored on the lower stomach. At the same time, muscles can become weaker as oestrogen decreases, as this has restorative and protective properties. So keeping those oestrogen levels healthy can help you to maintain your youthful body type.
Ageing is as much about how old you feel as it is how old you look and this can be largely down to things like energy levels. Not only can the menopause leave you feeling fatigued (due to mood swings, headaches and disturbed sleep) but it can also affect your metabolism and accelerate weight gain.
Taking HRT can not only help you get a better night’s sleep (by treating some possible symptoms that may be keeping you awake) but it can also give you more energy to enjoy the lifestyle of your younger self.
So does HRT make you look younger?
While HRT won’t rewind the clock, it can significantly slow the ageing process down by allowing your body to maintain things like skin elasticity and muscle tone. Not only that, but HRT can make you feel younger by restoring your sex drive and energy levels.