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Hormone replacement therapy (or HRT) is an umbrella term for any medical therapy that involves the administering of hormones. Women may be prescribed HRT to boost naturally occurring hormone levels during menopause, when hormone levels can fluctuate. HRT therapy can also be used to substitute one hormone as therapy for transgender, transexual or sometimes intersex people.
For menopausal women, HRT has been shown to increase sex drive and can improve some of the symptoms of menopause that can decrease sexual pleasure, such as vaginal dryness. However, this treatment is controversial because of a number of side effects. It also treats menopause, a natural process of aging, as a disease. Many menopausal and post-menopausal women still enjoy satisfying sex lives without HRT as well.
Hormone replacement therapy is often thought of as synonymous with menopause when in actuality there are several reasons one may receive it. Hormone levels can become unbalanced at any point in life making HRT a good choice. HRT is also often a step in the transition process for transgender people. Finally, in the case of men with low testosterone levels HRT may also be administered.