What are Side Effects of Hormone Therapy in Women?

Hormone therapy side effects in women are varied. If you are on hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or looking into starting it, you’ll definitely want to be aware of possible side effects. Of course, every woman is different. Your system is unique. And your response will be, too. Make a note of this list of hormone therapy side effects to stay in the know.

What are the Top 5 Hormone Therapy Side Effects to Look For?


Digestive changes in your body are one of the most reported hormone therapy side effects. As your body gets adjusted you may find any number of changes in your gut. Remember, hormones play an important role in so many bodily functions. Digestion makes that list. You may encounter new bouts of constipation. Or, the opposite might have you hitting the bathroom nonstop. Diarrhea. Both of these should subside within a few weeks as you get adjusted. Give your gut TLC if you notice a lot of new indigestion in the first weeks of HRT. Usually simple over-the-counter remedies are fine to handle this change. If you notice nausea, don’t be alarmed. Nausea is another highly reported hormone therapy side effect.

Be sure to bring up any digestion changes with Dr. Russo that last more than 2 weeks.


Changes to your appetite are another HRT side effect many women have reported. First, weight gain can become a concern as your appetite goes up. For some women, this is not a big deal. But for others, they find themselves back to the doctor with extra pounds that limit their activities. On the flip side, your system may react to your new HRT with a lower appetite. Be aware of this as you can drop too much weight. Both weight gain and weight loss in excess can be unhealthy. So, be sure to report any significant changes in appetite to your HRT provider.


Swelling and bloating are two common side effects of HRT in women. First, breast swelling is common. You may even find you go up a cup size for a time. Also, the girls may be more sensitive to touch and tender. Other areas of the body may go through some swelling and bloating, too. Don’t be alarmed unless bloating and/or swelling lasts more than a few weeks or significantly hinders your activities. These side effects should go away once your body adjusts.

Breast swelling and tenderness are common side effects of HRT.


Depending on your dose of hormones you may have more headaches than you’re used to. If you were particularly low on estrogen you may have headaches as your body works to absorb the appropriate amounts. It’s usually just fine to put these to rest with over-the-counter ibuprofen or acetaminophen. As always, run your concerns by Dr. Russo to be sure. She’ll steer you in the safest direction based on your needs.

Vaginal Bleeding

If you see spotting or heavier bleeding know that this is a common side effect, too. Any vaginal spotting or bleeding should be reported to Dr. Russo for appropriate evaluation and treatment.  Even if you’ve stopped your cycle with menopause you may still spot with HRT. It will go away after a few weeks. If it doesn’t, seek Dr. Russo’s guidance.

Hormone replacement therapy supplements what your body is missing. With that, some side effects can be expected. BioTE® bio-identical hormone replacement therapy gives your body what it needs with fewer side effects.

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