Hormone Replacement Therapy
Hormone Replacement Therapy
- estrogen replacement therapy
What is the information for this topic?
Menopause Estrogen levels drop when women enter menopause or have their ovaries removed.
- painful intercourse, a condition known as dyspareunia
- hot flashes
- mood changes with irritability
- night sweats
- sleep disorders
- vaginal dryness
- short-term memory changes
- Estrogen use after menopause did not reduce a woman's risk for Alzheimer's disease, although women were not admitted into the study until they were at least 65 years of age which may have effected the results.
- HT did not slow the rate of long-term memory loss in women after menopause.
Perimenopause Perimenopause is the time when a woman may be having sporadic periods but has not yet reached menopause. Women are sometimes given oral birth control pills at this time. These medicines control irregular menstrual periods and symptoms of menopause. They typically contain both estrogen and progesterone at higher doses than are used in HT.
- decrease in LDL, which is also called the bad cholesterol
- decrease in total blood cholesterol
- increase in HDL, also known as the good cholesterol
- prevention of bone fractures in the hip and spine from osteoporosis
- relief of hot flashes and vaginal dryness
- slowing of bone loss and osteoporosis
- a slight decrease in colorectal cancer
- HT(ET) increases the risk of breast cancer slightly. There is no increased risk until after four years of consecutive use. Estrogen replacement therapy (ET) alone had been found to have no increased risk of breast cancer associated with its use according to the latest analysis of the Women's Health Initiative data.
- HT slightly increases a woman's risk for stroke and heart attack
- HT can increase a woman's risk for gallbladder disease.
- HT and ET can increase a woman's risk of blood clots, such as deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.
- If a woman still has her uterus, taking estrogen alone increases the risk of cancer of the uterus. Adding progesterone reduces her risk to that of women who do not take ET.
- Do nothing.
- Take birth control pills to control irregular periods during perimenopause.
- Take HT or ET during menopause to improve symptoms.
- Use natural alternatives to HT, such as foods high in phytoestrogens. These, however, have not been shown to provide the same degree of benefit in symptom and disease prevention as HT or ET.
- Use estrogen creams or tablets for vaginal dryness. These products do not help with other symptoms of menopause
Menopause, National Institute of Health, Age Page Health Information
Hormone Replacement Therapy, National Institute of Health, Age Page Health Information
National Institute of Aging Information Center, PO Box 8057, Githersburg, MD, 20898-8057