Hormone therapy (HT) uses one or more female hormones, commonly estrogen and progestin and sometimes testosterone, to treat symptoms of
Symptoms of menopause include hot flashes, vaginal dryness, mood swings, sleep disorders, and decreased sexual desire. Hormone therapy comes as a pill, patch, injection, vaginal cream, tablet, or ring.
HRT; Estrogen replacement therapy; ERT; Hormone replacement therapy
Hormone therapy may help relieve some of the bothersome symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness and pain with intercourse. The hormone estrogen protects against thinning of the bones (
However, taking hormones may also increase your risk for:
Blood clots Breast cancer Heart disease Stroke
You and your doctor should decide whether hormone therapy is right for you. The key is to weigh the risks of taking hormone therapy against the benefits that you might have from taking these hormones. Every woman is different. Your doctor should be aware of your entire medical history before prescribing hormone therapy.
At this time, short-term use (up to 5 years) of hormone therapy at the lowest possible dose to treat the symptoms of menopause still appears to be safe for many women.
BENEFITS OF HORMONE THERAPY
Perhaps the largest benefit women receive from hormone therapy is relief from:
Review Date: 09/11/2010
Reviewed By: Susan Storck, MD, FACOG, Chief, Eastside Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound, Bellevue, Washington; Clinical Teaching Faculty, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.