Alternatives Hormone replacement therapy is used to help balance estrogen and progesterone in women around the time of menopause. Also known as hormone therapy HT or menopausal hormone therapy MHThormone replacement therapy HRT can help relieve sweating, hot flashes, and other symptoms of menopause. It can also reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
Where can people get more information about MHT? What is menopausal hormone therapy? More information is available on the MedlinePlus Menopause page. MHT usually involves treatment with estrogen alone, estrogen plus progesterone, or estrogen plus progestin, which is a synthetic hormone with effects similar to those of progesterone.
Women who have had a hysterectomy are generally prescribed estrogen alone. Women who have not had this surgery are prescribed estrogen plus progestin, because estrogen alone is associated with an increased risk of endometrial cancerwhereas research has suggested that estrogen plus progestin may not be.
The hormones used in MHT come from a variety of plants and animals, or they can be made in a laboratory. FDA-approved products have undergone extensive testing and are produced under standardized conditions to ensure that every dose—whether in a pill, a skin patch, or a cream—contains the proper amount of the appropriate hormones.
Where does evidence about risks and benefits of MHT come from? More than 27, healthy women who were 50 to 79 years of age at the time of enrollment took part in the two trials.
Although both trials were stopped early in andrespectively when it was determined that both types of therapy were associated with specific Hormone replacement therapy risks, longer-term follow-up of the participants continues to provide new information about the health effects of MHT.
What are the benefits of menopausal hormone therapy?
Research from the WHI Estrogen-plus-Progestin study has shown that women taking combined hormone therapy had the following benefits: One-third fewer hip and vertebral fractures than women taking the placebo.
In absolute terms, this meant 10 fractures per 10, women per year who took hormone therapy compared with 15 fractures per 10, women per year who took the placebo 1. One-third lower risk of colorectal cancer than women taking the placebo.
In absolute terms, this meant 10 cases of colorectal cancer per 10, women per year who took hormone therapy compared with 16 cases of colorectal cancer per 10, women per year who took the placebo 1. However, a follow-up study found that neither benefit persisted after the study participants stopped taking combined hormone therapy medication 2.
Women taking estrogen alone experienced the following benefits: One-third lower risk for hip and vertebral fractures than women taking the placebo.
In absolute terms, this meant 11 hip and 11 vertebral fractures per 10, women per year who took estrogen compared with 17 hip and 17 vertebral fractures per 10, women per year who took the placebo 3. A 23 percent reduced risk of breast cancer than women taking the placebo. In absolute terms, this meant 26 cases of invasive breast cancer per 10, women per year who took estrogen compared with 33 cases of invasive breast cancer per 10, women per year who took the placebo 3.
What are the health risks of MHT?
Before the WHI studies began, it was known that MHT with estrogen alone increased the risk of endometrial cancer in women with an intact uterus. Use of estrogen plus progestin increased the risk of urinary incontinence 1. Use of estrogen plus progestin doubled the risk of developing dementia among postmenopausal women age 65 and older 5.
Stroke, blood clots, and heart attack.
Women who took either combined hormone therapy or estrogen alone had an increased risk of stroke, blood clots, and heart attack 13. For women in both groups, however, this risk returned to normal levels after they stopped taking the medication 24.
Women who took estrogen plus progestin were more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer 6. The breast cancers in these women were larger and more likely to have spread to the lymph nodes by the time they were diagnosed 6.
The number of breast cancers in this group of women increased with the length of time that they took the hormones and decreased after they stopped taking the hormones 7. These studies also showed that both combination and estrogen-alone hormone use made mammography less effective for the early detection of breast cancer 68.
Women taking hormones had more repeat mammograms to check on abnormalities found in a screening mammogram and more breast biopsies to determine whether abnormalities detected in mammograms were cancer 68. The rate of death from breast cancer among those taking estrogen plus progestin was 2.Menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) is a treatment that doctors may recommend to relieve common symptoms of menopause and to address long-term biological changes, such as bone loss, that result from declining levels of the natural hormones estrogen and progesterone in a woman’s body during and after the completion of menopause.
Menopausal hormone therapy (MHT)—also called postmenopausal hormone therapy and hormone replacement therapy—is a treatment that doctors may recommend to relieve common symptoms of menopause and to address long-term biological changes, such as .
Continued Estrogen/Progesterone/Progestin Hormone Therapy.
This is often called combination therapy, since it combines doses of estrogen and progestin, the synthetic form of progesterone. Hormone therapy (HT) is one of the government-approved treatments for relief of menopausal symptoms. These symptoms, caused by lower levels of estrogen at menopause, include hot flashes, sleep disturbances, and vaginal dryness.
Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) is safe, effective and can increase libido, energy, strength and decrease age-related symptoms. At some point, in the lives of both men and women, the endocrine glands fail to maintain adequate hormone levels.
Continued Estrogen/Progesterone/Progestin Hormone Therapy. This is often called combination therapy, since it combines doses of estrogen and progestin, the synthetic form of progesterone.