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Menopause (cont.)

What about hormone therapy (HT) or estrogen therapy (ET) for to treat menopausal symptoms?

Estrogens or a combination of estrogens and progesterone (progestin)

Long-term studies of women receiving combined HT with estrogen and progesterone showed an increased risk for heart attack, stroke, and breast cancer when compared with women who did not receive HT. Studies of women taking estrogen therapy alone showed that estrogen was associated with an increased risk for stroke, but not for heart attack or breast cancer. Estrogen therapy alone, however, is associated with an increased risk of developing endometrial cancer (cancer of the lining of the uterus).

More recently, studies have suggested that the cardiovascular risks associated with hormone therapy may be more relevant for older postmenopausal women rather than those in the perimenopause or early postmenopausal period. The decision regarding hormone therapy, therefore, should be individualized by each woman and her healthcare professional based on her medical history, the severity of the symptoms, and the potential risks and benefits of hormone administration.

Estrogen is available in a variety of forms, including vaginal creams, tablets, and estrogen vaginal rings (for example, Estring), which are mainly useful for vaginal symptoms; skin patches (Vivelle, Climara, Estraderm, Esclim, Alora); transdermal sprays or gels (for example, Evamist); and oral tablets.

Women should undergo a breast exam and mammogram prior to starting estrogen. Once on estrogen, women must be monitored regularly with breast exams and mammograms.

Women who already have heart disease should not use estrogen.

Estrogen therapy does not prevent pregnancy.

Women who take estrogen also tend to have a higher risk of developing:

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 1/8/2016

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The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Menopause:

Menopause - Symptoms

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Menopause - Experience

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Menopause - Experience

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Menopause - Symptoms

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Menopause - Lifestyle Changes

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Menopause - Hormone Therapy

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