This assessment does not address Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) - compounded.It is addressed in a separate assessment. This assessment does not address testosterone therapy.
U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved manufactured products for hormone replacement therapy (HRT) have traditionally been used to treat the symptoms of menopause. Every woman experiences menopause differently. Some may not experience any noticeable effects at all. HRT is the replacement of estrogen or estrogen and progestin hormones. HRT consists of estrogen alone for women whose uterus has been removed or estrogen with progestin for women who still have their uterus.
Menopause is sometimes called “the change of life.” Natural menopause occurs when the ovaries gradually produce lower levels of estrogen and progesterone and the woman has her last menstrual period. It is considered complete when menstruation has stopped for one year. Surgical menopause occurs when both ovaries are surgically removed, and the production of estrogen stops immediately. Menopause may include symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, sleeplessness and vaginal dryness. Conditions such as weak bones and heart disease are more common in women postmenopause. Postmenopause is the term for all the years beyond menopause – either natural or surgical.
In addition to treating the symptoms of menopause, some research seems to indicate that HRT prevents bone fractures and colorectal cancer. Recent studies indicate that the risks of long-term estrogen with progestin outweigh the benefits for postmenopausal women. Women should discuss the options, risks and benefits of HRT with their health care provider.
Will I live longer if I take hormone replacement therapy?
No. This treatment will not lengthen your life. The risks involved with HRT need to be discussed with your health care provider to help you determine if the benefits outweigh the risks.
Will hormone replacement therapy improve my quality of life?
For some women, HRT may improve quality of life by minimizing symptoms of menopause. However, risks of stroke, blood clots and heart attack are increased.
Will hormone replacement therapy make my symptoms better?
For some women, HRT will improve menopausal symptoms. Talk with your health care provider to help you determine if the benefits outweigh the risks
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) in February of 2009 stated that “The decision of whether or not to take hormone therapy for menopausal symptoms is highly individualized based on a woman's health, risk factors, and personal wishes. There are a number of FDA-approved hormone therapy products available in a variety of formulations. ACOG advises women to talk with their doctor about both the benefits and risks of hormone therapy.”
According to the FDA:
Minor reported complications with estrogen and progestin therapy:
Major reported complications with estrogen and progestin therapy:
Major reported complications with estrogen-alone therapy:
Contraindications for hormone replacement therapy:
This assessment does not address bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) - compounded. It is addressed in a separate assessment. This assessment does not address testosterone therapy.
Prescription medications are available for the treatment of hot flashes and the prevention of osteoporosis and heart disease. Over the counter preparations are available to help vaginal dryness.
The cost of HRT depends on the type of therapy ordered by your physician.
The delivery of HRT can include oral tablets, patches, creams, injections or implantation pellets. Cost can vary from under $100 to over $1,000 per year.
Women are advised to discuss their treatment options, as well as the risks and benefits, of HRT with their health care provider.
The cost may or may not be covered by your health benefits plan.
The following are off-site links :
American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. (2009, February). ACOG reiterates stance on so-called "bioidentical" hormones. Retrieved March 5, 2013 from http://abmed.wordpress.com/2009/02/04/acog-reiterates-stance-on-so-called-bioidentical-hormones/.
National Cancer Institute. National Institutes of Health. (2011, December). Menopausal hormone therapy and cancer. Retrieved March 5, 2013 from http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/menopausal-hormones.
National Institute of Aging. National Institutes of Health. (2012, August). Hormones and menopause. Retrieved March 5, 2013 from http://www.nia.nih.gov/HealthInformation/Publications/hormones.htm.
National Institutes of Health (2007, April). NIH News. Effect of hormone therapy on risk of heart disease may vary by age and years since menopause. Retrieved March 5, 2013 from http://www.nih.gov/news/pr/apr2007/nhlbi-03.htm.
National Institutes of Health (2005, June). Facts about menopausal hormone replacement therapy. Retrieved March 5, 2013 from http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/women/pht_facts.pdf.
U. S. Food and Drug Administration. (2009, April). Center for Devices and Radiological Health. Questions and answers for estrogen and estrogen with progestin therapies for postmenopausal women (updated). Retrieved March 5, 2013 from http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/InformationbyDrugClass/ucm135339.htm
This document has been classified as public information.