Hormone Replacement TherapyAlso called: ERT, Estrogen replacement therapy, HRT, Menopausal hormone therapy
Menopause is the time in a woman's life when her period stops. It is a normal part of aging. In the years before and during menopause, the levels of female hormones can go up and down. This can cause symptoms such as hot flashes and vaginal dryness. Some women take hormone replacement therapy (HRT), also called menopausal hormone therapy, to relieve these symptoms. HRT may also protect against osteoporosis.
However, HRT also has risks. It can increase your risk of breast cancer, heart disease, and stroke. Certain types of HRT have a higher risk, and each woman's own risks can vary depending upon her health history and lifestyle. You and your health care provider need to discuss the risks and benefits for you. If you do decide to take HRT, it should be the lowest dose that helps and for the shortest time needed. Taking hormones should be re-evaluated every six months.
NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
- Hormone Therapy (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) - PDF
- Hormone Therapy and Health Risks (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- Hormones and Menopause (National Institute on Aging)
- Menopausal Hormone Therapy and Cancer (National Cancer Institute) Available in Spanish
- Menopause (Food and Drug Administration)
- Menopause and Hormones (Food and Drug Administration) Available in Spanish
- Menopause: Hormone Replacement Therapy (American Academy of Family Physicians) Available in Spanish
Treatments and Therapies
- Menopausal Symptoms and Complementary Health Practices (National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health)
- Time to Talk: 4 Things to Know about Menopausal Symptoms and Complementary Health Practices (National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health)
- Bioidentical Hormones and Menopause (Hormone Health Network) - PDF Available in Spanish
- Hormone Replacement Therapy and Your Heart (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- Hormone Replacement Therapy: Can It Cause Vaginal Bleeding? (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- Is it Safe to Take Hormones to Treat Menopause Symptoms? (National Center for Farmworker Health, Consumers Union of U.S.) - PDF Available in Spanish
- Menopause: Medicines to Help You (Food and Drug Administration)
- What You Should Know about Hormone Therapy Health Risks and Benefits (North American Menopause Society) - PDF
- Menopausal Hormone Therapy for the Primary Prevention of Chronic Conditions (U.S. Preventive Services Task Force) - PDF
Statistics and Research
- Estrogen Therapy Has No Long-Term Effect on Cognition in Younger Postmenopausal Women (National Institute on Aging, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute)
- Menopausal Symptoms and Complementary Health Practices: What the Science Says (National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health)
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Hormone Replacement Therapy (National Institutes of Health)
Journal ArticlesReferences and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Menopausal hormone therapy: is it OK after all? Weighing symptom...
- Article: Vascular Effects of Early versus Late Postmenopausal Treatment with Estradiol.
- Article: Physical activity, hormone replacement therapy and breast cancer risk: A...
- Hormone Replacement Therapy -- see more articles
- Estrogen-progestin replacement therapy -- see more articles