Ask the Nurse

My sister is on hormone replacement therapy. I’m not sure if I should consider it. What are the pros and cons?

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is a treatment involving estrogen and progestin (a synthetic form of progesterone) that women take to relieve the symptoms of menopause. Taking hormone replacement therapy can also reduce a woman’s risk for osteoporosis and other conditions that become more common after menopause.

For many women, the benefits of hormone replacement therapy appear to outweigh the risks. Hormone replacement therapy is the best treatment for menopausal symptoms and for preventing menopause-associated bone loss. However, hormone replacement therapy may increase the risk of blood clots and gallbladder problems in some women. Short-term hormone therapy does not increase the risk of breast cancer; the risk of breast cancer associated with long-term hormone replacement therapy is still actively being studied.

Today, the use of hormone replacement therapy is highly individualized. Your physician will examine you and ask about your health history, your family health history and your symptoms to determine if you are a candidate. He or she will then discuss the safest route of treatment for you, based on your history and exam.

All My Best,
Speaking of Women's Health Nurse

May 3, 2012 at 3:26pm