Hormone Therapy (Estrogen Therapy, Estrogen/Progestin Therapy)

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

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Who should not take hormone therapy (HT)?

  • Contrary to common myth, women with high blood pressure that is controlled by medication can take hormone therapy (HT) because hormone therapy (HT) does not cause significant elevations in blood pressure. A major medical reason for not taking hormone therapy (HT) is a personal medical history of breast cancer or uterus cancer. Women with abnormal vaginal bleeding should have an evaluation prior to embarking on hormone therapy (HT) to exclude the presence of cancer of the uterus. Similarly, routine mammograms and breast examinations are important to exclude the presence of breast cancer.
  • While hormone therapy (HT) may be used in women with migraines or liver disease, certain types of hormone therapy (HT) (often a patch or vaginal form) may be chosen to try to avoid aggravating these conditions.
  • Women should not be taking hormone therapy (HT) to prevent heart disease, and should initiate hormone therapy (HT) only with caution if they already have been diagnosed with coronary artery disease (such as past heart attack), as hormone therapy (HT) may be increase the risk of heart attacks.
  • Women with a personal history of deep vein thrombosis (blood clots in the veins) should avoid hormone therapy (HT).
  • Women with phosopholipid antibodies, including cardiolipin antibodies or lupus anticoagulant, should not take HT because of the added risk of blood clotting and thrombosis.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/20/2015

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