- Hormone therapy facts
- What is menopause?
- Does menopause cause bone loss?
- What are estrogen therapy and hormone therapy (HT)?
- What are the side effects and risks of hormone therapy (HT)?
- How is hormone therapy (HT) prescribed?
- Who should take hormone therapy (HT)?
- Who should not take hormone therapy (HT)?
- What medical checkups are advised for women on hormone therapy (HT)?
- What if a woman decides against hormone therapy (HT)?
Quick GuideWhat to Expect During Menopause as You Age
What medical checkups are advised for women on hormone therapy (HT)?
All women receiving hormone therapy (HT) should undergo a medical checkup every year. At that time, the doctor or nurse will perform a breast exam and order a mammogram (a special X-ray picture of the breasts) to check for masses in the breasts that might possibly be cancer. At, or even prior to these check-ups, a woman should discuss her bleeding pattern with her physician to be sure it is within the expected pattern for her specific type of hormone therapy (HT). Other routine screening evaluations may also be performed at this annual check-up.
What if a woman decides against hormone therapy (HT)?
If a woman decides against hormone therapy (HT), there are other methods to deal with the symptoms of menopause. Although hormone therapy (HT) is by far superior to other medications in relieving hot flashes, other prescription non-hormonal medications can also reduce hot flashes. Likewise, personal lubrication products such as a water-soluble jelly (not petroleum jelly) can be applied to the vagina to reduce dryness.
A woman may also want to ask her doctor about non-hormonal prescription osteoporosis medications These new treatments appear safe and effective in preventing fractures.
Medically reviewed by Steven Nelson, MD; Board Certified Obstetrics and Gynecology
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists