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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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

REFERENCES:

"Hormone therapy"
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/20/2015

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