Information about Hormone Therapy

The issue of internal secretion medical care to treat biological time symptoms accustomed to being an easy one. You had hot flashes, sleep disturbances, vaginal changes— you took hormones. Worried about your bones and heart— you took hormones.

All that changed, of course, in the summer of 2002 with the announcement of the results of part of the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI), the first-ever, long-term study of the effects of hormone therapy (HT) on postmenopausal women. One of the study’s main goals was to analyze whether or not using estrogen (Premarin) or {estrogen| estrogen |steroid internal secretion|steroid|sex hormone} and progestogen (Prempro) as a part of a hormone medical care program might forestall coronary cardiopathy in healthy ladies between the ages of fifty to seventy-nine. The investigators selected these 2 internal secretion products to check, as a result of at the time they were the most-used variety of internal secretion medical care. Researchers suddenly finished the Prempro arm 3 years early, as a result of initial results showed the associate augmented risk of carcinoma, cardiopathy, blood clots in the lungs, and stroke in women taking hormone therapy.

You know what happened next— millions of girls terrified, ditched their internal secretion medical care, and frantically hunted for choices. A couple of years later, when the estrogen-only (Premarin) arm of the WHI found an increased incidence of stroke in women on the drug with no cardiovascular benefits, it seemed that internal secretion medical care as a treatment for biological time symptoms would go the approach of the character-at-a-time printer.

But don’t write off estrogen therapy yet. As researchers looked more closely at the WHI results, they found the data wasn’t as dire as first presented. Experts note that the WHI study enclosed ladies UN agency were over ten years older (average age 64) than the common internal secretion medical care user. And, in fact, a 2006 publication supported information from the long-running Nurse’s Health Study found that ladies UN agency started internal secretion medical care before long when climacteric reduced their risk of coronary heart disease 30 percent.

Plus, the risks identified in the WHI and a similar study called the Heart and Estrogen/progestin Replacement Study (HERS) were actually quite small, a message that finally began resonating with women and their doctors. Basically, of 10,000 ladies taking Prempro, over the course of one year, 23 additional women would develop dementia, eight more would have blood clots in the lung, strokes, or breast cancer, and seven more would have heart attacks or other coronary events, than women not taking Prempro. And don’t forget the study’s smart news: Over the course of a year, those 10,000 women taking Prempro would have five fewer hip fractures and six fewer incidences of colon cancer.

Further analysis of the information, announced in April 2006, revealed that women taking estrogen-only therapy (ET) had no increased risk of breast cancer. Estrogen-only medical care is often given solely to ladies UN agency not have a womb.

However, a 2010 update of the WHI study, using 11 years of follow-up, showed that breast cancer had spread to the lymph nodes at a significantly higher rate in women taking the combined estrogen-progestin hormone therapy than in nonusers. One piece of excellent news is that the risks related to internal secretion medical care apply solely to ladies UN agency square measure presently taking or UN agency have recently taken combined internal secretion medical care. Once you stop taking internal secretion medical care, your carcinoma risk drops to it of the overall population (if you’ve got no alternative risk factors).

Confused? Don’t be. Here are the basics you need to know based on an extensive evaluation of existing data by the North American Menopause Society (NAMS):

  • The primary reason to use hormone therapy— whether estrogen alone (for women without a uterus) or estrogen plus progesterone (for women with a uterus)— is for treatment of moderate to severe menopause symptoms, primarily hot flashes, sleep disturbances from night sweats and vaginal changes. HT has no significant impact on general health or quality of life factors, such as energy, mental health, symptoms of depression, or sexual satisfaction.
  • If you use HT, start at the lowest dose for the shortest amount of time needed to gain relief. NAMS recommends the combined estrogen-progestin therapy not be used longer than three to five years, but because estrogen-only therapy carries fewer risks, it can be used for longer durations.
  • If you have had blood clots, heart disease, stroke, or breast cancer, your health care provider may not recommend HT.
  • In most healthy women below age 60, HT will not increase your risk of heart disease, though studies also have shown that HT does not help women with heart disease and may make existing heart conditions worse. (Some research shows that ET may decrease the risk of heart disease when taken early in the postmenopausal years; the study is continuing.)
  • Talk with your health care professional about the appropriate form of hormone therapy for your symptoms. For instance, if your primary symptom is vaginal dryness, then a vaginal form of estrogens, such as a pill inserted into the vagina or a cream, might be best.
  • Hormone therapy can still be used to prevent osteoporosis for women at high risk of the condition (most forms of hormone therapy are approved for this purpose), but you and your health care professional should weigh the pros and cons of hormone treatment against other osteoporosis therapies.

And confine mind that there are actually dozens of internal secretion medical aid formulations— from low-dose pills to patches, rings, and even a transparent, odorless gel you rub on your arm. Bioidentical hormone options— FDA-approved hormone formulations that are structurally identical to the substance as it naturally occurs in your body— are included in this range of offerings.

Bottom line: solely you and your health care skilled will decide if internal secretion medical aid is true for you, which kind is best, and for a way long you must use it.