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Is Hormone Replacement Therapy Right For You?


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Hormone replacement therapy is sometimes called estrogen replacement therapy or ERT. This therapy refers to a woman taking supplements like estrogen or estrogen with progesterone. HRT replaces hormones a woman's body should make or used to make.

Why might hormone replacement therapy be necessary?

  • Estrogen and progesterone regulate a woman's menstrual cycle and reproductive health.

  • Estrogen is important for bone health.

    In general, which groups of women would a health care provider prescribe HRT?

  • Women going through menopause and who had already gone through it (post-menopausal women). The drop in hormones can cause symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal dryness and sleep disturbances.

  • Women with premature ovarian failure

    The NIH Women's Health Initiative Trial Results

    Hormone replacement therapy for healthy menopausal and post-menopausal women includes increased risk of:

  • breast cancer
  • coronary heart disease
  • stroke
  • blood clots

    In view of these findings of NIH researchers, the U. S. Food and Drug Administration noted the therapy lessens some menopause symptoms in healthy post-menopausal women; however, the therapy carried serious risks. The FDA recommends low doses for the shortest amount of time to reach treatment goals.

    For women whose bodies have stopped making estrogen or don't make enough estrogen, this can reduce symptoms and maintain overall health.

    The risk for pre-menopausal women with certain health conditions include:

  • The risks associated with post-menopausal hormone replacement therapy do not apply to pre-menopausal women.

    The benefits for pre-menopausal women with certain health conditions include:

  • Low estrogen levels in women with premature ovarian failure put these women at risk for osteoporosis and heart disease. This therapy helps maintain bone health and reduces the risk of heart disease.

    For more information:

    You can receive a free 24-page booklet (part of the NICHD's research portfolio in women's health) entitled: “Do I have Premature Ovarian Failure (POF)?" This booklet is available in PDF form online at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development web site or you can write for it in print:

    National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, NIH, DHHS (2003)
    Do I have Premature Ovarian Failure (POF)? (03-5159)
    Government Printing Office
    Washington, DC

    Source: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

    Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information in this article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. All health concerns should be addressed by a qualified health care professional

    This article is FREE to publish with the resource box.

    Author: Connie Limon. Visit and sign up for a weekly nutrition and health tip. The article collection is available as FREE reprints for your newsletters, websites or blog. For a variety of FREE reprint articles on various topics rarely seen elsewhere visit

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