The North American Menopause Society, the leading nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the health and quality of life of women through an understanding of menopause, has released a new Position Statement on Hormone Therapy. An expert panel of Menopause experts reviewed and evaluated new evidence regarding recommendations for hormone therapy. The full text is available at www.menopause.org
Highlights of the findings:
• Hormone Therapy (HT) remains the most effective treatment available for menopausal symptoms, including hot flashes and night sweats that can interrupt sleep and impair quality of life. Many women can take it safely.
• If you have had blood clots, heart disease, stroke, or breast cancer, it may not be in your best interest to take HT. Be sure to discuss your health conditions with your healthcare provider.
• How long you should take Hormone Therapy is different for Estrogen+Progestogen Therapy (EPT) and Estrogen Therapy (ET). For EPT, the time may be limited by the increased risk of breast cancer that is seen with more than 3 to 5 years of use. For ET, no sign of an increased risk of breast cancer was seen during an average of 7 years of treatment, a finding that allows more choice in how long you choose to use ET.
• Most healthy women below age 60 will have no increase in the risk of heart disease with HT. The risks of stroke and blood clots in the lungs are increased but, in these younger age groups, the risks are less than 1 in every 1000 women per year taking HT.
• ET delivered through the skin (by patch, cream, gel, or spray) and low‐dose oral estrogen may have lower risks of blood clots and stroke than standard doses of oral estrogen, but all the evidence is not yet available.
Individualization of care continues to be the hallmark of excellence in women’s health care. If you have questions regarding Hormone Therapy, please contact your health care provider.
Robin Kroll, MD
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