The Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) results 10 years ago scared many women away from using hormone therapy (HT) altogether. Some toughed out their hot flashes and night sweats with no relief until the symptoms settled down on their own.
We’ve learned a lot since then about the risks and benefits of HT. For most women, experts agree that HT is okay to control moderate to severe menopause symptoms, such as hot flashes and vaginal dryness, within 10 years of menopause and up to age 59. Also, women should use the lowest dose for the shortest amount of time needed to keep the symptoms under control.
But you and your healthcare provider need to balance the benefits and risks you have. For example, if you don’t have a uterus and can take estrogen therapy (ET) alone, your risks are different from those of women who still have a uterus and must use estrogen plus progestogen (EPT) to protect against uterine cancer. Here’s our list of risks and benefits to weigh:
What we’ve learned so far about the benefits and risks comes from large groups of women, but you are unique. Only after you and your doctor have a thorough consultation about your individual risks, benefits, and preferences can you make a decision that’s right for you.
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