Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) refers to the administration of exogenous (outside the body) estrogen (and sometimes progestin) to women who have experienced physiologic depletion of their natural estrogen because of menopause. Menopause, which is the permanent cessation of menstruation after loss of ovarian follicular function, is clinically defined as the absence of menses for 12 months. Natural menopause occurs at an average of 51 years. Approximately 1% of women become postmenopausal before 40 years of age, and 5% become postmenopausal after 55 years of age. During the several years before menopause, a period known as menopause transition, levels of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) increase and ovarian follicles abnormally mature; as a result, estrogen and progesterone levels become erratic.
The two basic reasons to take HRT are the management of the symptoms of menopause and the prevention of certain diseases (such as heart disease and osteoporosis) which are common among postmenopausal women. A common concern regarding HRT is the increased risk of some kinds of cancer which has been associated with taking estrogen.
Not all women are candidates for HRT and the decision must be based on a thorough consideration of the risks and potential benefits for each individual.
The Medifocus Guide on Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) provides answers to the following important questions and medical issues:
What are the most common symptoms of hormone depletion?
Are there any recognized risk factors for taking HRT?
What is the current standard of care for the treatment of HRT?
What treatment options are available for the management of HRT?
Are there any promising new developments or potential breakthroughs in treatment?
Who are the most notable medical authorities who specialize in HRT?
Where are the leading hospitals and centers of research for HRT?
What are the most important questions to ask my doctor about HRT?
What Your Doctor Reads:
This MediFocus Guide contains an extensive listing of citations and abstracts of recent journal articles that have been published about this condition in trustworthy medical journals. This is the same type of information that is available to physicians and other health care professionals. A partial selection of journal articles that are abstracted in this MediFocus Guide includes:
The role of hormone replacement therapy in the prevention of postmenopausal heart disease. Archives of Internal Medicine. 2000
Continuation rates for oral contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy. The ESHRE Capri Workshop Group. Human Reproduction. 2000
Management of the climacteric. Options abound to relieve women's midlife symptoms. Postgraduate Medicine. 2000
Estrogens are indicated for the prevention of coronary artery disease: a debate for estrogen. Canadian Journal of Cardiology. 2000
Estrogens should not be initiated for the secondary prevention of coronary artery disease: a debate. Canadian Journal of Cardiology. 2000
Hormone replacement therapy in women with rheumatic diseases. Scandinavian Journal of Rheumatology. 2000
Estrogen replacement therapy and the surgeon. American Journal of Surgery. 2000
Prevention and treatment of osteoporosis: efficacy of combination of hormone replacement therapy with other antiresorptive agents. Journal of Clinical Densitometry. 2000
Postmenopausal osteoporosis management. Current Opinion in Obstetrics & Gynecology. 2000
The menopause in Europe. International Journal of Fertility & Womens Medicine. 2000
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