Estrogen Therapy (ET)
Why It Is Used
Estrogen therapy (ET) is used to increase estrogen levels in Reference postmenopausal Opens New Window women who have no uterus. This treatment may help prevent Reference perimenopausal Opens New Window symptoms, Reference osteoporosis Opens New Window, and colon cancer.
Women in their 20s, 30s, and 40s who experience early menopause after having their ovaries removed (oophorectomy) or because of other medical reasons typically take ET to reduce their risk of early bone loss and osteoporosis. Historically, women have continued using ET for years beyond menopause. Some women now discontinue ET around the age of menopause.
Women with a uterus who take estrogen also need the hormone Reference progestin Opens New Window to prevent the estrogen from overgrowing the uterine lining, which can lead to Reference endometrial (uterine) cancer Opens New Window. Estrogen-progestin is called Reference hormone therapy (HT) Opens New Window.
Do not use estrogen treatment if you:
- Are pregnant.
- Have unexplained vaginal bleeding.
- Have active liver disease or chronic impaired liver function. (Transdermal estrogen does not stress the liver.)
- Have a personal history of Reference breast cancer Opens New Window, Reference ovarian cancer Opens New Window, or endometrial cancer.
- Are a smoker.
- Have a history of blood clots.
- Have had a stroke.
Talk to your doctor about your risks versus benefits if you have a family history of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, Reference stroke Opens New Window, blood clots, or endometrial cancer.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: August 8, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference Carla J. Herman, MD, MPH - Geriatric Medicine