Can menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) help treat my symptoms?
MHT, which used to be called hormone replacement therapy (HRT), involves taking the hormones estrogen and progesterone. (Women who don’t have a uterus anymore take just estrogen). MHT can be very good at relieving moderate to severe menopausal symptoms and preventing bone loss. But MHT also has some risks, especially if used for a long time.
MHT can help with menopause by:
• Reducing hot flashes and night sweats, and related
problems such as poor sleep and irritability • Treating vaginal symptoms, such as dryness and discomfort, and related problems, such as pain during sex • Slowing bone loss • Possibly easing mood swings and mild depressive mood
For some women, MHT may increase their chance of:
• Blood clots • Heart attack • Stroke • Breast cancer • Gall bladder disease Research into the risks and benefits of MHT continues. For example, a recent study suggests that the low-dose patch form of MHT may not have the possible risk of stroke that other forms can have. Talk with your doctor about the positives and negatives of MHT based on your medical history and age. Keep in mind, too, that you may have symptoms when you stop MHT. You can also