What is the latest recommendation for menopausal hormone therapy? — Lorraine Perkins, MSN, FNP-C, Williamsburg, Va.
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is given to women whose progesterone and estrogen levels decrease substantially, usually due to menopause. Progesterone and estrogen are hormones that are generally used.
Since the findings from the Women’s Health Initiative trial in 2002, HRT has been shrouded in controversy. The risks of HRT have received so much attention that its benefits have been largely overlooked.
The aim of the HRT recommendations is to complement the British Menopause Society Observations and Recommendations on menopause. These new recommendations explain how women can optimize their transition into menopause and beyond. The key area of focus is whether use of HRT is an individual decision. Each woman should be given information to be able to make an informed decision.
The dosage of HRT, as well as the overall regimen and duration, should be calculated on a case-by-case basis. Every woman on HRT should be annually evaluated regarding the benefits and risks of her treatment.
As people are living longer and will probably continue to do so, research and development on HRT should focus on maximizing benefits and minimizing risks and side effects. This can serve to improve quality of life and facilitate the primary prevention of long-term conditions that create a personal, social, and economic burden. — Abimbola Farinde, PharmD, MS (197-1)
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