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Hormone Therapy for Women

Hormone therapy increases your levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. This will help reduce symptoms of menopause. Hormone therapy may also help prevent osteoporosis in some women. But it may increase risk for certain conditions, including heart disease and stroke. Hormone therapy can also increase the risk of blood clots. If you are a smoker, you may be able to use hormone therapy.

How to Take Hormones

To get the best results, always take your hormones exactly as directed. They can be taken in any of these ways:

  • Pills containing estrogen, and sometimes other hormones, are taken as often as every day. This is the most common form of hormone therapy.

  • A skin patch releases estrogen into the bloodstream. The patch can be worn on your abdomen, upper arm, or sides of lower back (flank). Most patches are changed once or twice a week.

  • Cream used inside the vagina releases estrogen effecting local tissue. The cream may be used daily.

Hormone pills
Hormone pills

Hormone patch
Hormone patch

Hormone cream
Hormone cream

Follow-up Visits

Woman talking with a doctor
See your health care provider regularly to fine-tune your therapy.

Have regular visits with a health care provider. These visits are a way to fine-tune your therapy. You can also be checked for any problems that might require you to stop hormone therapy.

Call your health care provider if you have:

  • Unexpected, long-lasting, or heavy bleeding

  • A breast lump, or breast tenderness that doesn’t go away

  • Unexpected vaginal discharge

  • Severe headaches

  • Aching muscles in your back or legs

  • Sudden pain in your legs or chest

  • Shortness of breath

Author: StayWell Custom Communications
Last Annual Review Date: 9/25/2014
Copyright © The StayWell Company, LLC. except where otherwise noted.
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