May 01, 2018

Recommendations on hormone therapy updated

Hormone therapy remains the most effective treatment for hot flashes and night sweats, as well as for genital and urinary symptoms related to menopause, according to an updated position statement from the North American Menopause Society.

Other important points from the 2017 statement relate to the timing and delivery of the therapy:

  • For women who experience early menopause, hormone therapy is recommended at least until the age of natural menopause, as the benefits outweigh the risks.
  • For women younger than 60 or who experienced menopause within the past 10 years and have no health conditions prohibiting its use, the benefits of hormone therapy outweigh the risks when used to manage hot flashes and night sweats and to reduce risk of bone loss and fractures.
  • For women older than 60 or women who experienced menopause more than 10 years ago, hormone therapy appears less favorable because of a greater risk of heart disease, stroke, blood clots and dementia.
  • For women who have only genital or urinary symptoms — including vaginal dryness, painful intercourse, and urinary urgency and increased frequency — low-dose vaginal hormone therapy is recommended over oral hormone therapy. The vaginal form is more effective for these symptoms and has less risk of major side effects.
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