Your Heart and Menopausal Hormone Therapy (Heart Health)
Until recently, many postmenopausal women were prescribed hormone therapy to help prevent heart disease. Menopausal hormone therapy usually includes the use of estrogen plus progestin or estrogen alone.
Research now shows that taking estrogen plus progestin can increase the chances of developing heart disease, stroke, blood clots, and breast cancer. It also doubles the risk of dementia and does not protect women against memory loss. Research on estrogen-alone therapy shows it increases the risk for stroke and blood clots but has no effect on heart disease and colorectal cancer, and an uncertain effect on breast cancer. Estrogen-alone therapy also does not protect against memory loss. If you are on this medication to prevent heart disease or another chronic condition, such as osteoporosis, talk with your doctor about other options.
If you are taking, or considering estrogen plus progestin or estrogen alone to relieve menopausal symptoms, consult with your doctor about whether you should start or continue the treatment. If you decide to go ahead with it, use the lowest dose for as brief a period as possible.
Also, neither estrogen plus progestin nor estrogen-alone therapy should be used to lower cholesterol. Talk with your doctor about an alternative cholesterol-lowering medication.