For Women: Deciding About Hormone Therapy (HT)

Woman talking to healthcare provider.Is HT right for you? That’s up to you and your healthcare provider. Your healthcare provider will review your health needs. Then he or she will suggest steps you can take to control any symptoms or health risks. HT may be one part of your overall program.

Deciding about HT is a personal choice. Take some time to weigh the pros and cons.

Some benefits of HT

Benefits include:

  • Helps prevent bone fractures

  • Decreased hot flashes and sweating

  • Less vaginal dryness

  • Fewer mood swings

Some risks of HT

Risks include:

  • Increased risk of uterine cancer if estrogen is taken alone (taking progestin along with estrogen eliminates this increase in risk)

  • Increased risk of breast cancer with long-term use

  • Increased risk of stroke and blood clots

  • Possible increased risk of dementia with hormone replacement therapy 

Possible side effects

Side effects may include:

  • Breast tenderness

  • Fluid retention

  • Headache

  • Nausea

  • Bloating

  • Ongoing monthly bleeding or spotting (taking HT will not restore your fertility)

HT may not be for everyone

For some women, HT may not be a safe option. Tell your healthcare provider if you are pregnant. Also, mention if you have had any of the following:

  • Gallbladder disease

  • High blood pressure

  • Seizure disorders

  • High cholesterol

  • Liver disease

  • Migraine headaches

  • Breast or uterine cancer

  • Heart attack or confirmed heart disease

  • Blood-clotting problems

  • Phlebitis (inflammation of a vein)

  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding