Hormone Replacement Therapy

Hormone Replacement Therapy: What Every Woman Needs To Know

Insights to make the best decisions for your health before & during menopause.

  • Fellowship-Trained GYN Specialists
  • Management of Menopause Symptoms
  • Up-To-Date Research on HRT

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Hormone Replacement Therapy

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is not just one type of treatment. Estrogen-only therapy (ET) and combined estrogen/progesterone therapy (EPT) have variations in their benefits and risks. It is important for women to know the difference between them, as their risks, or potential long-term effects, are significantly different.

Many women fear that removing the uterus will immediately put them into menopause, and all of the symptoms and health concerns that accompany it. This is not the case. The ovaries, not the uterus, produce the hormones that dictate menopause. If the ovaries are left in place, a woman will go through menopause when it is her time. The only obvious change will be the lack of a monthly menstrual cycle. In many cases, unless there is a genetic risk of ovarian cancer or signs of existing cancer, the ovaries can be retained. Speak at length to your GYN specialist about your long-term goals and how hormone therapy can play a role in managing menopause symptoms, especially in the transition and early stages.

It’s time to talk to a laparoscopic GYN specialist and get the facts about hormone replacement therapy.

The CIGC Advantage: Hormone Replacement Therapy

The Center for Innovative GYN Care® laparoscopic GYN surgeons are experts in therapies that support the CIGC advanced minimally invasive procedures that are used to treat complex GYN conditions. This includes understanding the most current information on hormone replacement therapies.

Current research has shown that estrogen-only therapy is beneficial for women who have had a hysterectomy. This type of therapy has been shown to be an effective and safe choice for the short-term relief of menopausal symptoms, most importantly hot flashes, with fewer health risks than the combined estrogen/progesterone therapy.

Women who no longer have their uterus are able to take the safer estrogen-only option. The reason for this is that uterine cancer risks increase with estrogen-only therapy. Having a hysterectomy removes this risk. That is why women who have had a hysterectomy are able to take advantage of estrogen-only therapy.

The collective benefits of both types of HRT for menopause include:

  • Reduction in the severity and frequency of hot flashes
  • Improvement of moodiness and sleep problems
  • Prevention of loss of bone density and osteoporosis
  • Prevention of vaginal atrophy, dryness and irritation
  • Maintenance of skin collagen (which helps skin elasticity)

The top three authorities on HRT for treating symptoms of menopause concur: Women up to age 59 (or within 10 years of menopause), and healthy women who are bothered by moderate to severe menopausal symptoms, can take menopausal hormone therapy.*

Women in their late 40s or 50s should be reassured that the overall risk of complications for healthy, young postmenopausal women taking HRT for five years is very low.

*It is essential that every woman is assessed for risk factors that could contraindicate the use of HRT.

The Choice Of Fibroid Removal Procedure Can Affect Future Hormone Therapy Options

Women with fibroids who need surgery and who are no longer interested in childbearing need to understand the risks associated with having a myomectomy. Removing fibroids only, and leaving the uterus intact has several risk factors. First, new fibroids can grow, and if they are symptomatic, they may require additional surgery.

Women who retain their uterus are also unable to take the safer form of hormone therapy, and must take the higher-risk combination estrogen/progesterone therapy. Estrogen alone increases the risks of endometrial cancers in women who still have their uterus.

Conditions Affected By HRT Estrogen-only
After Hysterectomy Only
Estrogen/progesterone
Uterus Is Intact
Heart Disease No Effect Risk Increases
Stroke Slight Increase In Risk Extremely Low Incidence Risk Increases
Blood Clots Slight Increase In Risk Extremely Low Incidence Risk Increases
Breast Cancer No Effect Risk Increases
Colorectal Cancer No Effect Risk Decreases
Fractures Risk Decreases Risk Decreases

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Frequently Asked Hormone Replacement Therapy Questions