Estrogen Replacement Therapy: What You Should Know


All women face it sooner or later. Currently, more than 40 million women in the U.S. are in the traditional menopausal age range (between 45 and 55), that time of life when a woman's ovaries cease to produce estrogen. Many of these women are demanding more information about what happens during this time and what they can do to best manage it.

Fortunately, these women now have a range of options their mothers never had. Moderate to severe menopausal symptoms, including hot flashes, night sweats and vaginal dryness, caused by a lack of estrogen, can be treated with estrogen replacement therapy (ERT).

Estrogen Treatment Options

Today, ERT is available in a variety of forms. Patches are the newest form of ERT and pills have been in existence since the 1940s. Additionally, women and their physicians can choose the type and dosage of estrogen that is needed. The forms of estrogen most widely used are:

Women should consult with their physicians to determine whether they are appropriate candidates for ERT. For example, ERT should not be used by women who are or may be pregnant. Estrogen therapy has been associated with an increased risk of cancer of the uterus. Women should tell their doctors if they have had cancer of the breast or uterus, unusual vaginal bleeding, abnormal blood clotting or any cardiovascular disease. Common side effects of the patch are skin irritation and itching at the application site, which, in most cases, are mild. Headache, breast tenderness and fluid retention have also been reported with estrogen use.

Free Booklet

For a free booklet on menopause and an unmedicated sample of the Vivelle patch, call 1-800-758-2422 ext. PR96.(NAPSI)


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