It is the most effective treatment for vasomotor symptoms experienced by post menopausal women (1). The benefits of HRT have been discussed under the symptoms of menopause.
In summary, these include:
- arrests flushing (77%); improves headaches (30%) and insomnia (55%),
- reverses genital tract atrophy
- improves psychological symptoms e.g. confidence improved in about 30%
- reduces osteoporosis and thus, fracture rate
- it had previously been suggested that there is a protective effect against Alzheimer's disease - however the evidence suggests that HRT increases the risk of probable dementia (2,3)
Unlike the oral contraceptive pill however, there is no evidence that HRT reduces the risk of ovarian cancer.
- (1) Hickey M, Elliott J, Davison SL.Hormone replacement therapy. BMJ. 2012;344:e763
- (2) Current Problems in Pharmacovigilance (2002), 28, 1-5.
- (3) Shumaker SA et al. Estrogen plus progestin and the incidence of dementia and mild cognitive impairment in postmenopausal women: the Women's Health Initiative Study: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA 2003;289:2651-62.
- (4) Rapp SR et al. Effect of estrogen plus progestin on global cognitive function in postmenopausal women: the Women's Health Initiative Memory Study: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA 2003; 289: 2663-7
Last reviewed 01/2018