Gynecology Book


Estrogen Replacement

Aka: Estrogen Replacement, Hormone Replacement, Estrogen Replacement Therapy, Hormone Replacement Therapy
  1. Indications
    1. Menopause
    2. Premature Ovarian Failure
  2. See Also
    1. Continuous Estrogen Replacement
    2. Sequential Estrogen Replacement
    3. Vaginal Estrogen
    4. Transdermal Estrogen
  3. General
    1. Estrogen Replacement is recommended only for symptom control (e.g. Hot Flushes), not for chronic disease prevention
      1. Risks and benefits of Estrogen with or without Progesterone are complex
      2. ACOG and AAFP do not recommend Hormone Replacement for chronic disease prevention
      3. (2013) Obstet Gynecol 121(6): 1407-10 [PubMed]
      4. Manson (2013) 310(13): 1353-68 +PMID:24084921 [PubMed]
    2. Different Estrogen types are equivalent in efficacy
      1. Adverse effects and safety are also equivalent
      2. Combination therapy (with Progesterone) differ in their risks compared with Estrogen alone
      3. Nelson (2004) JAMA 291:1610-20 [PubMed]
  4. Advantages: Benefits of Estrogen Replacement
    1. Osteoporosis
      1. Estrogen increases bone density by 20-30%
      2. Increases Bone Mineral Density 5-15% in 3 years
      3. Benefit even if started late postmenopausal
      4. Benefit also seen with Transdermal Estrogen
      5. Hazard Ratio for Hip Fracture: 0.66
      6. (2002) JAMA 288:321-333 [PubMed]
    2. Endocrine Effects
      1. Reduces Type II Diabetes Mellitus Risk by 20% (PEPI)
      2. Improves Glucose Metabolism
      3. Improves Insulin sensitivity
      4. Decreases Fasting Glucose levels
    3. Relief of perimenopausal Major Depression symptoms
      1. Transdermal Estrogen effective Antidepressant
      2. Soares (2001) Arch Gen Psychiatry 58:529-34 [PubMed]
    4. Relief of Genitourinary symptoms
      1. See adverse effects below regarding Incontinence
      2. Vaginal Dryness
      3. Dyspareunia
      4. Urethritis
    5. Relief of perimenonpausal vasomotor symptoms
      1. Hot Flashes
      2. Insomnia
      3. Irritability
      4. Anxiety
    6. Reduces tooth loss
    7. Protective against Colorectal Cancer
      1. Decreases cumulative Colon Cancer risk
      2. Hazard ratio for Colorectal Cancer 0.63
      3. (2002) JAMA 288:321-333 [PubMed]
  5. Disadvantages: Mixed Risks and Benefits
    1. Cardiovascular disease
      1. Post-stoppage study suggested cardiovascular benefit in early Menopause
        1. Manson (2013) JAMA 10(13): 1353-68 +PMID:24084921 [PubMed]
      2. NIH Women's Health Initiative Results
        1. Combined HRT Study stopped early
          1. Increased coronary risk by 7 per 10,000 patients
          2. Hazard ratio for coronary events: 1.29
          3. Slight risk, but definately no CAD benefit
        2. Estrogen alone post-Hysterectomy
          1. This arm of study continues
        3. References
          1. (2002) JAMA 288:321-333 [PubMed]
      3. Earlier studies questioned cardiovascular benefit
        1. Increased coronary event risk in first year of ERT
        2. Protective effect after first year
        3. Grodstein (2001) Ann Intern Med 135:1-8 [PubMed]
        4. Herrington (2001) N Engl J Med 343:522-9 [PubMed]
      4. Improved survival in Congestive Heart Failure
        1. Reis (2000) J Am Coll Cardiol 36:529-33 [PubMed]
      5. Lowers systolic Blood Pressure (no diastolic effect)
        1. More pronounced effect in Obesity and advanced age
        2. Scuteri (2001) Ann Intern Med 135:229-38 [PubMed]
      6. Lipid effects (Estrogen alone without Prosterone)
        1. Increases HDL
        2. Decreases LDL
    2. Cerebrovascular Disease Risk
      1. Initial studies showed increased CVA risk
        1. Grodstein (2000) Ann Intern Med 133:933-41 [PubMed]
      2. NIH Women's Health Initiative also had increased risk
        1. Increased Incidence by 8 per 10,000 patients
        2. Hazard ratio for Cerebrovascular Accident: 1.41
        3. (2002) JAMA 288:321-333 [PubMed]
      3. Large prospective cohort study with no increased risk
        1. No HRT increased ischemic or Hemorrhagic CVA risk
        2. Angeja (2001) J Am Coll Cardiol 38:1297-301 [PubMed]
    3. Cognitive effects
      1. Initial studies showed decreased Alzheimer's Risk
        1. Appeared to protect against cognitive decline
        2. Paganini (1996) Arch Intern Med 156:2213-7 [PubMed]
        3. Yaffe (2000) Lancet 356:708-12 [PubMed]
      2. Recent studies have shown no benefit
        1. No benefit
          1. Buckwalter (2004) J Am Geriatr Soc 52:182-6 [PubMed]
          2. Viscoli (2005) Am J Obstet Gynecol 192:387-93 [PubMed]
        2. May adversely affect global cognitive function
          1. Espeland (2004) JAMA 291:2959-68 [PubMed]
  6. Disadvantages: Risks of Estrogen Replacement
    1. Breast Cancer
      1. See Breast Cancer Risk Factors
      2. Risk appears to be associated with replacement type
        1. Associated with Continuous Estrogen Replacement
          1. Less associated with Estrogen alone
          2. Less associated with Sequential Replacement
          3. Weiss (2002) Obstet Gynecol 100:1148-58 [PubMed]
        2. Combination therapy increases risk
          1. Estrogen only therapy: 3-7 additional cases/1000
          2. Combination therapy: 18-20 additional cases/1000
          3. (2003) Lancet 362:419-27 [PubMed]
          4. Lytinen (2006) Obstet Gynecol 108:1354-60 [PubMed]
    2. Endometrial Cancer
      1. Occurs with Unopposed Estrogen (without Progesterone)
        1. Atypical Hyperplasia in 30% on Unopposed Estrogen
        2. Risk remains 10 years after Unopposed Estrogen use
      2. Women with intact Uterus must use combination HRT
      3. Evaluate Postmenopausal Abnormal Uterine Bleeding
        1. Anticipate uterine bleeding for first 4-6 months
        2. Evaluate bleeding >6 months after starting HRT
          1. Endometrial Biopsy
          2. Uterine Ultrasound
    3. Ovarian Cancer
      1. Associated with Estrogen use without Progestin
      2. Relative Risk of Ovarian Cancer in ERT: 1.6
      3. Relative Risk if ERT use >20 years: 3.2
      4. Lacey (2002) JAMA 288:334-41 [PubMed]
    4. Venous Thrombosis risk
      1. Higher risk with Estrogen dose over 2.5 mg/day
      2. Higher risk when used with Progesterone (combination therapy)
        1. Smith (2004) JAMA 292:1581-7 [PubMed]
      3. NIH Women's Initiative
        1. Hazard Ratio for Pulmonary Embolism: 2.13
        2. (2002) JAMA 288:321-333 [PubMed]
      4. Risk if prior Venous thrombosis occurred
        1. Trauma-related: no increased risk
        2. Oral Contraceptive related: possible increased risk
      5. Esterified Estrogen (Menest) not assoc. with thrombus
        1. May be preferred form for Estrogen Replacement
        2. Smith (2004) JAMA 292:1581-7 [PubMed]
    5. Genitourinary
      1. Urinary Incontinence increases with Estrogen
      2. Grodstein (2004) Obstet Gynecol 103:254-60 [PubMed]
    6. Special considerations
      1. Gall Bladder disease risk
        1. Relative Risk: 1.5 to 2.0
        2. Risk persists for 5 years after Estrogen stopped
      2. Increased Triglycerides
        1. Baseline Triglycerides: 250 to 750
          1. Start Estrogen Replacement
          2. Recheck Triglycerides in 4 weeks
        2. Baseline Triglycerides: over 500
          1. Consider transdermal Estrogen Replacement
        3. Baseline Triglycerides: over 750
          1. Avoid Estrogen Replacement
          2. Risk of Pancreatitis
  7. Contraindications: Estrogen Replacement
    1. Absolute
      1. Unexplained Vaginal Bleeding
      2. Acute Liver Disease or severe liver disease
      3. Breast Cancer
      4. Active Thrombophlebitis
      5. Thromboembolic disorder including past history of Venous Thromboembolism
      6. Pregnancy
    2. Relative
      1. Chronic Liver Disease
      2. Heart disease
      3. Endometrial Cancer
      4. Hypertension
      5. Familial Hyperlipidemia
        1. Consider Transdermal Estrogen
      6. Seizure Disorder
      7. Migraine Headaches
      8. History of Thrombophlebitis
      9. Endometriosis
      10. Gall Bladder disease
  8. Safety
    1. Recent data suggests HRT is safe for 4-5 years of use
    2. NIH Women's Health Initiative did not study age <50
      1. Consider continuing Estrogen in these patients
      2. (2002) JAMA 288:321-333 [PubMed]
    3. Meta-analysis 4000 patients, 29 studies
      1. Initially irregular bleeding for 6 months
      2. Amenorrhea in 75% after 6 months
      3. Atrophic Endometrium in 90% of patients
      4. Endometrial Hyperplasia in 1% of patients
      5. Adenocarcinoma in 0.05% of patients (2 cases)
      6. Udoff (1995) Obstet Gynecol 86:306-16 [PubMed]
  9. Preparations
    1. Vasomotor Symptoms of Menopause
      1. Continuous Estrogen Replacement
        1. Preferred over sequential due to lower risk of Endometrial Hyperplasia
        2. Jaakkola (2009) Obstet Gynecol 114(6): 1197-1204 [PubMed]
      2. Sequential Estrogen Replacement
      3. Transdermal Estrogen
    2. Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause (e.g. Atrophic Vaginitis)
      1. Vaginal Estrogen
  10. Management: Algorithm for choice of replacement method
    1. Use the lowest effective dose of replacement that controls symptoms
    2. Age under 40 years, Ovaries removed, or Perimenopause (see Menopause for strategy)
      1. Sequential Estrogen Replacement OR
      2. Oral Contraceptive
    3. Menopause
      1. Continuous Estrogen Replacement (preferred) OR
      2. Sequential Estrogen Replacement
    4. Late Postmenopausal
      1. Vaginal Estrogen for atrophic vagina OR
      2. Continuous Estrogen Replacement
        1. Avoid after age 60 years as risk of CVA, MI, Dementia increase
  11. Management: Protocol to stop Hormone Replacement
    1. Timing of Estrogen Replacement discontinuation
      1. Premature Menopause
        1. Re-evaluate continued Estrogen use at age 51
      2. Estrogen Replacement with Progesterone
        1. Consider stopping Estrogen Replacement after 3-5 years of use
      3. Estrogen Replacement without Progesterone
        1. Consider stopping Estrogen Replacement after 7 years of use
    2. Slow taper over 2-3 months reduces withdrawal affects
    3. Estrogen withdrawal effects to anticipate
      1. Irregular Vaginal Bleeding or spotting
      2. Hot Flushes
    4. Taper
      1. First: HRT only monday to friday for 1-3 months
      2. Next: HRT only monday, wednesday, friday x1-3 months
  12. Management: Consider alternatives to Estrogen Replacement
    1. See Hot Flushes
    2. See Cardiac Risk Management
    3. See Osteoporosis Management
    4. Local Estrogen sources (Vaginal Estrogen)
      1. Vagifem tablets
      2. E-String vaginal ring
  13. References
    1. Hill (2016) Am Fam Physician 94(11): 884-9 [PubMed]

Estrogen Replacement Therapy (C0014935)

Definition (NCI) The administration of estrogen, especially in postmenopausal women, to relieve menopausal symptoms and to protect against osteoporosis and heart disease. (
Definition (NCI_NCI-GLOSS) Hormones (estrogen, progesterone, or both) given to postmenopausal women or to women who have had their ovaries surgically removed. Hormones are given to replace the estrogen no longer produced by the ovaries.
Definition (MSH) The use of hormonal agents with estrogen-like activity in postmenopausal or other estrogen-deficient women to alleviate effects of hormone deficiency, such as vasomotor symptoms, DYSPAREUNIA, and progressive development of OSTEOPOROSIS. This may also include the use of progestational agents in combination therapy.
Concepts Therapeutic or Preventive Procedure (T061)
MSH D015914
English Estrogen Replacement Therapies, Replacement Therapies, Estrogen, Replacement Therapy, Estrogen, Therapies, Estrogen Replacement, Therapy, Estrogen Replacement, REPLACE THER ESTROGEN, THER ESTROGEN REPLACE, ESTROGEN REPLACE THER, Estrogen replacement therapy, Oestrogen replacement therapy, replacement therapy estrogen, oestrogen replacement therapy, estrogen replacement therapy (ert), ert, estrogen replacement therapy, ERT, Estrogen Replacement Therapy, Estrogen Replacement
Italian Terapia sostitutiva con estrogeni, Terapia sostitutiva degli estrogeni
Portuguese Terapia estrogénica de substituição, Terapia de substituição estrogénica, Terapia de Reposição de Estrogênios, Terapia de Reposição de Estrógenos
Spanish Tratamiento de sustitución de estrógeno, Tratamiento de sustitución de estrógenos, Terapia de Reemplazo de Estrógeno
Swedish Östrogenersättningsbehandling
Japanese エストロゲンホジュウリョウホウ, エストロゲン代償療法, エストロゲン補充療法, 閉経後ホルモン補充療法, ホルモン補充療法-閉経後, 代償療法-エストロゲン, ホルモン代償療法-閉経後, 閉経後ホルモン代償療法, エストロゲン置換療法
Czech estrogeny - substituční terapie, Substituční léčba estrogeny, Substituční estrogenová léčba
Finnish Estrogeenikorvaushoito
French THS (Traitement Hormonal oestrogénique Substitutif), Hormonothérapie oestrogénique substitutive, Oestrogénothérapie substitutive, Traitement oestrogénique substitutif
Polish Pomenopauzalna terapia hormonalna zastępcza, Estrogenowa terapia zastępcza, Terapia estrogenowa zastępcza, ETZ
Hungarian Ösztrogén-pótló kezelés
Norwegian Behandling med østrogenerstatning, Østrogenerstatningsterapi, Østrogenerstatningsbehandling
Dutch oestrogeensubstitutietherapie, Oestrogenensubstitutietherapie, Therapie, oestrogenensubstitutie-
German Oestrogensubstitutionstherapie, Östrogensubstitutionstherapie, Substitutionstherapie, Östrogen-
Derived from the NIH UMLS (Unified Medical Language System)

Hormone replacement therapy (C0282402)

Definition (MEDLINEPLUS)

Menopause is the time in a woman's life when her period stops. It is a normal part of aging. In the years before and during menopause, the levels of female hormones can go up and down. This can cause symptoms such as hot flashes and vaginal dryness. Some women take hormone replacement therapy (HRT), also called menopausal hormone therapy, to relieve these symptoms. HRT may also protect against osteoporosis.

However, HRT also has risks. It can increase your risk of breast cancer, heart disease, and stroke. Certain types of HRT have a higher risk, and each woman's own risks can vary depending upon her health history and lifestyle. You and your health care provider need to discuss the risks and benefits for you. If you do decide to take HRT, it should be the lowest dose that helps and for the shortest time needed. Taking hormones should be re-evaluated every six months.

NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Definition (MSHCZE) Léčebné užití hormomů ke zmírnění následků hormonální nedostatečnosti.
Definition (NCI) Treatment with estrogens or estrogen/progesterone after menopause or ovariectomy to prevent pathological effects of decreased estrogen production.
Definition (NCI_NCI-GLOSS) Hormones (estrogen, progesterone, or both) given to women after menopause to replace the hormones no longer produced by the ovaries.
Definition (MSH) Therapeutic use of hormones to alleviate the effects of hormone deficiency.
Definition (NIC) Facilitation of safe and effective use of hormone replacement therapy
Concepts Therapeutic or Preventive Procedure (T061)
MSH D020249
SnomedCT 170948007, 182932006, 148172008, 268601007, 266717002, 65541007
English Hormone Replacement Therapies, Hormone Replacement Therapy, Replacement Therapies, Hormone, Replacement Therapy, Hormone, Therapies, Hormone Replacement, Therapy, Hormone Replacement, HRT - Hormone replace therapy, THER HORMONE REPLACE, HORMONE REPLACE THER, REPLACE THER HORMONE, HRT (hormone replacement therapy), HRT, hormone replacements, hormones replacement, hormone replacement therapy (HRT), hormone replacement, hormone replacement therapy, hormone replacement therapies, ERT, Menopausal Hormone Therapy, Menopausal hormone therapy, menopausal hormone therapy, HRT - Hormone replacement therapy, Hormone replacement therapy (procedure), Hormone Replacement Rx, Hormone replacement therapy
Dutch HRT, hormoon substitutietherapie, Hormonale substitutietherapie, Substitutietherapie, hormonale, Therapie, substitutie-, hormonale
French THS, Hormonothérapie de remplacement, Traitement hormonal substitutif, Hormonothérapie substitutive
German HRT, Hormonsubstitutionstherapie, Hormon-Substitutionsbehandlung, Substitutionsbehandlung, Hormon-
Portuguese Terapia hormonal de substituição, Terapia de substituição hormonal, Terapia de Reposição de Hormônios, Terapia de Reposição Hormonal
Spanish THS, TRH - terapia de reemplazo hormonal, terapia hormonal de reemplazo, tratamiento de restitución hormonal, terapia de reemplazo hormonal (procedimiento), terapia de reemplazo hormonal, terapia de sustitución hormonal, Terapia hormonal sustitutiva, Terapia de Reemplazo de Hormonas, Terapia de Reemplazo Hormonal
Swedish Hormonersättningsbehandling
Japanese ホルモンホジュウリョウホウ, 代償療法-ホルモン, ホルモン補充療法, ホルモン代償療法, 補充療法-ホルモン
Czech hormony - substituční terapie, Hormonální substituční léčba, HRT, hormonální substituční terapie, hormonální substituční léčba
Finnish Hormonikorvaushoito
Polish Hormonalna terapia zastępcza, Terapia hormonalna zastępcza, HTZ
Hungarian Hormonpótló kezelés (HRT), Hormonpótló kezelés
Norwegian Substitusjonsbehandling med hormoner, Hormonsubstitusjonsbehandling
Italian Terapia ormonale sostitutiva
Derived from the NIH UMLS (Unified Medical Language System)

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