PROGESTERONE FOR MENOPAUSE

Patient

Q: I've started menopause and was given progesterone for HRT. My OB-GYN would not give me estrogen because I am a smoker. Do I need to take estrogen too to relieve the symptoms of menopause.

Doctor

A:     Menopause is associated with a variety of symptoms ranging from hot flashes and vaginal dryness, to a reduction in bone mineral density.  While estrogen has traditionally been used in managing many of these issues, it has also been shown to be dangerous in women who smoke as it may increase the risk for blood clots.  However, evidence is emerging that progesterone alone is effective in providing relief from hot flashes, vaginal symptoms (such as dryness and itching), and may also help retain bone mineral density.  Additionally, there are many other alternative therapeutic options to help manage specific symptoms associated with menopause.  As such, it is reasonable to persue progesterone at first, and see how it works for you.  If your symptoms are not appropriately managed, then it would be approriate to explore other, more specific treatment options. 

Comments / Follow Ups

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