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Saudi Med J. 2002 May;23(5):495-502.

Current trends in hormone replacement therapy.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, King Khalid University Hospital, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.


As life span increases, more and more women live longer after the menopause, and see its long-term consequences. The menopause and climacteric have major consequences for the well being of most women, resulting in a variety of symptoms including vasomotor, psychological, sexual symptoms and increased risk of osteoporosis and atherosclerosis. Prevention of osteoporosis and reduction in cardiovascular risks are the long-term goals of post-menopausal hormone replacement therapy. Post-menopausal women who receive hormone replacement therapy have approximately half of the rate of coronary artery disease compared to those who do not take it. Similarly, estrogen replacement alone for 5 years results in 50% reduction in the risk of overall fracture and is a major factor in the prevention and management of osteoporosis. A wide range of estrogen preparations is available for administration by various routes. The choice depends on indications, side effects and convenience. Oral estrogen is the most commonly used preparation followed by transdermal preparation. Controversy still exists over the efficacy and safety of hormone replacement therapy among both the medical and lay authorities. There is overwhelming evidence that hormone replacement therapy improves the quality of life and reduces the morbidity and mortality by reversing the metabolic and pathological changes induced by the menopause. The benefits of hormone replacement therapy out weigh any increased risk of venous thromboembolism or breast, ovarian and endometrial cancers.

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