Recommendations for hormone therapy in hysterectomized women: importance of new data in clinical management

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Women with a prior hysterectomy with and without oophorectomy represent special cohorts among those who require menopausal hormone therapy (HT), as a progestogen is not required for endometrial protection. This is relevant in light of recent research demonstrating superiority of estrogen therapy alone compared with estrogen plus a progestogen with respect to breast cancer risk and perhaps even cardiovascular protection. No longer is it appropriate to lump all HT regimens together when advising patients. Unfortunately, there is a general reluctance in the healthcare community to prescribe HT even a decade after publication of the results of the Women’s Health Initiative trial. However, with subsequent research showing a favorable benefit/risk balance of short-term estrogen therapy in symptomatic, recently menopausal women, especially those who have undergone hysterectomy with oophorectomy, the need for educating patients and providers on the matter cannot be overemphasized.

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