Hormone therapy (HT) is a general term for the use of man-made
(synthetic) estrogen, with or without progestin, to treat symptoms caused by
the changing hormone levels that occur before and after menopause. Hormone
therapy carries some health risks, and its use should be discussed carefully
with a health professional.
Hormone therapy includes:
Birth control pills
containing estrogen and progestin. These can be used before menopause to treat
perimenopausal symptoms and prevent pregnancy. Progestin-only pills can be used
to treat heavy menstrual bleeding linked with
Estrogen and progestin are the form of hormone therapy (HT) most frequently used for treating menopausal symptoms in women who have a uterus. The dose of estrogen and progestin is less than in a birth control pill.
Estrogen therapy (ET), which refers to the use of
estrogen without progestin. Most women who use ET have had their uterus
When taken after menopause, hormone therapy is also called hormone
replacement therapy. But more experts are using the term "hormone therapy"
(HT) to avoid the misleading message that women should have premenopausal
levels ("replacement") of hormones after menopause.
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Carla J. Herman, MD, MPH - Geriatric Medicine