HRT Hormone Replacement Therapy

Hormone replacement therapy can be either estrogen alone (called estrogen replacement therapy, or ERT), or estrogen and progesterone combined. This combination is referred to as hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Progesterone is usually given in the form of progestins, which are synthetic forms of the naturally occurring hormone progesterone. While once widely used, HRT now has a more limited role because of concerns about its safety.

Medications and Their Commonly Used Names

Estrogen is most commonly given in these forms:

  • Pill or tablet
  • Vaginal cream
  • Vaginal ring insert
  • Patch
  • Skin gel

Progestin is available in these forms:

  • Pill (can be combined with estrogen)
  • Intrauterine device (IUD)
  • Vaginal capsule
  • Injection
  • Implant
  • Skin gel

Medication is usually prescribed to help ease menopausal symptoms or to reduce the risk of osteoporosis. However, long-term use of HRT may significantly increase your risk of breast cancer, stroke, heart attack or blood clots. For that reason, the risks of HRT may outweigh the benefits – so the decision to use HRT is something you should discuss with your physician (Link to Physician Directory).