Save 25% on 1st month of coaching with code SELFLOVE25
Sale Ends Sun Feb 19

The ABCs of Hormone Therapy

by: Dr. Mary Claire Haver
ABC's of HRT therapy

Hormone Therapy – What types are available? How often do you take it? How much do you need?

Dr. Haver outlines the FDA-approved options.

Table of Contents

Hormone therapy is not one-size-fits-all. Many options exist, allowing physicians to prescribe different types and doses to meet a woman’s specific needs and overall health status. What is helpful to one woman may be very different from what another woman needs, and Dr. Haver is here to explain the broad range of options. 

Recently, the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) updated its position statement on hormone therapy. This new guidance outlines the most recent research about the risks and benefits of different types of therapy.

“If you are dealing with menopause symptoms, it’s time to speak with your physician to find the type of therapy that’s right for you. The newest research is very encouraging about the safety and efficacy of hormone therapy.”

– Dr. Mary Claire Haver

Types of Hormone Therapy

There are two basic formulations of hormone therapy: estrogen and progestogens. Both substances are naturally produced in the female body but decline as a woman nears and enters menopause. As the levels decline, many women experience symptoms like hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and an increased risk of bone fracture. The goal of hormone therapy is to replace what is no longer produced naturally. 

Estrogen Therapy 

Women without a uterus can take estrogen to relieve menopause symptoms. 

Combination Therapy

Women with a uterus need a combination therapy of both estrogen and progestogens. After menopause, when the endometrial lining is no longer shed with menstruation, adding estrogen alone, can stimulate an overgrowth of the uterine lining. Progestogens work to protect the lining and help reduce the risk of developing uterine cancer. 

Other Therapies

The new guidance from NAMS focuses on estrogen and progesterone replacement, but it is important to remember that additional types of hormone therapies exist. Testosterone therapy is available, and is an option that many women are exploring. Talk with your physician about the risks and benefits of a full range of options to determine what is best for you. If you need a referral, you can find a qualified physician in our Community Recommended Physicians database

Dosing of Hormone Therapy: how much is enough?

The lowest amount of hormone therapy that can produce the needed results should be used. It is important to take the time to speak with your physician about the specific symptoms you are experiencing, along with your medical history, so together, you can make the most informed decision about dosing. 

Administering Hormone Therapy

Estrogen therapy and combination therapy can be delivered to the body in a variety of ways. Talk with your physician about which option makes the most sense for you.

  • Oral medication
  • Patches
  • Sprays
  • Gels or creams
  • Vaginal rings

Safety of Hormone Therapy

The new findings on the safety and efficacy of hormone therapy were reported by NAMS and have been endorsed by hundreds of women’s health organizations. Experts say that for healthy women (without contraindications) who are younger than 60, and within 10 years of menopause onset, the benefits of hormone therapy outweigh the risks for treating menopause symptoms.

If you’re looking for a menopause friendly doctor you can visit our database of Recommended Physicians or the North American Menopause Society for a list of qualified providers.

Related Posts:

The Galveston Diet can help women in menopause feel more confident in their skin.

This blog provides general information and discussion about medicine, health and related subjects. The words and other content provided in this blog, and in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. If the reader or any other person has a medical concern, he or she should consult with an appropriately-licensed physician or other health care worker.

Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this blog or in any linked materials. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or emergency room immediately.

The views expressed on this blog and website have no relation to those of any academic, hospital, practice or other institution with which the authors are affiliated.

While the information on the site was prepared to provide accurate information regarding topics related to general and specific health issues, the information contained in the site is made available with the express understanding that neither Dr. Mary Claire Haver,, nor the other experts on the site, nor the site itself, nor members of the Site are dispensing medical advice and do not intend any of this information to be used for self-diagnosis or treatment.


Don't miss a thing from
The 'Pause Blog

Get the latest news from Dr. haver delivered to your inbox.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
By signing up, I agree to the Terms & to receive emails from The Galveston Diet.

This website uses cookies to ensure you receive the best experience.