Q: How many years should a woman be on HRT?
Dr. Donnica: There's no set answer for this question for all women
-- since all women differ, this is a question that each woman should address
with her own physician. In general, my answer is that women should take
HRT -- just like any other medicine -- for as long as it continues to benefit
them. Since prevention is the major reason women take HRT in the first
place, the answer is to continue taking it, so long as you don't have any negative
side effects or changes in your health that are contraindications for HRT.
Some data suggests that the risks of HRT increase slightly for women after taking
it for 10 years. As a result, some physicians recommend that women stop
taking HRT after 10 years. Other physicians do not feel this data is strong
enough to warrant any changes in patients who are not at high risk and who are
Another related issue you may want to discuss with your doctor is whether you
are on the lowest dose of HRT that will still benefit you. For women who
have been on HRT a long time, they may be able to decrease their dose and still
get the maximum benefit. There are now lower dose products on the market
than existed when many women started taking HRT. In fact, a new low dose
combination pill (Premia, from Wyeth Ayerst Labs) will soon be on the market.
With best regards,
Donnica Moore, MD
Click here for related information.
Created: 6/5/2001  - Donnica Moore, M.D.