Who should not take conjugated estrogens?

In the last few years we have learned a lot about hormone replacement therapies such as conjugated estrogens and that has led doctors to be very careful about who they offer it to. While hormone replacement therapy (HRT) that contains conjugated estrogen does a great job of reducing severe and disabling symptoms of menopause, not all women can or should take it. We call that a contraindication or reasons to withhold treatment in certain people. There is a long list so be sure to discuss it all with your doctor before going on it.

Conjugated estrogens should be withheld in women with the following:

  • current or past breast cancer
  • hormone sensitive cancer
  • vaginal bleeding
  • endometrial hyperplasia
  • history of a blood clot in the legs (deep vein thrombosis), lungs (pulmonary embolism), heart (heart attack), or brain (stroke)
  • untreated or uncontrolled high blood pressure (hypertension)
  • active liver disease
  • allergy to anything in the hormone preparation
  • bleeding disorder
  • pregnancy and breastfeeding
  • tobacco smokers

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.