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What should I know before I begin hormone therapy for menopause?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Practitioner

If you have a strong family history of breast cancer, hormone therapy may not be a good option for you.

If you have a family history of liver porphyria, hormone therapy can lead to side effects and should be avoided.

Hormone therapy may make diabetes worse. Women with diabetes have a higher risk of other health problems, such as heart attacks, strokes, and blood clots. Hormone therapy also raises these risks.

If you have had a blood clot or a heart attack, you should not use hormone therapy.

If you have had a stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA), you should not use hormone therapy.

If you have had breast cancer or endometrial cancer, you should not use hormone therapy.

If you have a history of cholestatic jaundice, hormone therapy may not be a good option for you.

If you have a hypercoagulation (increased blood clotting) disorder, hormone therapy may not be a good option for you.

If you have asthma, epilepsy, kidney impairment, liver impairment, lupus, migraine headaches, or uterine fibroids, hormone therapy may not be a good option for you.

If you are pregnant or may be pregnant, or hope to become pregnant, you should not use hormone therapy.

This answer was adapted from Sharecare's award-winning AskMD app. Start a consultation now to find out what's causing your symptoms, learn how to manage a condition, or find a doctor.

Before you begin hormone therapy for menopause you should know that hormones may not be needed. There are other medications, like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), that can help with hot flashes.  And, there are vaginal creams that help with vaginal dryness.

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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.