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What is short-term hormone replacement therapy (HRT)?

Short-term therapy involves taking hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for five years or less. Short-term therapy is usually given to reduce menopausal symptoms. Short-term treatment also can help prevent osteoporosis, slow down age-related memory loss, and lower cholesterol.

Short-term HRT does not raise the risk of breast or ovarian cancer. Women who have not undergone a hysterectomy should take estrogen in combination with progesterone to avoid an increased risk of uterine cancer. Women who have had a hysterectomy do not have to take progesterone.

Short-term HRT may slightly increase the risk of gallstones and blood clots in the legs or lungs, a condition known as a venous thromboembolism. For most women, however, this increased risk is very small. Consult with your primary healthcare practitioner to discuss the benefits and risks of this type of treatment.

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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.