(HealthDay News) – Ten years after the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) declared that hormone replacement therapy may do more harm than good in the prevention of chronic disease, the North American Menopause Society (NAMS), the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, and The Endocrine Society have issued a joint statement concluding hormone therapy safe and effective in the treatment of menopausal symptoms.

Since the WHI position was published on July 9, 2002, there has been a reluctance to use hormone therapy for the treatment of menopausal symptoms, and some settings abandoned all use of hormone therapy for this end, driving some women to seek out unproven alternatives to hormone therapy.

Among the key agreements in the statement are that hormone therapy is acceptable for relatively young women; that individualization is a key component in hormone therapy use; and that women who do not have a uterus can take estrogen alone, but those who do have a uterus need to add progestogen to prevent uterine cancer.

“We want to emphasize the difference between taking hormone therapy short-term for treatment of menopausal symptoms versus taking hormone therapy for prevention of chronic diseases,” Margery Gass, MD, the executive director of NAMS, said in a statement. “Many women can safely take hormone therapy for relief of menopausal symptoms when they work closely with their provider to assess their personal risks and benefits.”

More Information