Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)

  • Marta Caretto
  • Tommaso SimonciniEmail author
Living reference work entry
Part of the Endocrinology book series (ENDOCR)


Hormone therapy (HT) remains the most effective treatment for vasomotor symptoms (VMS) and the genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM) and has been shown to prevent bone loss and fracture. The risks of HT differ depending on type, dose, combination, duration of use, route of administration, and timing of initiation. Treatment should be individualized to identify the most appropriate HT type, dose, formulation, route of administration, and duration of use, using the best available evidence to maximize benefits and minimize risks, with periodic reevaluation of the benefits and risks of continuing or discontinuing HT.

For women aged younger than 60 years or who are within 10 years of menopause onset and have no contraindications, the benefit-risk ratio is most favorable for treatment of bothersome VMS and for those at elevated risk for bone loss or fracture.

For women who initiate HT more than 10 years from menopause onset or are aged 60 years or older, the benefit-risk ratio appears less favorable because of the greater absolute risks of coronary heart disease, stroke, and venous thromboembolism. Longer durations of therapy should be for documented indications such as persistent VMS or bone loss, with shared decision making and periodic reevaluation. New and emerging menopausal therapies have the potential to relieve menopausal symptoms and to create a target treatment.


Breast cancer Cardiovascular disease Estrogen Hormone replacement therapy Menopause Osteoporosis Vaginal atrophy Vasomotor symptoms 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Gynecology and ObstetricsUniversity of PisaPisaItaly

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