Menopause by cemploz18


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                                                Perhaps the most familiar type of steroid
                                                hormone therapy is estrogen replacement
                                                therapy (ERT) for women whose ovaries have
                                                been removed surgically or women who have
                                                symptoms related to menopause. The first
                                                estrogen drug, under the trade name Premarin,
                                                was available in injectable form in 1942. The
                                                pill form gained popularity as the
                                                ‘‘medicalization’’ of menopause increased. The
                                                hormone was derived from the urine of
                                                pregnant mares. When the relationship between
osteoporosis, hip fracture, and low estrogen levels was recognized, ERT was recommended for
all women. The ‘‘baby-boomer’’ generation (those born between 1946 and 1964) was
particularly receptive to ERT promotion, and by the end of the century one third of
postmenopausal women in the U.S. were taking some kind of hormone replacement therapy.

In 1975, research indicated that unopposed estrogen raised the rate of endometrial cancers.
Progesterone was added to estrogen, and the treatment became known as HRT (hormone
replacement therapy). By the year 2000, esterified estrogens, synthetic estrogen from plant
sources, and combinations with testosterone and progestins were prescribed as pills, transdermal
skin patches, or intravaginal applicators. Studies early in the twenty-first century, however,
determined that although these drugs were safer, they did not provide sufficient protection
against osteoporosis or cardiovascular disease in women to warrant the risks of therapy.

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