Hormone therapy regimens for managing the menopause and premature ovarian insufficiency

Best Pract Res Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2021 Dec;35(6):101561. doi: 10.1016/j.beem.2021.101561. Epub 2021 Jun 30.


The transition to menopause is associated with a changing hormonal milieu, leading to bothersome menopausal symptoms in the short-term and chronic health problems in the long-term. Premature ovarian insufficiency (POI) is characterized by the cessation of menses before the age of 40 years. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is indicated to restore sex hormones to normal premenopausal levels and prevent chronic diseases, such as osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease. Menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) is indicated in perimenopausal and postmenopausal women over 45 years of age for managing menopausal symptoms, symptoms of vulvovaginal atrophy, and reducing the risk of postmenopausal osteoporosis. Individualization is the key to management, aiming at maximizing efficacy and minimizing clinically relevant risks. This review aimed to present the hormone therapy regimens for women during the transition or after menopause and women with POI and early menopause, as well as advise on: i) the initiation of MHT, ii) steps for monitoring during follow up, iii) weaning and discontinuation of treatment.

Keywords: estrogen; hormone replacement therapy; indications; postmenopause; premature ovarian insufficiency; progestogen.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Estrogen Replacement Therapy / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Hormone Replacement Therapy
  • Hormones
  • Humans
  • Menopause
  • Menopause, Premature*
  • Primary Ovarian Insufficiency* / chemically induced
  • Primary Ovarian Insufficiency* / drug therapy
  • Primary Ovarian Insufficiency* / prevention & control


  • Hormones