A Contemporary View of Menopausal Hormone Therapy

Obstet Gynecol. 2024 Mar 14. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000005553. Online ahead of print.


Enthusiasm for the use of hormones to ameliorate symptoms of perimenopause and menopause has waxed and waned over the years. Both treatment for symptoms and training of women's health care practitioners in the management of menopause have sharply declined since publication of the Women's Health Initiative initial results in 2002. Findings from that trial, which treated a population of older, asymptomatic patients, have been extrapolated over the past 21 years to all estrogen products, all menopausal women, and all delivery mechanisms. Our patients deserve a more nuanced, individualized approach. Conjugated equine estrogens and medroxyprogesterone acetate are no longer the predominant medications or medications of choice available for management of menopausal symptoms. All hormones are not equivalent any more than all antiseizure medications or all antihypertensives are equivalent; they have different pharmacodynamics, duration of action, and affinity for receptors, among other things, all of which translate to different risks and benefits. Consideration of treatment with the right formulation, at the right dose and time, and for the right patient will allow us to recommend safe, effective, and appropriate treatment for people with menopausal symptoms.