Menopausal hormone therapy (HT)

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Hormone therapy (HT) is medicine used to treat symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes and vaginal dryness. It may contain one or both of the hormones estrogen and progestin.

Like all medicines, HT has some risks. But for many people, the benefits of taking HT outweigh the risks. Talk with your doctor about whether HT is right for you.

Hormone therapy includes:

  • Low-dose vaginal estrogen (cream, tablet, or ring). These forms are mainly used to treat vaginal dryness and other tissue changes in and around the vagina.
  • Estrogen and progestin therapy. This form of HT sends hormones throughout the body. It can come in the form of a pill, patch, vaginal ring, gel, spray, or cream. Estrogen and progestin therapy is most often used to treat menopause symptoms in people who have a uterus.
  • Estrogen therapy (ET). This is the use of estrogen without progestin. This form of HT also sends hormones throughout the body. Most people who use ET have had their uterus removed (hysterectomy).

The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.