Estrogen therapy (ET) is a treatment for women that
helps replenish low estrogen levels. This therapy involves taking the hormone
estrogen on a regular basis.
The body naturally produces less estrogen after menopause, when the
ovaries are removed, or as a result of some other health conditions. ET can
help reverse the effects of low estrogen, which may include severe menopausal
symptoms, such as hot flashes and insomnia, and long-term problems, such as
weak and brittle bones (osteoporosis).
Estrogen therapy is also called unopposed estrogen therapy because a second
hormone (progestin) is not used along with the estrogen. Estrogen used alone
can cause cancer of the lining of the uterus (endometrial cancer). For this
reason, unless a woman has had her uterus removed, estrogen usually is combined
with progestin; this combined therapy is called hormone therapy (HT).
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Carla J. Herman, MD, MPH - Geriatric Medicine
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.
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.