Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Should women who've hit menopause take progesterone?"
Will it reduce my symptoms? I am 53 now.
Progesterone is one of the hormones produced by the body that is responsible for numerous functions in a women's menstrual cycle and overall development. Along with estrogen, it decreases during menopause and can result in symptoms of menopause. That being said, progesterone alone is not thought to result in symptoms of menopause. Talk to your doctor for more information. Menopause occurs in women around the age of 51 and subsequently there is a decrease in estrogen and progesterone levels. This can result in symptoms such as decreased libido, hot flashes, vaginal dryness, joint pain and many others. We know that replacing these hormones can improve symptoms -- therefore there is Hormone Replacement Therapy or HRT. In general, the change in estrogen is thought to be the cause of these symptoms, and therefore estrogen is the main component of HRT. However, there are many health risks to HRT. One of them is that estrogen alone can cause increased risk of some cancers (like uterine) and so progesterone is given with estrogen often in HRT. HRT has risks (increased heart attacks being very notable), but also is known to improve symtpoms. There are also other treatments. Talk to your doctor to weight the risks and benefits of HRT for your specific situation. Good luck!
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