What are the long term side effects of estrogen replacement therapy?

The overall increased risk of serious adverse effects, such as breast cancer, stroke and pulmonary embolism, with long-term hormone replacement therapy. Some hormone therapies can cause vaginal bleeding. It is more common when you start hormone therapy for the first time or if you switch from one treatment to another. Hot flashes and sweating can be annoying. How often you have them and how long they last will vary from person to person. Talk to your health care team if you have trouble coping with hot flashes and sweating.

There are treatments that can help. You may also have other symptoms of menopause, even if you've already had menopause. For example, you may have vaginal dryness, mood changes, sweating, and decreased sexual desire. Some hormone therapies can cause hair thinning.

Usually, other people don't notice it. If you are concerned about thinning hair and would like advice on how to cover it, you can learn more about thinning hair and anticancer drugs. The side effects of hormone therapy will depend primarily on the type of hormone therapy, the dose of the drug or combination of drugs, and your general health. Fatigue is the general tiredness and lack of energy that can occur with hormone therapy.

It makes a person feel more tired than usual and can interfere with daily activities and sleep. It usually gets worse when you are receiving other treatments, such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Fatigue may improve over time, but it can sometimes last a long time after hormone treatment. Some hormone therapy medications can cause nausea and vomiting. These side effects usually get better as your body gets used to the medication.

Taking hormone therapy medications with food or before bed can help alleviate these side effects. Nausea and vomiting may also occur a few hours after radiation therapy to the abdomen. Weight gain often occurs with hormone therapy. It is caused by increased appetite, decreased activity, and fluid retention. It's often difficult to control your weight when you're undergoing hormone therapy, but changes in diet and exercise can help. You can request a consultation with a dietitian to control your weight.

Some hormone therapies may cause a decrease or loss of interest in sexual intercourse. It can continue while you are taking hormonal drug therapy, but it can sometimes be a long-term side effect. It can be a permanent side effect if surgery or radiation therapy is done to stop hormone production. Treatment-induced menopause may be permanent in women who have their ovaries surgically removed or receive radiation therapy to the ovaries. Treatment-induced menopause in women who have undergone hormonal drug treatment may be temporary.

For some women, it may be permanent, especially if they are close to natural menopause when hormonal drug therapy begins. The symptoms of treatment-induced menopause are the same as those of natural menopause, but may be more severe because the treatment-induced menopause happens quickly. Some hormone therapies can cause hot flashes and sweating in both men and women. These side effects usually improve as the body gets used to the treatment or when therapy with hormonal drugs is stopped.

There are ways to control hot flashes. Taking hormone therapy medications at night may help some people cope with hot flashes. If hot flashes worsen at night, take your medicines in the morning. Check with your doctor or health care team before taking herbal products to treat hot flashes, as some may have hormonal properties that may affect a hormone-related cancer. The information provided by the Canadian Cancer Society does not replace your relationship with your doctor.

The side effects of hormone therapy may last for a short time, or they may last until the end of treatment and beyond. The risk is also reduced if a progestin (another female hormone) is added to the estrogen dose or replaces part of it. The Lancet asked researchers from the epidemiology unit of Cancer Research UK, in Oxford, to review all long-term hormone therapy trials, after part of the trial of the women's health initiative had revealed an increased risk of cardiovascular events, following the early completion of part of the trial of the women's health initiative. If the uterus was removed by surgery (total hysterectomy), there is no risk of endometrial cancer and there is no need to take a combination of estrogen and progestogen. They noted that existing trials were too small to reliably evaluate the effect of hormone therapy on mortality from specific causes, and that they did not provide information on estrogen or progestogen preparations different from those already tested.

The overall increased risk of serious adverse effects, such as breast cancer, stroke and pulmonary embolism, with long-term hormone replacement therapy (HRT) outweighs the potential benefits in preventing the disease, warns a review of major trials published last week. If you have side effects, they can occur at any time during hormone therapy, right after, or a few days or weeks later.