To practice as a consultant in reproductive medicine, clinicians require a strong background in hormonal therapy. In this feature, we will review the role of steroidal estrogens used in contraceptive and hormone therapy.
A large Finnish case-control study suggests that postmenopausal hormone therapy results in a 9-17% increase in the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. However, the small effect size, and likely confounding of use effect, does not provide strong evidence for a causal relationship.
Early studies of a potential male contraceptive pill, which contains a modified testosterone that has the combined actions of an androgen and a progesterone, are underway. The experimental male oral contraceptive was the subject of a recent study to analyze its safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics.
Recommendations for menopausal hormone therapy were widely publicized and adopted following the original publication of the results of the Women’s Health Initiative and affected both initiation and continuation of estrogen therapy through at least 2013.
The Food and Drug Administration recently approved two new modalities to aid in menopause management: MenoCheck, a diagnostic tool to show a woman’s menopausal status, and Bijuva, a medication to help with hot flashes.
Results of a large-scale study indicated that 70% of women with a common type of breast cancer do not experience a benefit from chemotherapy. Data suggest that for women with hormone receptor-positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-negative, axillary lymph node-negative breast cancer, post-surgery combination chemotherapy and hormone therapy treatment provides no additional benefit over hormone therapy on its own.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has issued a final recommendation statement and evidence summary upholding its earlier recommendation against use of hormone therapy for the primary prevention of chronic conditions in postmenopausal women.