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Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is the use of synthetic or natural female hormones to make up for the
In order to understand how HRT works and the controversies surrounding it, women should know that there are different types of estrogen medications commonly prescribed in the United States and Europe. These drugs are given in a variety of prescription strengths and methods of administration. There are at present three estrogen compounds used in Western countries. Only the first two are readily available in the United States.
In addition to pills taken by mouth, skin patches, and vaginal creams, estrogen preparations can be given by injection or by pellets implanted under the skin. Estrogen implants, however, are used less and less frequently.
Most HRT programs include progestin treatment with estrogen compounds. Progestins—sometimes called progestogens—are synthetic forms of progesterone that are given to reduce the possibility that estrogen by itself will cause cancer of the uterus. Progestins are commonly prescribed under the brand names Provera and Depo-Provera. Other common brand names are Norlutate, Norlutin, and Aygestin.
Author Info: Laith Farid Gulli M.D., The Gale Group Inc., Gale, Detroit, Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine, 2002
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