A study used to determine the long term effects of estrogen supplements in women is complete and the results are encouraging.
Researchers say women who take estrogen pills to help with the side effects of menopause will not suffer any permanent consequences. Doctors advise women to take the hormone supplements only on a short term basis to manage hot flashes that are common during menopause.
Estrogen has been known to increase a woman’s risk of stroke and blood clots. This particular government funded study focused on women who had undergone hysterectomies and were taking estrogen only pills. There are some estrogen supplements that include progestin. Estrogen only can increase the risk of cancer for women who have not had a hysterectomy.
The study followed women with a majority in their 60s that took estrogen pills for six years and then stopped. The women were reevaluated four years after stopping the estrogen. The risk of blood clots and strokes declined, but so did the bone-strengthening benefits estrogen offered. Researchers point out women who took the pills in their 50s had a lower risk of developing cancer and heart problems.
The study has been published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.