Will I Still Get My Period if I Choose HRT?

Health |

For women who have not had hysterectomies, combining progestin with estrogen is necessary to eliminate the risk of endometrial cancer. But one of the consequences of taking estrogen in combination with progestin is that it can cause women to resume or continue monthly menstrual bleeding. While women have options in choosing HRT that can reduce menstrual bleeding, some form of monthly bleeding or spotting will accompany HRT in many women.

The most common HRT regimen includes low-dose progestin for between 12 and 14 days a month. Nearly 90 percent of women who take this regimen begin bleeding as soon as the progestin is stopped. Monthly bleeding occurs for many years after HRT is started, but as time passes, the bleeding often lessens and eventually stops.

Because many women are reluctant to continue having “periods” after menopause, doctors are now prescribing an HRT program that includes progestin every day. In this program, between 30 and 50 percent of women have irregular spotting for the first six months of therapy.

Spotting can also be a sign of uterine tissue problems or cancer, so if you are spotting, your health care provider may recommend an endometrial biopsy to rule out other problems.

If you are interested in hormone replacement therapy but are concerned about continuing to have monthly menstrual bleeding, talk to your health care provider about your options.