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Progesterone and hot flashes.

AFI: I am 55 and have seemingly been in perimenopause for 10 or more years. My mother experienced hot flashes for years and one sister is having them now. After my one hot flash several years ago, I began using progesterone cream and then later switched to 200 mg of Prometrium. I have never had another hot flash, although I do experience other annoying symptoms, including erratic and very heavy menstrual periods. What role does progesterone play in the management of hot flashes, if any?--C.J.

AFI: Progesterone used alone is recognized as useful to prevent hot flashes. It is particularly helpful for women who are having symptoms but who are still menstruating periodically. However, there are no large-scale, long-term studies that look at the risks and benefits of progesterone alone. The Women's Health Initiative Study compared women who used estrogen and progestin to women who only used estrogen. The findings were that those on estrogen and progestin had higher rates of breast cancer while those on estrogen alone did not. While this does not prove anything about using progestin alone, it does make one wonder about the role of progestin with respect to breast cancer risk.
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Title Annotation:Letters from AFI Readers
Publication:A Friend Indeed
Article Type:Letter to the Editor
Date:May 1, 2004
Previous Article:Itchy and scratchy.
Next Article:Alzheimer's and HRT.

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