Menopause hormone therapy: Who shouldn't take it?

Doctors prescribe hormone therapy to ease menopause symptoms, such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness and mood disturbances. But hormone therapy isn't appropriate for some women.

You shouldn't use hormone therapy for menopause symptoms if you have:

  • Heart and blood vessel (cardiovascular) disease
  • Breast cancer
  • Estrogen-dependent cancer or precancer
  • A known risk of developing blood clots, such as deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism
  • Liver disease
  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding that hasn't been evaluated by a doctor
  • A sensitivity to the components of hormone therapy, such as conjugated estrogens

Although it seems unlikely, pregnancy can still happen during the years leading up to the menopausal transition (perimenopause). Don't take hormone therapy if you're pregnant or if you think you could be pregnant.