A novel regimen of combination transdermal estrogen and intermittent vaginally administered progesterone for relief of menopausal symptoms
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OBJECTIVES: To determine the safety and efficacy of a novel regimen of transdermal estrogen and vaginally administered progesterone for treatment of menopausal symptoms. STUDY METHODS: A retrospective chart review was conducted of menopausal patients aged 46-65, using an oestradiol patch and vaginally administered prometrium for at least 1 year. Available transvaginal ultrasound (TVUS) measurements of endometrial thickness and endometrial biopsy results after at least 1 year of treatment were collated. Symptom relief, bleeding and side effects were reviewed. RESULTS: Forty-one patients were identified, using an estrogen patch ranging from 25 to 100 μg twice weekly and vaginal prometrium either continuously 3-5 days weekly (36 patients), or sequentially 12 days/month (5 patients). Seventeen patients were lost to follow-up or discontinued therapy within 1 year. Only 23.5% (4/17 patients) of patients who had a TVUS after 1 year (or sooner if bleeding occurred) had a thickened endometrial lining on ultrasound (>5 mm), and all of these had normal endometrial biopsies. By 1 year of follow-up, 91.7% of patients were amenorrhoeic. All patients had relief of menopausal symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: Vaginal administration of progesterone as part of combined estrogen plus progestin therapy has the potential for decreasing side effects while maintaining endometrial safety and amenorrhoea. Larger prospective trials are warranted.
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