Review on November 24, 2009
Menopause symptoms occur to varying degrees in women at a mature stage of life. Such symptoms range from: vaginal dryness and night sweats, to breast tenderness and a loss of libido. Such symptoms occur because of an imbalance in women's hormone levels. Such a state is due to lessening levels of estrogen in the body. The menopausal state can be halted and the symptoms eased by introducing estrogens into the body to address this imbalance. Proestrogens are one type of chemical which can be used in this regard. Methyltestosterone and estrogen combined in a pill, known as: Estratest showed positive results in one study. Such a drug can be used to combat the effects of a loss of libido and the thinning of bones known as osteoporosis. Studies in its ability to combat breast cancer are less conclusive however.
Since its inception in 1965 one type of proestrogen, known as: Estratest has been prescribed to an immense amount 36 million American citizens. Its widespread popularity is as a result of its proven effectiveness in treating some of the symptoms of menopause. In regards a low libido doses of this proestrogen to stimulate the production of hormones have proven beneficial. Clinical trials have shown that doses of estrogen are capable of lessening sexual dysfunction. Such proestrogens have also been found of improving lean body mass which has been directly linked to the strengthening of bones. Such a process would stop the effects of bone frailty linked with osteoporosis. Proestrogens links with the treatment of breast cancer is significantly more complex however. This is because a rise in endogenous androgen levels has been associated with exogenous testosterone which rebalances hormone levels. Such elevations have been directly linked with breast cancer. Proestrogen and its effect on hormones have its benefits in regard menopause symptoms but such benefits carry with them certain risks in relation to breast cancer.
Proestrogen in its Estratest form is widely used and subsequently estrogen in this form has come under a great deal of scrutiny. Such a method of hormone delivery into the body's system can be greatly beneficial but can also carry with it certain risks. Trials have shown that it is noticeably efficient at combating menopause symptoms such as a loss of libido and the thinning of bones through osteoporosis. Menopause often causes tenderness of the breast and such a symptom can often be an indication of breast cancer. Proestrogen has been known to have a negative effect on breast cancer as it elevates endogenous androgen which is directly linked to breast cancer. Despite its proven benefits the use of proestrogen should be carefully monitored.
- 'Influence of Estrogen Plus Testosterone Supplementation on Breast Cancer' Roberta B. Ness, MD, MPH; Jessica D. Albano, MPH; Anne McTiernan, MD, PhD; Jane A. Cauley, DrPH Arch Intern Med. 2009;169(1):41-46.