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    The use of hormone replacement therapy is rarely recommend for combating osteoporosis alone nowadays, with the use of bisphosphanates usually being the prefered method. The following information is useful to get an historical aspect on the subject and for the minority of women who when all things considered estrogen hormone treatment is recommended by their doctor.

    For protection from bone loss it is important to maintain estrogen intake; many studies have shown that bone mass is only maintained as long as the estrogen treatment is taking place. Research has shown that the use of estrogen has the ability to delay the rate of bone loss in women at least until their eighties. Women whose menstrual cycle stops at an early age are at an increased risk of osteoporosis; typically the menopause starts between the ages of forty five to fifty five. The increased risk can be reduced dramatically by correcting the menopausal effects with estrogen supplements.

    Estrogen Supplements

    The most common form of estrogen supplements is conjugated equine estrogen; this is normally given at the rate of 0.625 mg a day for approximately the first three weeks of each month. Often progestins are also given during the third week of the estrogen treatment; this is in order to minimize the risk of an increasing size of the lining of the uterus, therefore reducing the risk of developing cancer.

     One of the side effects of using progestins is that there is an associated increase in both the level of cholesterols and triglycerides in the blood stream; this can lead to an increased risk of a heart attack. Because of this many doctors do not prescribe progestins in the third week; it is definitely a matter that you should discuss with your doctor.

    A further side effect of taking estrogen is that bleeding may occur in the vagina when first starting the treatment; this is because the uterus is stimulated, like it is in pre-menopause. As bleeding can be a sign of more serious conditions it is important to have regular visits to your doctor and have a sample (scrape) taken from the uterus lining to check for any abnormalities.

    Bone mass menopausal effects and estrogen

    As mentioned previously estrogen has been well established as being able to prevent loss of bone mass in menopausal women. In the absence of estrogen there is an increase in the cytokinines that may cause bone loss, whilst when estrogen is present it is able to bind to receptors on cells responsible for bone formation; in this case a different type of cytokinine is released.

    Bone loss normally occurs in women from the early thirties at a rate of about half a percent of bone mass per year, a menopausal women who does not take hormone replacements may lose bone mass at the rate of between 4 and 7% per year; this rate of bone loss usually lasts for approximately four years but in severe cases may carry on for nine to ten years after the start of the menopause.