Osteoporosis FAQs

Estrogen Can Dramatically Reduce Fracture Risk

Vertebral fracture frequency as a function of age among female patients in the Kaiser-Permanente population in San Francisco

Benefits and Risks of Estrogen

Benefits of Estrogen

  • Controls symptoms of menopause (vasomotor symptoms and urogenital problems)
  • Prevents osteoporosis
  • Decreases risk of cardiovascular disease

Risks of Estrogen

  • Increases risk of endometrial cancer if used without a progestational agent
  • Possible increased risk of breast cancer

Breast Cancer Risk and Postmenopausal Hormone Therapy

What Are the Facts?

  • Evidence for an association between postmenopausal hormone therapy and breast cancer risk is inconclusive
  • Virtually all studies show no increased risk with short-term, current use (i.e., < 5 years) or past use
  • Some studies show a slightly increased risk with long-term, current use (i.e., > 5 years