Individual Non-Covered Health Service: Testing Hormone Levels in Postmenopausal, Symptom-Free Women

DOI: 10.3238/zfa.2009.0371

german translation / full article

Martin Beyer, Antje Erler, Kristina Saal, Juliana J. Petersen

Keywords: female postmenopausal estrogens hormone replacement therapy

Background and Problem: As an individual non-covered health service, healthy, symptom-free women can test the “hormone status“ in their serum, with the aim of afterwards initiating therapeutic measures if necessary. This paper examines whether determining FSH, LH and estradiol levels in postmenopausal, symptom-free women is useful as an indicator of the need for a hormone therapy.

Method: To identify relevant trials and reviews, a thorough literature search was performed in the MedLine database (via PubMed) and the Cochrane Library. Furthermore, an internet search via “Google“ was carried out and the homepage of specific institutions studied.

Results: The measurement of the serum levels of FSH, LH and estradiol is not useful to indicate the need for a hormone therapy in healthy, symptom-free postmenopausal women. Hormone therapies raise the risk of venous thromboembo- lism, stroke, gallbladder disease, breast and ovarian cancer. A preventive influence on coronary heart disease, urinary incontinence and cognitive impairment could also not be proven. A hormone therapy is therefore not indicated for healthy, symptom-free postmenopausal women, not even to prevent osteoporosis.

Conclusion: No evidence could be found to suggest that testing FSH, LH and estradiol hormone levels to indicate the need for a hormonal therapy in postmenopausal women is useful.

(State: 31.05.2011)

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