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HRT Boosts Sexual Interest

WomanA new study produces unexpected results as authorities discover hormone therapy in early post-menopause increases sexual interest, but does not improve memory.

The research is published in the Sept. 25 issue of the journal Neurology.

“Contrary to what we predicted, hormone therapy did not have a positive affect on memory performance in younger mid-life women,” said Pauline Maki, associate professor of psychiatry and psychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago, who led the study.

“If women want to improve hot flashes and night sweats — the primary reason most women seek menopausal relief — and they want to improve their sexual focus and interest, then this may be a formulation for them.”

Maki and her colleagues enrolled 180 women between the ages of 45 and 55 whose last menstrual cycle was in the past one to three years. The women were randomly assigned to receive either a placebo or a combination of estrogen and progesterone, also known as Prempro, for four months.

The study evaluated memory, attention, cognitive function, emotional status, sexuality and sleep.

No significant changes in cognitive function were identified in the newly menopausal women taking hormone therapy compared to the placebo group.

Although previous smaller studies have suggested that estrogen provides cognitive benefits in recently menopausal women, Maki said that progestin may counteract these positive effects.

Women treated with hormone therapy reported a 32 percent increase in sexual thoughts and a 44 percent increase in sexual interest when compared to women taking placebo, according to the researchers.

The study also found that women with vasomotor symptoms, such as hot flashes and night sweats, showed a reduction in symptoms and an improvement in overall quality-of-life when taking hormone therapy versus placebo.

The study, which is the largest randomized trial to date examining hormone therapy and memory in midlife women, was stopped early due to declining enrollment that coincided with results of the Women’s Health Initiative, which found that the associated health risks of the therapy outweighed the benefits.

Source: University of Illinois at Chicago

HRT Boosts Sexual Interest

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2018). HRT Boosts Sexual Interest. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 21, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Aug 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Aug 2018
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