The use of hormone therapy after surgery for endometriosis: an analysis



Estrogen dependence is considered central to the development and progression of endometriosis, which is often viewed as a disease of the premenopausal years, normally regressing after menopause. However, there have been several reports of postmenopausal endometriosis occurring with and without the use of hormone therapy (HT).


This review aimed to answer the question of whether it is prudent to offer HT for women with a past history of surgical endometriosis. What are the risks? What type of HT should be given?


A review of the medical literature available in Pubmed, EMBASE, Google scholar, Lilacs, Medline and Cochrane Library databases was performed by selecting articles published in the last ten years, written in any language. The keywords used were endometriosis, menopause, and hormone therapy. In all, 36 articles were found from 2006 to 2016, and their potential relevance to this review was examined. We found 20 literature reviews, 2 retrospective studies, 2 randomized controlled trials and 12 case reports.


There is some risk of endometriosis recurrence after the menopause in patients who receive HT; particularly with estrogen-only therapy.


The existing literature is inadequate to firmly answer our questions. However it is clear that some risk of recurrence exists. Nevertheless, it is suggested that it is reasonable to prescribe HT to women with a history of surgical endometriosis. Recurrences may occur even in the absence of using HT. It is suggested that in women with severe disease the use of estrogen plus progestogen is safer than estrogen alone. Malignant transformation may occur 1% of the time and may be of greater concern with using estrogen alone, warranting close surveillance in all women.

J Endometr Pelvic Pain Disord 2016; 8(4): 152 - 156

Article Type: REVIEW



Roger A. Lobo, Katia Franco Quaresma de Moura

Article History


Financial support: No grants or funding have been received for this study.
Conflict of interest: None of the authors has financial interest related to this study to disclose.

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  • Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Columbia University, New York, NY - USA

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