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The Unexpected — and Unwanted — Side Effect of Hormone Therapy

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Contrary to what we previously thought, hormonal therapy can actually make hearing loss worse

A new research study out of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, found a possible connection between hormones and hearing loss among menopausal women.

The study, which will be published in Menopause, the journal of the North American Menopause Society, focused on data collected from 80,972 postmenopausal women. The self-reported study indicated that menopausal women who undergo hormone therapy for extended periods of time are at a greater risk for hearing loss.

More: Is Hormone Replacement Therapy Right for You?

Previously, it was believed that hormone therapy would actually improve hearing loss in menopausal women.

“The finding from this observational study that women who underwent menopause at a later age and used oral hormone therapy had greater hearing loss was unexpected but should lead to more testing in a randomized, clinical trial,” says Dr. JoAnn Pinkerton, executive director of NAMS.

Menopause usually occurs in women over the age of 45 and brings with it symptoms like vaginal dryness, hot flashes and mood swings.

While the Brigham and Women’s Hospital-led study does present a comprehensive set of facts supporting hearing loss among women who use HRT, the overall benefits and risks of undergoing hormone replacement therapy should be discussed with a physician.

More: It's Super-Common to Miss These Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalance

In an effort to make the conversation about menopause a more exhaustive one, the JAMA network published a one-sheet that can help women when speaking to their physicians.

By Vivian Nunez

Originally published on HelloFlo

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