Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Menopause Health Center

Font Size

Hormone Therapy for Menopause and Perimenopause

When (and How) to Get Off HT continued...

Taper off: Experts really aren’t sure whether this is better than quitting cold turkey, but many doctors suggest a step-down plan: taking a lower dose or skipping pills every other day. Dr. Richardson believes that tapering off helps, but it should be done very slowly, and a woman should stay at any given level for at least three months. If you get to the point where symptoms start to crank up slightly, stay at that level for up to a year, then try lowering some more. In any case, don’t try these approaches on your own; work with your doctor.

Some women quit hormones more than once — “five times and counting,” says Kalell — and some stay on for years, having decided that it’s reasonably safe for them. It’s critical to report unusual symptoms, especially unexpected bleeding or spotting, a possible warning sign of cancer, and to be scrupulous about mammograms. It’s also important to keep revisiting the question of risk and benefit, especially as you get older and your health issues change.


Originally published on March 27, 2008


Related content on


Today on WebMD

woman walking outdoors
How to handle headaches, night sweats, and more.
mature woman holding fan in face
Symptoms and treatments.
woman hiding face behind hands
11 ways to keep skin bright and healthy.
Is it menopause or something else?
senior couple
mature woman shopping for produce
Alcohol Disrupting Your Sleep
mature couple on boat

Pollen counts, treatment tips, and more.

It's nothing to sneeze at.

Loading ...

Sending your email...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.


Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

mature woman tugging on her loose skin
senior woman wearing green hat
mature woman

WebMD Special Sections