Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Effects of "natural oestrogen" replacement therapy on menopausal symptoms and blood clotting.

Br Med J 1975; 4 doi: (Published 18 October 1975) Cite this as: Br Med J 1975;4:139
  1. J Coope,
  2. J M Thomson,
  3. L Poller


    In a double-blind study on the value of equine ("natural") oestrogens 30 patients presenting with menopausal symptoms in a group practice were monitored for possible adverse effects on blood clotting, weight, and blood pressure. The women were randomly allocated to two groups and given either three months' hormone treatment followed by three months' placebo or vice versa. An appreciable amelioration of all symptoms on placebo made it difficult to asses the genuine value of oestrogen treatment during the period of study. Both groups made a dramatic clinical improvement during the first three months. Nevertheless, the symptoms of the 15 women who received oestrogen first returned after the cross-over to placebo without any suggestion of a placebo response. In contrast, the other group who took placebo first did not deteriorate after changing to oestrogen. The menopausal index and the karyopyknotic index were not reliable guides to the need for oestrogen treatment. Hot flushes, however, were proportionately reduced on oestrogen and they seemed to be more readily eliminated in individual cases by oestrogen. The results of blood clotting studies indicated that natural oestrogen administration raised the levels of the extrinsic clotting factors VII and X and accelerated the prothrombin time. The findings were similar to those observed after three months synthetic oestrogen administration with oral contraception. Long-term studies and epidemiological surveys of the clinical incidence of thrombotic and other sequelae are needed before large-scale oestrogen replacement treatment can be recommended.