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Hormone replacement therapy - Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is medication containing one or more female hormones, commonly estrogen plus progestin (synthetic progesterone). Some women receive estrogen-only therapy (usually women who have had their uterus removed). One research component of the Women’s Health Initiative Study on the use of estrogen and progestin in women who had a uterus was stopped early because the health risks exceeded the health benefits.  The main reason for stopping the estrogen-progestin study was because of a 26% increase in breast cancer.  The use of estrogen-only therapy in women who no longer have a uterus still continues.

Menopausal hormonal therapy- See hormone replacement therapy

Menopause- final menstrual period that a woman experiences; retrospectively diagnosed one year after no menstrual periods have occurred.  For example, menopause is the first day of the last bleeding episode (menstrual period) of a woman’s life.  It also occurs after surgical removal of the uterus (hysterectomy) and/or surgical removal of the ovaries (oopherectomy).

Menopausal transition - Usually means the period of time before menopause when women experience changes in their bleeding and spotting.

Perimenopause- Includes menopausal transition and the first year after menopause

Premenopausal-the state of active ovarian estrogen production

Postmenopause - This term has dual meanings in research and clinical practice.  For example, the definition can mean the remainder of a woman’s life after menopause.  Or, it can mean the time after perimenopause, that is, one year AFTER the state of absent ovarian estrogen production (i.e., menstrual period).

Subclinical hypothyroidism- A normal serum free thyroxine (T4) level [0.8-16 ng/dL) and a serum TSH level between 5 to 10 mcgU/mL  (i.e., elevated thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) level).

Surgical menopause - When a woman has both the uterus and ovaries removed or only her uterus removed.