Medical Problems of Performing ArtistsMedical Problems of Performing Artists

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Hormone therapy for the female performing artist

Keith O. Reeves
From: Medical Problems of Performing Artists: Volume 20 Number 1: Page 48 (March 2005)

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Abstract: This article reviews the benefits and risks of oral contraceptive (OC) use for the female performer during adolescence and her menstrual years and the use of hormone therapy (HT) during her menopausal and postmenopausal years. In adolescence, some of the adverse effects of menstruation may be prevented by the use of OCs. Newer products that allow less frequent cycling afford some convenience in scheduling bleeding around performances. During the childbearing years, the use of OCs permits the performer to plan for children as she desires. While vocalists have been hesitant to use hormones, fearing changes in their voice quality, OC use seems to have no untoward effects and may actually improve voice parameters. More controversy and inconclusive evidence surround the use of HT during the menopausal and postmenopausal years. Currently, HT is indicated for three reasons only: (1) reduction of moderate to severe menopausal symptoms; (2) prevention of bone loss; and (3) treatment of vulvar and vaginal itching. It is important that the lowest possible doses be prescribed for patients in order to minimize the potential adverse effects of this therapy.

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