DEAR DOCTOR K: I use a vaginal estrogen cream for vaginal dryness. Does it have the same risks as hormones taken orally or by skin patch?
DEAR READER: Hormone therapy (HT) is estrogen taken alone or with other female hormones to treat the symptoms of menopause. "Systemic" HT involves hormones that enter the blood and travel throughout the body. It is the most effective treatment for postmenopausal hot flashes and vaginal symptoms, including vaginal dryness.