A new study adds incontinence to the list of ailments that hormone pills had been thought to help prevent, but now appear to worsen, at least in older women.
Estrogen pills with or without progestin increased postmenopausal women’s risk of developing incontinence, and also appeared to make it worse in women who already had the vexing problem.
The findings came from the same landmark government study that in the past few years linked the widely used supplements to a higher risk of heart attacks, strokes, breast cancer and dementia.
“We were hoping to find a gleam of hope for estrogen” after all the earlier negative findings, but the results with incontinence were disappointing, too, said lead author Dr. Susan Hendrix, a gynecologist at Wayne State University.
The findings, published in Journal of the American Medical Association, come from research on 27,347 women, ages 50 to 79, participating in the Women’s Health Initiative study.