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A study from Spain shows that an exciting new masculinizing female hormone called tibolone or the combination of male and female hormones is far more effective than estrogen alone in correcting two major adverse effects of menopause: loss of sexual desire and osteoporosis.

All postmenopausal women who have a uterus need to take progesterone when they take the female hormone, estrogen, or they risk uterine cancer. However, several recent studies show that taking progesterone along with estrogen increases a woman's chances of getting breast cancer, particularly after taking these hormones for more than five years. Studies over the last five years show that tibolone, a new female hormone that shares many effects with male hormones, helps to prevent osteoporosis and lack of sexual desire and even can treat these signs and symptoms. It does not increase breast cancer risk and does not have to be taken with progesterone to prevent uterine cancer.

C CasteloBranco, JJ Vicente, F Figueras, A Sanjuan, MJM deOsaba, E Casals, F Pons, J Balasch, JA Vanrell. Comparative effects of estrogens plus androgens and tibolone on bone, lipid pattern and sexuality in postmenopausal women. Maturitas, 2000, Vol 34, Iss 2, pp 161-168 Address: Castelo-Branco C, Hosp Clin Prov Barcelona, Dept Obstet & Gynaecol, C Villarroel 170, Barcelona 08036, SPAIN

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