Oestrogen therapy is the gold standard treatment for hot flushes/night sweats, but it and oestrogen/progestin are not suitable for all women. MPA (medroxyprogesterone acetate) reduces hot flushes, but its effectiveness compared with oestrogen is unknown. In the present study, oral oestrogen [CEE (conjugated equine oestrogen)] and MPA were compared for their effects on hot flushes in a planned analysis of a secondary outcome for a 1-year randomized double-blind parallel group controlled trial in an urban academic medical centre. Participants were healthy menstruating women prior to hysterectomy/ovariectomy for benign disease. A total of 41 women {age, 45 (5) years [value is mean (S.D.)]} were enrolled; 38 women were included in this analysis of daily identical capsules containing CEE (0.6 mg/day) or MPA (10 mg/day). Demographic variables did not differ at baseline. Daily data provided the number of night and day flushes compared by group. The vasomotor symptom day-to-day intensity change was assessed by therapy assignment. Hot flushes/night sweats were well controlled in both groups, one occurred on average every third day and every fourth night. Mean/day daytime occurrences were 0.363 and 0.187 with CEE and MPA respectively, but were not significantly different (P=0.156). Night sweats also did not differ significantly (P=0.766). Therapies were statistically equivalent (within one event/24 h) in the control of vasomotor symptoms. Day-to-day hot flush intensity decreased with MPA and tended to remain stable with CEE (P<0.001). In conclusion, this analysis demonstrates that MPA and CEE are equivalent and effective in the control of the number of hot flushes/night sweats immediately following premenopausal ovariectomy.

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