Estrogen, the traditional treatment of both short- and long-term consequences of the menopause, has fallen into disfavor. Thus, selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) have been used as an alternative approach to activate estrogen signaling pathways in a tissue-specific manner. In addition, recent findings indicate that some compounds might activate specific estrogen signaling pathways that are beneficial without affecting other pathways that might lead to the harmful side-effects associated with estrogen. These so-called mechanism-specific ligands of estrogen or androgen receptors hold considerable promise as novel approaches to treat (or at least ameliorate) the consequences of estrogen deficiency.
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