Tag Archives: hormone replacement therapy


STRETCHING-OUTThe use of hormones in the post-menopause period remains controversial due to concerns about breast cancer & heart attack issues primarily.  The pendulum has swung back and forth over the past few decades, with hormone use in post-menopause generally frowned upon for any extended period.

That said, I am a supporter of hormone use in women when it is the ‘right’ choice for them, as the data shows variations in the benefits and risks, based on the particular hormones used and the particular group of women treated.

The latest article analyzing data from the influential WIH (Women’s Health Initiative) study shows:

Estrogen alone….like would be used in women who have had a hysterectomy…..shows:

Reduced Breast Cancer Risk (Yes….REDUCED…..this is the most important finding of this study….that hormone treatment can reduce cancer risk in select groups of women.  It does not always increase risk.)

No increased risk of heart disease

No longevity benefit (but no decline in longevity either!)

Combination hormone….Estrogen & Progesterone…..like is used in any post-menopausal women who HAS NOT had a hysterectomy, continues to show:

Increased Breast Cancer Risk (statistically significant)

Increased risk of heart disease (statistically significant)

No longevity benefit (but no decline in longevity either!)

Benefits of hormone therapy remain significant for some women, particularly when started early in menopause, and the downside risk depends on a variety of factors.  Certainly women need to be informed of the pro’s and con’s of therapy to make an informed choice that best suits their preferences, without using scare tactics to bully them into forgoing hormone therapy if they are so inclined.





41wYw9bFqwLHormone therapy for women is an area of controversy that continues to evolved.  The issues are well -being, menopause symptom control, cancer risk, dementia risk, and heart risk.

The interaction of hormones on all of these issues is complicated and the research on the pro’s and con’s of supplementation remain somewhat unclear, despite efforts to obtain certain information.  The book THE ESTROGEN ELIXIR is a very nice summary of this topic, and quite complete and exacting in explaining the history and current status of hormone treatment.

The AZ Republic article this week covers the question of BioIdentical Hormones, which is one facet of the conversation.  The BioIdentical ‘wave’ has been going on for over a decade and it claims superiority for both results and safety, but the data on their use is still controversial and subject to all of the concerns about traditional hormone supplementation.

So….what is a woman to do?   This is a complicated question and the answer is different for each woman based on her symptoms, concerns, and approach to life.  In general, I tell my patients that the women who do best are on ESTROGEN ALONE, the second best are woman on NOTHING, and the third best (and I mean that….not the worse, but the third best) are the women on COMBINATION (ESTROGEN & PROGESTERONE) THERAPY.

It is impossible to provide any recommendations here that are specific for you, so if you have concerns, please stop in to discuss this issue in detail.