Not Actual Hormone TherapyNot that long ago every woman "of a certain age" was given a prescription of estrogen as soon as she got a little snippy. The idea being that hormone therapy could solve all of the ills of menopause: the hot flashes, the mood swings, the vaginal dryness that no one wants to talk about.
While these symptoms were the primary reasons ladies were asking their doctors for some relief, the side benefits of reducing the risk of chronic lady diseases like breast cancer and osteoporosis were also touted around the medical world.
Turns out, those benefits are hardly worth the risks of taking hormone therapy. And if you're currently on hormone therapy, you should probably stop.
More studies of the estrogen, as well as the estrogen plus progestin replacement therapies, confirm what scientists believed to be true in the original study of 2005: Long-term hormone replacement therapy increases your chances of disease. Specifically, heart disease, dementia, gallbladder disease, stroke, incontinence, and blood clots. Yikes. I don't want any of that action, do you?
Even though estrogen only (but not estrogen plus progestin) does decrease the risks of osteoperosis and breast cancer, that benefit is not even close to outweighing the risks listed above. In fact, if you do add progestin to the mix, your breast cancer risk increases.
While the study does emphasize that a short-term therapy meant to benefit severe forms of menopause symptoms is not included in this study, it still makes me wary.
Personally, I would love it if I could enter into menopause knowing there was a magic pill to take all of the symptoms away. But as someone who has a family history of dementia and heart disease, I do believe I will take a pass on hormone therapy when the time comes for me to consider it. Jeez, menopause sounds like a pain in the ass, right?
Are you taking hormone replacements? Are you going to stop?
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