Crash-course in Hormone Replacement Therapy and Women's Health

I recently attended the North American Menopause Society 2013 Convention in Dallas. Here is their latest, "Global Consensus Statement on Menopausal Hormone Therapy."

The delivery system is also important to consider. All of the women in the WHI received oral conjugated equine estrogens. In contrast, transdermal bioidentical HT (It's identical to what your body--not a horse--makes! I, for one, hate eating hay!) is delivered through systems such as patches, sprays, and gels and absorbed directly through the skin into the bloodstream and is not metabolized by the liver. Transdermal estrogens do not appear to increase the risk of blood clots that can lead to strokes and heart attacks

Other studies to consider:

Estrogen and Thromboembolism Risk Study (ESTHER): A French study of postmenopausal women evaluated the risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE) in those taking oral estrogen therapy versus transdermal estrogen. Researchers concluded that oral, but not transdermal, estrogen is associated with an increased VTE risk. The women who took hormones in pill-form were four times more likely to suffer a serious blood clot than those who used transdermal delivery systems.

The Postmenopausal Estrogen/Progestin Interventions (PEPI) Trial: PEPI was a three-year, multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial performed with 875 healthy postmenopausal women between the ages of 45 and 64. Researchers concluded that estrogen alone or in combination with a progestin improves lipoproteins and lowers fibrinogen levels. Estrogen with natural bioidentical progesterone has the most favorable effect on HDL-C and comes with no excess risk of endometrial hyperplasia.

Unfortunately, there is no one size fits all answer to the question, "To HT or not to HT?" "Hormone therapy is not right--or safe--for everyone, but neither is forgoing hormone therapy," says Dr. Katz. The effects of treatment vary with each individual, and it's important for women and their perimenopause and menopause specialists to discuss those individual factors.

No matter whether you prefer calling it HRT, HT, or MHT--it's best to base your healthcare decisions on facts instead of fear! Together with your healthcare professional, have an open conversation about your health history, quality of life, and your individual set of pros and cons. Then you can be sure your answer is the right one for the health, happiness, and life you deserve!

Suffering in silence is OUT! Reaching out is IN!

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