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Tue Jul 10, 2012, 07:34 AM

 

Hormone study still worries women, 10 years later

Dr. JoAnn Manson, a professor at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston who helped conduct the study, says people overreacted to its findings. “The pendulum has swung from ‘hormone therapy is good for all women’ to ‘hormone therapy is bad for all women’ after the Women’s Health Initiative,” Manson said in a telephone interview. “What the WHI showed us is that hormone therapy is appropriate for some, but not all, women.”

The problem was that doctors were in the habit of prescribing HRT to protect women’s health, instead of treating it as any other drug that should be used only when the benefits outweigh the risks. “At the time the WHI began in the early 1990s it was becoming an increasingly common practice for hormone therapy to be prescribed for women who were in their 70s and 80s and women at very high risk of cardiovascular disease,” Manson says. The study made it clear just how misguided this was. “Those practices came to a screeching halt,” Manson said.

But the younger women who could more safely take HRT became afraid to ask for it and, often, their doctors were afraid to prescribe it. This has made for a perfect storm for women in their 40s and 50s who are often approaching the peak of their careers and have more flexibility since their children are grown. Then menopause hits, with no easy answer to managing the symptoms.

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Physicians need to be more open to talking about menopause with women, said Manson, who is president of the North American Menopause Society. “Not just gynecologists but internal medicine (specialists) and family practice (physicians) often have to be discussing these issues with women,” she said. “I think it has been confusing for clinicians and, unfortunately, many clinicians have stopped prescribing hormone therapy. It is a very, very difficult situation for women who have menopausal symptoms and are trying to find a clinician who can help them make an informed decision.”

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Reply Hormone study still worries women, 10 years later (Original post)
seabeyond Jul 2012 OP
redqueen Jul 2012 #1
seabeyond Jul 2012 #2
enlightenment Jul 2012 #3
seabeyond Jul 2012 #4
sufrommich Jul 2012 #5
seabeyond Jul 2012 #6

Response to seabeyond (Original post)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 07:40 AM

1. There's also an issue about the type of hormones used. nt

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Response to redqueen (Reply #1)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 07:44 AM

2. i wont be using hormonal treatment, so i really do not know much about this.

 

i was thinking about another poster that put it out there. we know so little. maybe there will be some women that can share their experience. it is not something we talk about, as far as i can see.

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Response to seabeyond (Original post)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 08:00 AM

3. My mother went through surgical menopause when she was

just starting to exhibit 'true' menopause, in 1970. She was put on Premarin immediately and took it until she died (last March, at 89). She was miserable without it, though she tried many times to 'quit', and it wasn't the cause of her death.

To date, I have chosen not to use HRT, although technically I could go on estrogen alone - which seems to be a safer option than the estrogen/progesterone combination. It has been a miserable decade, and I am considering starting HRT because it's not 'getting better'. Apparently, the women in my family don't go 'through menopause' . . . we get it and keep it. yay? My older sister tried the non-hormone route, too, until she realized what a huge negative impact it was having on her (beyond the hot flashes, night sweats, and emotional roller-coaster). She is now on low-dose HRT and it has made a very positive difference for her.

I like this article - I like almost anything that reminds us that with the exception of a few truisms, there is no one size fits all approach to medicine.

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Response to enlightenment (Reply #3)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 08:04 AM

4. very enlightening post. thank you so much, sharing your experience and others.

 

you are right. there is no "one size fits all". i am pretty much clueless on all of this.

it is good to hear other womens experience with the drugs.

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Response to seabeyond (Original post)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 08:37 AM

5. I had lobular carcinoma in situ in one breast

which is really more of a warning that I would be prone to breast cancer than actual breast cancer. My doctors at Univ. Of Mich. hospital told me that some breast cancers can't exist without hormones and that I should avoid any hormone therapy.I'm surprised this isn't mentioned as one of the problems related to the therapy. I had my ovaries removed shortly after the lumpectomy (because I had very painful reoccurring benign tumors,the hysterectomy had nothing to do with the breast cancer) and I went straight into menopause, which was more acceptable to me than increasing my chances with breast cancer, that was 6 years ago and although the hot flashes and night sweats are over, I think my body temp has gone up permanently,I am always hot,anybody else experience the same?

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Response to sufrommich (Reply #5)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 09:15 AM

6. i do know

 

i hate the heat more than ever before. i was born in az, raised in calif. and i hate the heat. right now it is a lovely 60 something here in texas. the summer is nothing like last years. tons of over 100's in a row. i about died and wanted to move then and there. i was dreading this summer, but it is much more comfortable.

i dont have a lot of experience or knowledge. but i am so glad you shared yours....

again, i think we lack info. and shared experience is a good thing on this subject.

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