The decision to take hormones, or not to take them, should be based on sound science, not fear.
It’s been twenty years since the National Institute of Health released the seismic (and not in a good way) report from the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI), the largest collaborative study in history on the use of Menopausal Hormone Treatment (MHT) in postmenopausal women. The flaws in the study and its interpretation were many, and the headlines generated by its release disadvantaged an entire generation of women by raising undue alarms about the safety of hormone treatment. We have spent two decades re-examining and disaggregating the data from the WHI, and fortunately, we’ve also learned a few new things along the way.
The North American Menopause Society (NAMS) has just issued an update on the guidelines for the use of hormone therapy. And ALL of the news is good news.
There’s a lot to unpack in the statement, but I won’t bury the lede– For the vast majority of healthy, symptomatic women, estrogen therapy is THE most effective treatment for relief of vasomotor symptoms (hot flashes), and the benefits of use far exceed any risks.
The latest statement stresses what so many of us have been advocating for years. The decision to take hormones, or not to take them, should be based on sound science, not fear. The decision should involve the patient, and not just a physician acting as a gatekeeper. Whether or not to take hormones should be based on treatment goals and expectations and a fair and unbiased assessment of an individual’s risks and benefits.
The decision regarding the duration of treatment and when to stop hormone therapy must be considered in the context of the individualized risk-benefit profile, as well as the woman’s personal preferences.
This is music to our ears.
At Alloy, we trust that women given adequate information are more than capable of making decisions about their own health.
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Chief Medical Officer at Alloy, Dr. Sharon Malone is among the nation’s leading obstetrician/gynecologists with a focus on the specific health challenges associated with menopause.
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