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Tags: Hormone Therapy | Myths | Health | Women | Aging

Top 3 Myths About Hormone Replacement Therapy

By    |   Friday, 27 March 2015 12:49 PM EDT

Medical treatment called hormone replacement therapy (HRT) replaces hormones lost due to menopause. The hormone therapy also helps to protect certain women from diseases such as osteoporosis, an age-related, bone-degenerating disease.

According to Time, a study by the Women's Health Initiative in 2002 found increased risks for women who underwent hormone replacement therapy
, ranging from heart disease to breast cancer. The study was later considered to have flaws. Research by the Yale School of Medicine, published in the July 2013 issue of the American Journal of Public Health, suggested that thousands of women died unnecessarily because they weren't given the hormone therapy.

For many women, taking HRT depends on their medical history and whether or not the benefits of the therapy outweigh any risks. These issues need to be discussed with a doctor.

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Here are the top three myths about hormone replacement therapy:

1. HRT causes breast cancer. The 2002 study found the women who took estrogen and progestin together had a slight increase in breast cancer, about one extra case per 1,000 women a year. Dr. Lauren Streicher, an associate clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine, noted that more than 80 percent of women who have breast cancer haven't taken hormone therapy. Subjects in the study who received estrogen only therapy had an 18 percent decrease in breast cancer, she added.

2. HRT has more risks than benefits. It depends on each woman, which is why it is important to discuss hormone therapy with a physician. However, Mayo Clinic reports the therapy has been found to reduce heart failure and heart attack, according to Danish researchers. The therapy improves muscle function and may protect against brain aneurysms. It could also decrease mortality rates for women in younger postmenopausal years. Women who might consider HRT include those who suffer from severe menopause symptoms, including hot flashes and night sweats that lead to depression, insomnia and exhaustion. Women may also benefit from HRT if menopausal symptoms cause sexual dysfunction that affects their daily lives or they experience premature menopause, which increases the risk for osteoporosis, heart disease and other conditions, according to the Mayo Clinic.

3. Bioidentical or natural hormones are safer and more effective than traditional hormone therapy. Bioidentical hormones are chemically identical to those in the body and natural hormones come from plant or animal sources, says the Mayo Clinic. They are not safer or more effective than traditional therapy, according to the FDA. Some traditional hormone therapies contain natural estrogen and progesterone from plants, according to Dr. Shannon K. Laughlin-Tommaso. Some bioidentical medications may be similar to traditional therapies.

This article is for information only and is not intended as medical advice. Talk with your doctor about your specific health and medical needs.

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FastFeatures
Medical treatment called hormone replacement therapy (HRT) replaces hormones lost due to menopause. The hormone therapy also helps to protect certain women from diseases such as osteoporosis, an age-related, bone-degenerating disease.
Hormone Therapy, Myths, Health, Women, Aging
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2015-49-27
Friday, 27 March 2015 12:49 PM
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