MYTHS and TRUTHS about Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)
Estrogen causes breast cancer.
FALSE. Estrogen alone has never been shown to increase the risk of breast cancer. The combination of some Estrogens and Progestins has been shown in some studies to slightly increase the incidence but other studies have not confirmed that.
Progesterone in conjunction with Estrogen however is required if the patient still has a uterus as Estrogen alone increases the risk of uterine cancer.
I’m not menopausal yet so I don’t need HRT.
FALSE. The average age that women go through menopause is 51. Many women however experience symptoms of lower estrogen levels for as many as 5 years before they actually become menopausal and can significantly benefit from HRT.
HRT helps with vaginal Dryness and pain with intercourse.
TRUE. Vaginal dryness and pain with intercourse may have many causes but most often it is associated with lower blood levels of Estrogen as in menopause or when breast feeding. HRT can help whether applied vaginally or used systemically.
HRT is expensive and usually not covered by insurance.
FALSE. Usually HRT in some way or form is covered by insurance but you may not get exactly what you want as choices can be limited by Insurance companies. If paying out of pocket becomes necessary, the cost is equivalent to a cup of coffee every day.
HRT helps with sleep.
TRUE. If insomnia is associated with low Estrogen levels, resolving that situation with HRT is usually all one would need.