How important is it for a post-menopausal woman to take hormone replacement therapy (HRT)? Audience member Rosemarie posed the question to Dr. Oz, the popular television doctor. Rosemarie says she became post-menopausal three years ago and she has never taken HRT.
Hormone replacement therapy was designed to boost hormone levels in menopausal and post-menopausal women and help them deal with symptoms such as irritability, night sweats, hot flashes, vaginal dryness and sleeplessness.
If you asked drug companies – especially 20 years ago when HRT was widely prescribed – they would rattle off a laundry list of extra benefits ranging from prevention of osteoporosis, heart disease, and dementia. But the reality is, HRT can be deadly.
A large study on the effects of HRT on menopausal and post-menopausal women as part of the Women’s Health Initiative was halted in 2001 after data showed that combination HRT put women at risk for breast cancer and other dangerous conditions including heart attacks and strokes.
Now that the serious risks associated HRT have been made public, prescriptions have gone down considerably. Dr. Oz asks Rosemarie if she is having any symptoms, and she says her only problem is trouble sleeping at night. He suggests if she is not experiencing any major problems, that she stay drug free.
For women who feel they cannot cope with their symptoms, Dr. Oz suggests they talk to their doctors about bio-identical hormones. The important thing, he said, is to “take them smartly” because while there are “theoretical advantages” to HRT, there are also serious disadvantages to consider.
Source: Dr. Oz/Fox 11