Journal / Menopause

Hormone Replacement for Menopause - Is It Safe?

Medically reviewed by Nancy L. Belcher Ph.D, MPA

Written by Winona Editorial Team

Last updated October 14, 2021

As you enter your 40’s, you may find yourself wondering about hormone replacement for menopause. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT), using bioidentical hormones and prescribed by a physician, is a safe and effective form of natural menopause relief and hot flash medication that can help you feel your best. Yet, many women are left wondering if hormone replacement for menopause is safe. 

Answers for Millions of Women

Menopause affects 27 million women every day, and if symptoms are untreated they can decrease your quality of life.  Menopause is discussed so little that most people are unaware of the impact it can have, but you are not alone on your menopause journey. We encourage you to take care of yourself and live your best life. 

By taking bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), you can increase the levels of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone that are dropping with perimenopause and causing the symptoms you are suffering from. HRT gives the body back the hormones it desires in order to improve the profound symptoms that occur as you enter menopause. HRT is the most studied and effective form of treatment for menopause symptoms, especially hot flashes, and night sweats. Scientists have yet to unearth a more effective remedy for menopause symptoms. 

By safely and effectively bringing your hormone levels back to normal, you can relieve menopausal symptoms that can adversely impact your work and quality of life like brain fog, insomnia, hot flashes, painful sex, mood swings, and so much more. But why aren’t more women taking HRT, and why is there this stigma?

Hormone replacement therapy  (HRT)

Hormone therapy shouldn't be complicated or scary. It simply restores the estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone that women are producing at lower levels as they age. HRT is an incredibly effective, natural remedy for menopause symptoms. But because some outdated research continues to get amplified on the internet, there is unnecessary fear associated with taking control of your menopause journey and trying HRT. 

It is estimated that only one in four, or 25%, of the women who could/would benefit from HRT, will actually try it. That is tragic. We recognize that some women might be scared to try HRT after talking to friends, older relatives, reading these outdated journal articles, or discussing it with their doctors (!) (2).  It doesn’t have to be this way, but the outdated, inaccurate, disinformation continues. Winona aims to help you make choices that reflect your hopes - and not your fears.

Reflect Your Hopes - Not Your Fears

A very common question women have is whether or not hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for menopause is safe. Yes, hormone replacement for menopause is extremely safe for the majority of women. For the past 70 years, HRT (in one form or another) was recommended for almost all women to relieve menopause symptoms.  Before 2002, scientists believed that HRT was good for all women in menopause and for the entire second half of their life. Yes, it was being over-prescribed.

In 2002, the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) study results were released and turned everything that scientists thought they knew about hormone replacement therapy upside down. That WHI study reported that (like most medications), there are some inherent risks and benefits to HRT and we should be careful who we prescribed it for. That is an appropriate suggestion for all medications.

However,  the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) went on to make inaccurate claims about the dangers of HRT which resulted in frightening headlines and, unfortunately, caused panic among menopausal women and their doctors. 

Specifically, the WHI claimed that HRT significantly increases the risk of breast cancer and blood clots. While this has been disproven as statistically significant, doctors and women became very afraid of HRT in any form because of the WHI claims that adding back your body's natural hormones carried a risk. This

Women's Health Initiative Investigators. “Risks and Benefits of Estrogen Plus Progestin in Healthy Postmenopausal Women: Principal Results From the Women's Health Initiative Randomized Controlled Trial.” JAMA, vol. 288, no. 3, 2002, pp. 321-333.

huge overreaction to the WHI study has caused millions of women to suffer needlessly for over two decades from unjustified fear of HRT.

Not only has the WHI been refuted and proven wrong (even by some of the original authors of the study), the hormones that were used in the study are now considered “old fashioned” and out-of-date. The hormones used in the WHI are called Premarin - which comes from pregnant horse urine. Horses don’t make hormones identical to human hormones. Winona does not sell hormones from horses.

Winona provides estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone that is derived from yams and are chemically identical to the kind made by women's ovaries, and is described as "bioidentical."

Furthermore, the old WHI study only used oral forms of progesterone and estrogen hormones (tablets). Today we offer our bioidentical hormones in tablets, patches, and creams so you have an alternative way of getting your hormones. By using patches and creams you can use much less of the medication.

To be clear, even when women were taking these older horse hormones, the risks associated with hormone replacement were very low. The WHI study that has been overpublicized, provided inaccurate information that was not properly conducted and frankly scared everyone unnecessarily. 

Today, 30 years since the beginning of the WHI, and 20 years since the inaccurate data was released, we use great patient screening and offer bioidentical choices of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone hormones that we can provide as a tablet, patch, or cream.

Conclusion

Hormone replacement therapy, using bioidentical hormones, is the safest and most effective form of natural menopause relief for hot flashes and night sweats available. After decades of conclusive evidence,  women should feel comfortable knowing that hormone replacement, when prescribed by a physician for menopause, is safe. 

The knowledge scientists have gained over the past seven decades of studying menopause, together with advances in research and treatment techniques, have allowed us to develop more personalized bioidentical hormone strategies to help you deal with menopause symptoms (1). 

Hormone replacement for menopause can profoundly improve a woman’s quality of life and prevent diseases including cancers, stroke, Type 2 diabetes, heart problems and so much more. It is a shame that so many women have missed out on this huge benefit due to fears that come from poorly conducted, inaccurate, and outdated research.  

Let’s change the future, and transform what menopause looks like! Check out Winona today for a FREE doctors consultation, FREE treatment plan, FREE shipping, FREE follow-up care.

References

  1. Women's Health Initiative Investigators. “Risks and Benefits of Estrogen Plus Progestin in Healthy Postmenopausal Women: Principal Results From the Women's Health Initiative Randomized Controlled Trial.” JAMA, vol. 288, no. 3, 2002, pp. 321-333.

  2. https://www.aarp.org/health/conditions-treatments/info-2018/menopause-symptoms-doctors-relief-treatment.html