Important Information on Hormone Therapy

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For the past 9+ years, I have been writing books, blogging, and speaking about perimenopause, menopause, and post-menopause.  I have interviewed the best scientists and doctors in the field and imparted that info to you in easy to understand lay-person speak.  Over these many years, countless women have shared their tremendous and often quality of life-altering menopausal struggles.  Many women experience insomnia, hot flashes, night sweats, brain fog, emotional highs and lows, depression, dry vagina and loss of libido- just to name a few.

For many women, they find that these symptoms can impact their marriage, work, and relationships.

Why do women struggle?  It is simple – they are afraid of taking hormone therapy (HT). Although I have reported on the numerous studies and latest information on HT, women still seem to have the old, improperly reported info from the 2002 Women’s Health Initiative playing over and over again in their brain.  Please erase this information so that you can clearly read the following new position statement on HT.  Please read this slowly and maybe even take the time to read it twice!

The North American Menopause Society (NAMS) has published online in the Society’s journal, Menopause new position statement on the use of hormone therapy (HT) for menopausal and postmenopausal women.

Dr. JoAnn V. Pinkerton, NAMS Executive Director says, “The use of hormone therapy continues to be one of the most controversial and debated topics. The goal of this updated version of the Society’s position statement is to provide excellent, evidence-based, current clinical recommendations to menopause practitioners for the improvement of care for women depending on them to help relieve menopause symptoms.”

The statement also reviews the effects of HT on various health conditions, such as cardiovascular disease and breast cancer, at different stages of a woman’s life.

What’s new in the 2017 position statement? The statement expands on and solidifies NAMS’s previous position on several critical areas of confusion regarding HT:

  • The risks of HT differ for different women, depending on type, dose, duration of use, route of administration, timing of initiation, and whether a progestogen is needed. Treatment should be individualized using the best available evidence to maximize benefits and minimize risks, with periodic reevaluation for the benefits and risks of HT continuation.
  • For women aged younger than 60 years or who are within 10 years of menopause onset and have no contraindications, the benefit-risk ratio appears favorable for treatment of bothersome hot flashes and for those at elevated risk of bone loss or fracture. Longer duration may be more favorable for estrogen-alone therapy than for estrogen-progestogen therapy, based on the Women’s Health Initiative randomized, controlled trials.
  • For women who initiate HT more than 10 or 20 years from menopause onset or when aged 60 years or older, the benefit-risk ratio appears less favorable than for younger women because of greater absolute risks of coronary heart disease, stroke, venous thromboembolism, and dementia.
  • Hormone therapy does not need to be routinely discontinued in women aged older than 60 or 65 years and can be considered for continuation beyond age 65 years for persistent hot flashes, quality-of-life issues, or prevention of osteoporosis after appropriate evaluation and counseling of benefits and risks.
  • Vaginal estrogen (and systemic if required) or other nonestrogen therapies may be used at any age for prevention or treatment of the genitourinary syndrome of menopause.

“NAMS discovered through its review of the literature that the previous position that hormone therapy should be prescribed only for the ‘lowest dose for the shortest period of time’ may be inadequate or even harmful for some women,” says Dr. Pinkerton. “NAMS has clarified this position to the more fitting concept of the ‘appropriate dose, duration, regimen, and route of administration’ that provides the most benefit with the minimal amount of risk. In addition, women older than 65 years old will be relieved to know that they don’t have to stop using hormone therapy for their bothersome hot flashes just because of their age. The data simply do not support it, but individualized evaluation and discussion is recommended.”

So listen up ladies, quit suffering in silence and find a good menopause specialist who is up on the latest information and science! If you don’t have one, here are some helpful tips.  If a healthcare provider tells you that they flat out don’t believe in HT.  Run, don’t walk, out of that office as clearly this healthcare professional isn’t up on the current information that many researchers who truly care about women have been trying to impart for many years now. Your healthcare provider may be just covering his ass and not protecting yours!

Also, download my Menopause Symptoms Chart.  Start charting your symptoms so that you can accurately and quickly explain to your specialist exactly how you are feeling.

Remember:  Suffering in silence is OUT!  Reaching out is IN.

For more great tips on how to find a menopause specialist and deal with menopause download my free ebook: MENOPAUSE MONDAYS  the Girlfriend’s Guide to Surviving and Thriving During Perimenopause and Menopause.    

Be sure to sign up for my fun YouTube Videos!

After struggling with her own severe menopause symptoms and doing years of research, Ellen resolved to share what she learned from experts and her own trial and error. Her goal was to replace the confusion, embarrassment, and symptoms millions of women go through–before, during, and after menopause–with the medically sound solutions she discovered. Her passion to become a “sister” and confidant to all women fueled Ellen’s first book, Shmirshky: the pursuit of hormone happiness. As a result of the overwhelming response from her burgeoning audiences and followers’ requests for empowering information they could trust, Ellen’s weekly blog, Menopause MondaysTM, was born.

  • Julia Miles Robinson

    I gave your chart to a friend a while back; it really helped her to have specificity and patterns to show her doctor! Keep teaching!

    • So happy it was helpful for your friend! Thanks for passing the info along!

  • Great info update! Hopefully doctors are getting the updated info and practicing it!

    • Good point…………………I hope so, too!

  • Oh and here you are again, with my favorite topic.You’re right, those old “danger” stories still have life.

    • Totally………………I have been trying to get the info out to ladies…………but I wish I had a magic wand to erase the old info so they would listen and not suffer.

  • hellolovelyinc

    thank you, Ellen! this is such important science to share! I had a perimenopause from hell and (thanks to surgical menopause and a low dose of estrogen) have happily left all that behind! 🙂

    • So happy for you! That estrogen replacement is so helpful.

  • Thank you Ellen. This confirms everything that I have always thought.

    • Yep…………………many scientists have been trying to speak up and out about this since the 2002 reporting tragically scared so many women to death about HRT.

  • Your always such a wealth of awesome information, Ellen! I keep trying to convince my sis to go to a doc and get checked properly for her post-menopause issues. She insists on taking supplements instead. She is like a wall that you can’t get past on this issue for some reason. I will forward this one to her for sure! Thanks so much

    • Many women are suffering in silence as they just won’t listen to the new info nor with they understand that original info reported on the WHI was misguided. It is frustrating to see someone not doing well when there is help for them. But, you know what they say: You can only lead a horse to water………..you can’t make them drink!

  • Randie

    This new HRT info is a very much welcomed piece of information. I’m sorry it has taken so long for the medical industry to finally figure things out, but at least we are finally able to obtain information that finally makes sense–especially for those of us who, in our 60’s, still need our beloved estrogen patches! Thanks so much, Ellen, for passing on this very valuable information!

    • I am happy to be helpful. Oodles of women email me every day asking me if they have to go off of their HRT after age 60. I am so happy that NAMS finally issued a statement that addresses this question! Please share the info with your sisterhood!

    • Stefan Wessels

      Nope, everyone except the drug companies (and their paid ‘influencers’ like Ellen) are still saying that it is dangerous – and there are more real science coming out showing from DNA analysis to oncology that HRT is still as dangerous as before, only rebranded. https://www.wddty.com/magazine/2016/january/what-every-woman-should-know-about-hrt.html

      • Stefan, I am totally open and invite healthy exchanges of information and research. My mission is to stay up on the current science by sourcing the information from the major scientists, practitioners, and researchers in the field of menopause and delivering the information in layperson speak.

        I have NEVER accepted any participation in, or remuneration from, drug companies for the promotion of any specific product, nor do I sell anything on my website. I, also, do not get paid to embed information in my blogs or comments. I am inundated daily with products and folks who wish to write for my site so that they can promote a product. My answer is no. I want my readers to trust my information and know that I am truly dedicated to their well-being.

        I have participated in “unbranded” (not product specific and not promotional) menopause awareness campaigns – such as one on vaginal atrophy (which most women are afraid to talk about) and others that encourage women to find a menopause specialist and not suffer from often debilitating and life changing menopausal symptoms in silence.

        These awareness campaigns and my website are all focused on helping women become their own best health advocate.

        Everything I offer on my website is free – a free ebook, free Menopause Symptoms Chart, and my free Menopause Mondays® Blog.

        I think reading Professor Langer’s paper, might be found enlightening. He was one of the principal investigators in the WHI. This paper was published in the journal of the International Menopause Society, Climacteric in April 2017. http://www.imsociety.org/manage/images/pdf/9a32c2843c497e275d1851b2bdff46a3.pdf

  • Lois Alter Mark

    You always provide such good information and so much to think about. I’m going to look into this now. Thank you for the encouragement.

    • It helps to read the latest information so that you can speak with your menopause specialist with knowledge and understanding of some of your options. This way you can ask the right questions that will help you take good care of YOU! Good Luck!

  • Cynthia Bishop

    Thanks for this article! I’m 60 years old and I have frequent migraines, fibromyalgia, and osteoarthritis that is especially severe in my cervical spine. I discovered (and not from my doctor!) that estrogen patches were more effective and compatible than the tablets. Whenever I tried to wean off the estrogen, my head-on-fire hot flashes would return so badly that they’d even wake me up at night. Now I’m not worried about weaning off of estrogen — it banished the hot flashes, reduces the severity of my migraines and gives me more energy. Again, thanks to Ellen and her staff!

    • So happy this new statement by the North American Menopause Society is helpful to you! Information is power!!

    • Stefan Wessels

      Yes many women (like my mother) experienced such bad reactions when trying to stop HRT that they stayed on it a lot longer than they were supposed to. In many cases doctors were not educated how to deal with HRT ‘detox’. Unfortunately my mother paid the price and died from very aggressive breast cancer that was not in her family history, except that she took combined HRT for 20 years until they took her into the operating room. This is a 15 billion USD industry that Pfizer bought from another company after the first lawsuits in 2002 and now through people like Ellen are trying to trick women back into taking dangerous hormones. This is probably the most important thing I can do on the internet, I am not getting paid, just trying to protect mothers and wifes from companies using their own biology against them.

      • Cynthia Bishop

        I’m so sorry about your mom! All I can say is what works for me, that HRT (estrogen only!) has helped me tremendously via the patch. I don’t believe Ellen Dolgen is conspiring to “trick” anyone, or disseminate dangerous or inaccurate information. I’m a nurse and I studied the science, namely independent studies, before using estrogen patches. Again, I am really sorry that your mother suffered so much; I hope you and your family have support around you as you grieve. — Cindy

        • Cynthia, thank you for sharing your experience and knowledge on the topic.

  • DrMA

    For all those who think the changes of this newest NAMS position are subtle, they are most certainly not. This statement widens the acceptability of hormone treatment to an enormous population which it previously restricted or at least made feel doubtful of the legitimacy and safety of hormone treatment. It still however will take someone with a specialized interest and experience in treating menopausal patients to find the best form and combination of therapies for his or her patients.
    MenopauseSpecialist.com

  • I had my ovaries removed and had a severe hormonal imbalance prior. When my new Gyn told me I could only stay on my HRT for 3 years I got really scared. It felt like she was saying you can be balanced for the next two years (already been on HRT for 1 year) and then back to hell for you. How would you suggest I help educate her? I don’t want a new Gyn as it is practically IMPOSSIBLE to find a Menopause Specialist.

    • It is very important to find a gyn who is up on the latest information so that you can get the proper help. It is not up to you to educate your doctor. You need a doctor who IS educated on this. You really need to be going to a Menopause Specialist.

      The quickest way to find one is to look on:
      My Menopause Specialist Directory – These specialists have been recommended by the sisterhood. http://ellendolgen.com/resources/menopause-specialist-directory/
      Or
      North American Menopause Society – These specialists have been trained and certified by the North American Menopause Society.
      http://www.menopause.org/for-women/find-a-menopause-practitioner
      OR
      Call you local pharmacist and see who they recommend.

      Good Luck!

  • We sure need more trained menopause specialists! Can you tell me where you got your training? Do you have North American Menopause certification?

  • Stefan Wessels

    Please be informed that the latest information is showing that it is not safe to take HRT, these are studies from 2017. Too many mothers and wifes have died early due to overprescription of HRT – how much is Pfizer contributing to your site? You have no disclaimer on your site to show that you are not commercially supported by companies selling HRT. If you are telling women to start treatments that could be dangerous then you need to disclose if you are being paid to give this advice. Oh I see, you do actually work with Pfizer to create ‘awareness’ – do you know the damage you are causing? https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/07/170712110500.htm

    • Stefan, I am totally open and invite healthy exchanges of information and research. My mission is to stay up on the current science by sourcing the information from the major scientists, practitioners, and researchers in the field of menopause and delivering the information in layperson speak.

      I have NEVER accepted any participation in, or remuneration from, drug companies for the promotion of any specific product, nor do I sell anything on my website. I, also, do not get paid to embed information in my blogs or comments. I am inundated daily with products and folks who wish to write for my site so that they can promote a product. My answer is no. I want my readers to trust my information and know that I am truly dedicated to their well-being.

      I have participated in “unbranded” (not product specific and not promotional) menopause awareness campaigns – such as one on vaginal atrophy (which most women are afraid to talk about) and others that encourage women to find a menopause specialist and not suffer from often debilitating and life changing menopausal symptoms in silence.

      These awareness campaigns and my website are all focused on helping women become their own best health advocate.

      Everything I offer on my website is free – a free ebook, free Menopause Symptoms Chart, and my free Menopause Mondays® Blog.

      I think reading Professor Langer’s paper, might be found enlightening. He was one of the principal investigators in the WHI. This paper was published in the journal of the International Menopause Society, Climacteric in April 2017. http://www.imsociety.org/manage/images/pdf/9a32c2843c497e275d1851b2bdff46a3.pdf

    • Stefan, I did see this info on Science Daily and immediately reached out to several specialists who I feel are up on all of these studies. I am working on getting more info and papers on the impact of micronized progesterone on endometrium and breast………..stay tuned!

  • Stefan Wessels

    This is quite a good article on how people like Ellen is being used to revive a scientifically dangerous, but extremely lucrative drugs – there has been no ‘new’ studies saying HRT is safe that is not connected to HRT drug companies: https://www.wddty.com/magazine/2016/january/what-every-woman-should-know-about-hrt.html – please note that is not saying women should not take HRT, but that it should be used extremely sparingly and in extreme cases.

  • I am totally open and invite healthy exchanges of information and research. My mission is to stay up on the current science by sourcing the information from the major scientists, practitioners and researchers in the field of menopause and delivering the information in lay-person speak.

    I have NEVER accepted any participation in, or remuneration from, drug companies for the promotion of any specific product, nor do I sell anything on my website. I, also, do not get paid to embed information in my blogs or comments. I am inundated daily with products and folks who wish to write for my site so that they can promote a product. My answer is no. I want my readers to trust my information and know that I am truly dedicated to their well-being.

    I have participated in “unbranded” (not product specific and not promotional) menopause awareness campaigns – such as one on vaginal atrophy (which most women are afraid to talk about) and others that encourage women to find a menopause specialist and not suffer with often debilitating and life changing menopausal symptoms in silence.

    These awareness campaigns and my website are all focused on helping women become their own best health advocate.

    Everything I offer on my website is free – a free ebook, free Menopause Symptoms Chart, and my free Menopause Mondays® Blog.

    I think reading Professor Langer’s paper, might be found enlightening. He was one of the principal investigators in the WHI. This paper was published in the journal of the International Menopause Society, Climacteric in April 2017. http://www.imsociety.org/manage/images/pdf/9a32c2843c497e275d1851b2bdff46a3.pdf

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