While many women believe bio-identical hormone replacement therapy is dangerous, the treatment can be a safe way to ease symptoms of menopause.
Conventional wisdom and far too many doctors continue to believe that hormone therapy is dangerous at best and causes cancer at worst. The reality is that bio-identical hormone therapy, when administered by a properly trained expert, is safe and healthy.
Many recent articles in medical literature have shown remarkable risk reduction of a host of diseases related to aging such as heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, colon cancer, osteoporosis, diabetes, high cholesterol and others. Properly balanced hormones can also significantly improve sexual performance and satisfaction, which often results in more rewarding intimate relationships. In fact, medical thinking has changed so much that bio-identical hormone therapy is sanctioned by major medical societies like the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine and is taught at major medical schools like the University of South Florida, Georgetown University and others.
So why is there controversy?
The hormonal and sexual health of women across America was thrown into chaos on July 7, 2002 when the Journal of the American Medical Association published an article known as The Woman’s Health Initiative (WHI). From that day forward, an almost irrational fear overwhelmed millions of women.
For years women thought they had a safe hormonal treatment for the hot flashes, night sweats and painful sex that accompanied menopause. The results of the WHI showed that prolonged use of the unnatural hormone substitutes Premarin® and Prempro® increased the risk of breast cancer by over 50 percent and that Premarin® strongly and dangerously stimulated the lining of a woman’s uterus, potentially causing cancer there as well.
Unfortunately, too many so-called experts have taken the findings from a flawed study of horse urine (Premarin®) and a toxic chemical (Provera®) and applied them to healthy bio-identical hormones that are exact biological matches of the substances normally found in a women’s body. These “experts” unequivocally, but incorrectly, stated that all hormones are bad for women and that they will cause breast or uterine cancer. The result: Women’s menopausal misery returned.
However, since 2004, many well-done medical studies have looked at bio-identical hormones that were properly administered to menopausal women. These studies have shown reductions in the rates of several diseases of aging and significant improvement in sexual function with no increased health or cancer risk. A study performed in France, where bio-identical hormone therapy is widespread, looked at over 80,000 women (six times more than in the WHI) and concluded that women who used bio-identical hormones had no increase in the rate of breast cancer compared to those who never used any type of hormone therapy.
The reality is that bio-identical hormones, when properly administered by an expert, do not cause cancer or disease. In fact, they are excellent for treating the devastating symptoms of menopause and helping to reduce many common diseases of aging. Women today should no longer fear hormone therapy but instead seek out a trained expert in the procedure.