For most gynecologists working to help women going through menopause, the misinformation regarding hormones for treating menopausal problems is most frustrating. Hormones have received a bad reputation, which has been a detriment to women’s health.
Over the last 100 years, women’s life expectancy has nearly doubled; from 47 years to nearly 80 years. This means that women will live about 30 years or more after menopause. Women going through menopause no longer produce the hormone estrogen and without this hormone there is a steady aging and weatherization that affects the heart, mind, bones and vagina. This in turn affects quality of life. As doctors we want to give our patients not only longer lives, but healthy and enjoyable ones too; better quality of life.
There is considerable scientific evidence accumulated over more then 50 years demonstrating the benefits of estrogen to women. We now have transdermal estrogen, which is delivered in patches or cream placed on the skin that offer added safety.
Most so call “natural” herbs used to control menopause symptoms are not adequate to provide all the benefits we want and women should not fear taking estrogen because of a concern about breast cancer. Heart disease is the big killer of women; 1 in 2 die from heart disease while 1 in 28 die from breast cancer. Some studies actually show a protective affect on the breast regarding breast cancer in women taking estrogen! So, if you are in, or approaching menopause, please discuss this with your doctor.
Article posted June 15, 2007