Is Starting HRT Safe for Women Over 60?

There’s been a big rumor going around for about twenty years and it’s time to put an end to it.

Just this week, one of my clients said, “I guess I’m too old to start hormone replacement.” She’s 72. She, along with a whole generation of women, have been basically denied the opportunity of receiving HRT (hormone replacement therapy) as they’ve moved through their menopause years.

(If you’d rather watch/listen than read, please click HERE to view my Youtube video on this)

About 32 million women(1) have been denied and continue to be denied the access to HRT and don’t even know it’s an option to improve their quality of life. Things like UTI’s, vaginal dryness and atrophy, decreased intimacy, joint pain, osteoporosis, heart disease, cancers, plantar fasciitis, elevated cholesterol, sleep, moods, brain health, blood sugar regulation, and weight can all be improved by HRT, all contribute to a woman’s quality of life.

Why have women been denied access? Well, once the premature results from the infamous WHI (Woman’s Health Initiative) study came out in 2002, stating that HRT caused breast cancer, doctors have been hesitant and resistant to prescribing hormones (other than birth control pills). And women have been afraid to take them.

The topic of hormone replacement therapy and the care, specifically, of post menopausal women has not been included as part of the medical school curriculum for more than twenty years, since the WHI study. That currently affects over 65 million women in the US. That’s a lot of women who, most likely, are receiving subpar care and are seeing a decline in their health, affecting their quality of life.

If a doctor has come through the ranks of medical school during the last twenty years that puts them between the ages of 28 and 50, give or take. I don’t know about the doctors you go to, but more than likely they are between these ages which means that unless they’ve sought education outside of medical school and mainstream medicine, their knowledge is very limited when it comes to the care of post menopausal women and HRT.

It’s been a long road to change the negative narrative that came out in 2002 and the change is at a very slow pace.The initial results of the WHI study has been gone over again and again and there’s been follow-up with participants as well. There’s even a WHI II study which has taken the data from the original study and reworked it into an entirely different narrative.

Statistics can be tricky.The re-examination of the data, some done by the original WHI authors-I might add, along with other studies show that HRT is safe as well as beneficial and does not cause cancer. BTW, the average age of the WHI participants was 63.

As recently as this April, an observational study of 10 million women (2), over the age of 65,was published. This study points to estrogen reducing all cause mortality by 20%!!! That’s significant! I think it’s important for all women to have a good understanding of the WHI study, to better understand what was used, how terms are used interchangeably when they shouldn’t be, and how important it is to understand these terms when trying to sort out all of the conflicting information that’s STILL floating about.

I can’t go into the details of WHI study here, BUT for an in depth summary and much more, be sure to watch my Youtube videoPulling The Curtain Back On Hormone Replacement Therapy.

In 2022 NAMS (North American Menopause Society) changed their position on the length of time for using HRT to indefinitely, if it is deemed safe by a health care provider. The narrative, until just recently, had been to stop HRT in women 10 years after menopause and not start a woman on HRT if she’s 10+ years out from the onset of menopause and to use the lowest dose possible. Times are a changing! (Click here for access to the 2022 NAMS report)

Now, are there any randomized studies to support putting women 10 yrs out from menopause on HRT? Maybe not specifically but there is still a LOT of data to support it.

So what do we know for sure? We know that estrogen receptors do not die. Estrogen receptors do kind of go dormant if not used, but they are still there and can be slowly coaxed back. They are still viable which means hormone replacement can help every tissue in a woman’s body at any age. We know that vaginal estrogen can help with UTI’s, bladder health, vaginal atrophy, and intimacy and this use is supported by NAMS (North American Menopause Society) and other organizations in 60 and older women. We know that both estrogen and progesterone help with keeping our bones dense and strong. Estrogen helps to make collagen. There’s collagen throughout our bodies and is part of our tendons and ligaments-so we see improvement with knees, shoulders, feet. 

There is published data that shows if you put estradiol on the skin, in just two weeks will see a reduction in wrinkles. Now, we can not change time. We can’t reverse all of the damage that perhaps has occurred in a woman who hasn’t had the benefits of HRT since the beginning of her menopausal years but we sure as heck can slow things down and make a woman feel more vital, sharper, happier, sleep better, have better bone density and metabolic health, fewer AFIB and cardiovascular events no matter what age HRT is started.

Three Quarters or 75% of postmenopausal women do not take hormones and most of them, unfortunately, have never been offered them either. Some of my older clients have benefited greatly from the use of HRT when it comes to bone, urinary tract health, and brain health-cognitive benefits, not to mention AFIB and skin appearance.

Every woman, along with her doctor, has to decide for herself whether HRT is right for her. But she needs to know that there is even an option to begin with!

Before I sign off today, I think I need to address a possible elephant in the room. What about women who’ve had breast cancer? Is HRT safe, beneficial, or advisable once the cancer has been treated? This is obviously a very sensitive and controversial topic-one I will talk about in the near future. In the meantime, I would like to suggest that if you or a loved one has had a diagnosis of breast cancer you avail yourselves of some resources that I think may be very helpful.

Book by an Oncologist by Dr. Avrum Bluming: Estrogen Matters 
Website, instagram account of Dr. Corinne Menn who’s an OBGYN and two time breast cancer survivor.
Podcast: Dani Binnington-Breast Cancer survivor. She does a phenomenal job of getting quality doctors and others on her show, addressing the challenges of breast cancer survivors. million study:

Always with much care,
Cindy D
Please remember that anything written here is for informational purposes only. Nothing here is to replace the care or recommendations of your health care provider.

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