health + wellness

8 HRT Myths Keeping You From Menopause Relief

June 26, 2024

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8 HRT Myths Keeping You From Menopause Relief

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When it comes to HRT and menopause, the misinformation is real.

Not everyone can take hormone replacement therapy, but for those who can, the relief can be profound. Yet, there are many myths and mysteries surrounding HRT!

Menopause symptoms hit me hard, and for years I thought there wasn’t anything I could do.   I was told mood swings, hot flashes, agitation, brain fog and exhaustion were just the norm. My doctor prescribed some antidepressants and sent me on my way.

It wasn’t until I met with a midlife practitioner –– a profession I didn’t even know existed –– that I started HRT and finally felt like myself again!

Before I began treatment, I had a TON of fears and questions about hormone therapy. Through discussions with my doctor and my own research, I quickly learned that much of what I had heard was either exaggerated or just plain wrong!

Today, I want to share what I learned so you can be armed with ALL the treatment options available!

Quick note: Only a doctor can prescribe hormone therapy. You can’t just pop down to the CVS. Also, everyone's body is different, and not everyone can take HRT or will have the same combination of hormones. Like with anything, there's no one-size-fits-all solution.

I take a combination of bioidentical progesterone and estrogen. Testosterone wasn't a fit for me, but it's another option depending on your body and symptoms. I use an estrogen patch and take progesterone pills every evening.

Does HRT cure ALL of my symptoms? No. But it has been life changing. I also still take supplements and maintain certain lifestyle changes. (You can read about both here!)

If you want to see a full breakdown of my HRT routine, check out this video where I dive a little deeper into my experience. 👇

Let’s bust some HRT myths!

MYTH:  HRT Increases Your Risk Of Breast, Ovarian, and Womb Cancer. 

❇️FACT: Depending on your age and hormone combination, the increased risk is very small. If you have had breast cancer, doctors sometimes won’t recommend HRT, but for everyone else, the small increased risk is often worth the benefits.

My mother passed away from breast cancer in her 40s, and my doctor saw no reason for me to avoid HRT. Again, you will assess the risks with your doctor, but for most women, this is not a concern.

❌MYTH: HRT Causes Heart Problems 

❇️FACT: If you are in your 40s and 50s suffering from menopausal symptoms, there is little to no increased risk. In fact, women who need Estrogen-only HRT actually have a LOWER heart disease risk!

The only notable risk increase is for women who start HRT in their 60s or 80s -- which is why it’s best to start as soon as you experience symptoms!

❌MYTH: Natural Treatments are More Effective and Safer than HRT

❇️FACT: HRT is the most effective treatment for menopausal symptoms. It is worth bearing in mind that natural treatments have not been researched as thoroughly as HRT, so you cannot assume they are safer.

I personally use natural supplements along with my HRT treatment, and I believe both work in tandem to keep my symptoms in check. Before HRT, I managed with supplements alone, and while they did help, they didn’t provide enough relief.

❌MYTH: You Should Not Start HRT Too Young

❇️FACT: Actually, the opposite is true! It’s important for women who experience early menopause (or have had a hysterectomy) to consider HRT. This is because younger women have an increased risk of conditions like heart disease or osteoporosis due to insufficient estrogen production from their ovaries.

❌MYTH: HRT Causes Weight Gain

❇️FACT: Nope!  Weight gain is common for women in midlife, but that's often due to other factors rather than HRT. If you'd like insight into warding off belly fat and weight gain during menopause, I have an article on that topic as well!

❌MYTH:You Should Wait Until Your Menopause Symptoms Are Severe Before Seeing Your Doctor About Hrt

❇️FACT:  Please don't! HRT can actually help with mild symptoms. Plus, the earlier you start HRT, the more benefits there are in protecting bone health, especially for women under 50! Even if you're unsure if HRT is right for you, please see your doctor about any discomfort. While menopausal symptoms are "normal," they don’t have to be YOUR new normal.

Hopefully this clears up some common misconceptions around HRT!

WANT MORE? Check out this video on how to reduce hot flashes with Dr. Joy'El Ballard

Again, you’ll need to speak to your doctor if you’d like to explore if HRT is right for you. 

If you’d like help finding a midlife practitioner near you, here’s a great resource. Just enter your zip code, and they’ll share recommendations in your area.

Menopause isn’t a disease; it’s a transition. And we don’t have to endure uncomfortable symptoms that hinder us from living our best lives.

So please, discuss menopause with your friends and family to break down myths and mysteries and feel less alone on this journey.

And if you want more information, check out my Menopause Masterclass! It’s free and packed with advice and myth-busting from top experts on everything you need to know.

Have you had experience with HRT or questions on any myths I missed? Let me know in the comments!

To you feeling FANTASTIC,

Tamsen

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