Do you have to take estrogen for the rest of your life?

Most women continue treatment for 2 to 3 years to decrease menopausal symptoms or other hormonal changes. However, there is no limit to how long you can continue treatment if you are satisfied with the results. For women between the ages of 40 and 55, hormone therapy is ideal for getting through the menopausal period and managing symptoms. Studies show that women who receive continuous treatment since menopause have an almost 70 percent lower risk of suffering a fracture, and there is abundant biochemical and physiological evidence to support this.

Estrogen replacement is almost certain to protect against cardiovascular disease as well. Estrogen intake lowers women's low-density lipoproteins (a measure of blood cholesterol) to premenopausal levels. Men are thought to get heart disease earlier than women because their LDL levels are higher for longer periods of time. At least three studies show that estrogen therapy provides definitive protection against cardiovascular disease.

Some studies don't find it, but they have serious design and statistical analysis flaws. A large study showed that the use of estrogen not only reduced the rate of cardiovascular disease, but also reduced the overall all-cause mortality rate. While estrogen therapy increases the risk of endometrial cancer, it is not usually a fatal disease. There is no increase in mortality if estrogens are used.

Head of the Endocrinology Section of the Clinical Physiology Laboratory of the National Institute on Aging No. There is no data to suggest that all postmenopausal women should take estrogen. If women have problems with menopausal symptoms, estrogen should be used generously and unreservedly. But contrary to popular belief, not all women have a miserable menopause.

Estrogen intake prevents bone loss, but its use should be limited to women at risk of suffering from it. Not all women are going to fracture. There's no reason to keep a woman's bones thick just because she has thick bones. The data indicate that there is a reduction in cardiovascular disease with the use of high-dose estrogens.

However, there have been no large-scale clinical trials to prove this. It's a common belief that estrogen improves appearance, but I haven't been able to find any study in the medical literature to prove it. Evidence that women who take estrogen have a lower mortality than those who don't take hormones may be affected by statistical bias. I have found that women who take estrogen supplements are less likely to die from accidents, suicides or homicides, as well as from cardiovascular disease.

I don't think we should tell millions of women that they must take a pill every day for the rest of their lives, based on the evidence we have now. The financial implications are also alarming if women take estrogen starting at age 50. And the risks, although low, cannot be ignored. The main ones are endometrial cancer and probably gallbladder disease.

Mild side effects, such as nausea and fluid retention, are another reason to doubt that a woman will do better with estrogen therapy. Until we are more certain of the risk-benefit ratio, we should not routinely prescribe estrogen. Menopause leads to a significant loss of estrogen and, therefore, an increased risk of heart disease, and replacing lost estrogen with hormone replacement therapy can improve cardiovascular health and increase longevity. The author of the study, Dr.

Yoav Arnson, a postdoctoral scientist at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, believes that one of the reasons for the study's favorable results is that estrogen has protective effects on the heart because it lowers bad cholesterol and increases blood vessel flexibility. Contact your nearest BodyLogicMD-affiliated doctor to schedule a consultation and learn more about how bioidentical hormone therapy can help reduce hormonal symptoms and bring you back to life.