Hormone Replacement Therapy – Myths and Reality

The phrase “hormone therapy” traditionally alarming. And the phrase “hormone replacement therapy” is so simply frightening.

There are many reasons, but the main ones are two.

First, a lot (and very reasonably) said about the dangers of the use of hormonal drugs for” pumping ” muscles or weight loss. Purpose and relevance are secondary. Memory captures the words “hormone therapy” and “harmful”. With all the ensuing consequences.

Secondly, the first hormonal preparations (why we confess) had many side effects and was far from perfect, has good drugs. From a medicinal point of view, “to be perfect” means to bring much more benefit than harm. This perfection starts from a ratio of 99% good – 1 % damage, then use should increase and damage decrease.

As a result, many women (menopause, as mentioned in the previous Chapter, affects women much more than men) refuse a real and scientifically based opportunity to improve their quality of life and, if not to prolong youth, then to postpone the onset of old age for some time. Because wildly afraid of all those terrible consequences that occur when taking hormones.

Before proceeding to debunking myths concerning hormone replacement therapy in menopause, it would be necessary to repeat what has already been said in one of the previous chapters.


The word “hormonal “can be replaced by the word”medicinal”. The meaning of this will only become wider, brighter and deeper. All that will be said next concerns the situation when the doctor advises you to take some hormonal drugs to make up for the deficiency of hormones in the body, and you hesitate and say: “Oh, something I’m afraid.” Or not say, and think, the crux of the one.

Doctors, by the way, do not tend to convince patients for a long time in the need and safety of the treatment. Agree that the doctor is not your grandmother, who can spend hours persuading your favorite granddaughter or beloved grandson to take a bitter, but very useful medicine. Think about the average number of grandchildren a grandmother has and how many patients a doctor has, and you’ll see why doctors are limited to single (single!) explaining the validity of their recommendations. And further already your deal.

But we, fortunately, have the opportunity to delve into the hormonal mythology properly and disassemble all the major myths”bone by bone”. So to disassemble, to fly to pieces zakoulochkam.

Myth the first, the most chief and the most universal, concerns not only hormones, and all synthetic drugs, which are considered “unnatural” unlike drugs natural origin. Tincture here are some herbs to drink during menopause is possible, and synthetic estrogens – absolutely not! If you ask, ” Why?”then the answer will be:” Because all natural is better than synthetic!”To be more convincing opponents may cotton fabric with polyamide to compare. But this comparison is incorrect and is purely demagogic in nature, because any polyamide fabric (nylon, nylon, etc.) differs from cotton in its chemical structure, is a different substance. A” synthetic”, that is – obtained artificially, estradiol (or, say, testosterone) on the chemical structure is absolutely identical to the hormone that is produced in the human body.

Judge for yourself – all the chemical and biological properties of a substance are determined by the composition and structure of its molecules, the number of different atoms forming a molecule, and their mutual location. If molecules are completely identical, then their properties are completely identical, aren’t they?

Please don’t tell me spring water tastes better than distilled water. We’re talking about pure substances, not mixtures. If someone does not know, in any natural water contains impurities of other substances. They give the water a certain taste. And distilled water does not contain any impurities and therefore has no taste. But to fill the body’s need for water, distilled water is no worse than spring water, because the body does not need a taste for life, that is, not impurities, but water itself, H2O molecules.

And mixtures. Synthetic substances are purer than those isolated from a vegetable or animal substrate, as they contain much less impurities, and even do not contain at all. And the cleaner the drug, the safer it is. Something like that.

Synthesized hormones are completely chemically identical to natural and therefore have a similar effect. The one who will deny it-a fool or a liar who needs to sell you his wonderful natural drug. There are more fools than liars.

Both fools and liars are very fond of operating with the concept of “the structure of the molecule.” Like, the structure of natural and synthetic molecules is the same, but the structure is different. In fact, the ” structure of a molecule “is the same as the” structure of a molecule”, the mutual arrangement of atoms. And if we are talking about a synthesized drug, the structure of it will be the same as that of natural. Or it will have a different name, because it will be a completely different substance or another isomer of one substance.

Synthetic or natural – the same substance. If there is a complete identity of molecules, then there is a complete identity of properties.

Myth two says that hormone replacement therapy leads to a sharp increase in weight. Recover from her “like a weed”. And almost everyone who tells you about it, will be an example-someone from relatives or friends.

Let’s separate the conditional ” flies “from the conditional” meat ” and pay attention to the fact that, having crossed the forty-five-year mark, many women gain weight without hormone replacement therapy. There are two reasons.

First-the age-related decline in motor activity.

Secondly, the climax.

What does our body do when it is deficient in something? Trying to make up for what’s missing. If the ovaries produce less estrogen than before, it is necessary to “increase the power” of another gland that produces estrogens. What glands? Well, of course, adipose tissue. That’s the reason. Women gain weight before taking hormones, and then attribute hormone replacement therapy to a “crime” she didn’t commit. And the logical chain built compelling: “once the hormones all stimulate the deposition of fat increase”. Try to justify yourself here…

In fact, the correct hormone replacement therapy promotes weight loss, not its set, because it restores the disturbed balance. And it is not necessary to throw the blame on others. Take with food as many calories as you spend, and no weight gain will not. And if the body receives insufficient calories, it begins to “burn” fat reserves. That’s the way it is.

With the third myth, claiming that hormone replacement therapy with estrogen can provoke the development of cancer, the situation is much more complicated. It scares (cancer is not a bit of excess weight!) and discourages all desire to replace the missing amount of hormones. Too high it turns out the price issue.

The price of the issue is inflated to incredible proportions! And the question as such does not exist. It’s myth.

Judge for yourself – if estrogens contributed to the development of cancer, women of reproductive age would suffer from cancer more often than women of elderly, “postmenopausal” age.


Absolutely logical! Practically irrefutable. More estrogen-higher risk of getting sick.

However, statistics say the opposite, and claims very convincingly. There is no need to give tables with figures here. Those who want confirmation can use the search engine. Data on cancer incidence by age are not classified, they are freely available and their assessment does not require medical education and knowledge of statistical wisdom.

However, there are some types of tumors, the growth of which can be stimulated by estrogen.

Note-only the growth of existing tumors, not the occurrence of it!

Doctors, of course, are aware of this and before prescribing hormone replacement therapy, patients are examined. Hormones are not assigned “with kondachka”, this “scheme”, “Doctor and not to drink if I gormonchiki?..””Yes, I drink to your health!”And in General, no treatment should be prescribed without a proper examination.

Moreover, the use of hormonal contraceptives has oncoprotective (ie-cancer) effect, it has long been proven.

But where does the wind come from? Why is it suddenly believed that estrogens cause cancer? Smoke, as you know, without fire does not happen.

No way. In increased amounts, estrogens contribute to the emergence of endometriosis, a disease characterized by benign proliferation of endometrial cells – the inner layer of the uterine wall. These cells can grow outside the uterus, getting with menstrual blood into the abdominal cavity through the fallopian tubes.

But notice three things.

Circumstance one-endometriosis is a benign disease, not malignant. “Cancer of the uterus” it can not be called. It’s as wrong as calling bronchitis tuberculosis.

The second circumstance-estrogens contribute to the emergence of endometriosis in increased quantities. Elevated, not physiological! If you take estrogens in accordance with medical prescriptions, you can not worry.

The third circumstance is that modern methods of hormone replacement therapy imply the appointment of progestins-synthetic analogues of progesterone-in parallel with estrogens. And progesterone inhibits the proliferation of endometrial cells. Thus, the combined administration of progestins and estrogens reduces the risk of endometriosis.

And the fact that hormone replacement therapy causes breast cancer is a pure and baseless fiction, the refutation of which has been devoted to a lot of convincing scientific research. You know, there was this fiction? It was used as a means of unscrupulous competition. The pharmaceutical company will throw a new estrogen drug on the market, and competitors immediately begin to convince the public that this drug is not so much useful as harmful. In particular – breast cancer causes. From there “smoke” and went, but so thick that it can not be completely dispelled to this day, despite all efforts, despite many serious and convincing refutations.

The fourth myth claims that hormone replacement therapy is addictive. Once you do, and everything is to stop taking the hormones no longer work, the body will persevere in their demand, making a “withdrawal” every time I try to stop and “break” will be real hard, about the same as the discontinuation of the drug.

What can you say to that?

For example-do you know that elephants fly? Yes, Yes, they wave their ears and rise into the air…

And carp can talk…

And sparrows can swim underwater…

What does elephants carp Yes sparrows?

And with the same, with what and addiction to hormonal drugs. This is nonsense! Hormones are not drugs and can not cause any addiction, the mechanisms of action are completely different and do not need to lump everything together.

Hormone replacement therapy can be discontinued at any time, but it is correct to do it by gradually reducing doses. Abruptly stop taking drugs should not. But agree that between the phrases; “abruptly stop taking drugs should not” and “hormone replacement therapy is addictive” there is a huge difference.

You know the old saying, ” where’s the estate and where’s the flood?”? There is a whole group of myths (let’s give it the fifth number, one for all) in which estrogen and progesterone are attributed side effects caused by other hormones. Thus, it gives the wrong impression that hormone replacement therapy has a huge number of side effects.

Here’s an example.

Glucocorticoid drugs cause an increase in blood clotting, in high doses can provoke arterial hypertension, and when taken orally can cause gastric ulcer.

Horror-horror-horror! So estrogens can cause strokes and peptic ulcer disease!

What is the relationship between estrogens and glucocorticoids? Where here logic and where the mind?

As it is – where? It’s hormones!

The fact that each hormone has its own special properties, and the word “hormone” just means belonging to a certain type of substances, many people for some reason do not think.

Supporters of the natural way of life, which are treated only with herbs and honey, gave rise to the myth of the sixth – the unnatural unnatural hormone replacement therapy. “Unnatural unnatural” is not a typo, but a deliberate repetition to enhance the impression. But this repetition is unable to convey the pathos with which” naturalists ” broadcast that “the body can not be contradicted” and so on.

In fact, there are cases when the body is not only possible, but also necessary to contradict! If the achievements of modern science allow us to postpone the onset of old age (and this is what hormone replacement therapy does), then why not take advantage of this? Agree that there is a big difference between hormone replacement therapy and taking hormonal drugs for muscle building. In the first case, there is a replenishment of the lost due to age reasons, that is, the restoration of the existing balance, and in the second – a violation of the balance. Recovery and disruption are two different things, right?

The most dangerous myth about hormone replacement therapy is myth number seven, on which we will end our revelations, otherwise they will stretch for a whole book. What’s wrong? Myths there is a great variety, leave alone – they are replaced by others. But it is important for us to debunk the most persistent and most” conceptual”, so to speak, myths. When the main misconceptions are debunked, the secondary ones can be ignored.

Now, the most dangerous myth is that hormone replacement therapy is not needed if there are no symptoms caused by a lack of estrogen.

Some readers may wonder – why is this myth the most dangerous?

Because it interferes with hormone replacement therapy more than all the other myths put together. After all, if a person is sure that he does not need any treatment, he will not go to the doctor and will not collect information on the topic at all. The very information that would convince him that he was wrong. And if one of the friends will give such a person the right advice, he shrugs – well, do not fool me with different nonsense!

But not all women climax is “bright”, that is – with a full set of symptoms. At someone it can pass and asymptomatically, without unpleasant feelings or with such small number of them which can be safely ignored. At first! There are no symptoms, but hormonal “restructuring” occurs, albeit imperceptibly. Sooner or later it will lead to serious, noticeable consequences, the onset of which could be delayed with the help of hormone replacement therapy.

What consequences? But what – obesity, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, hair loss, dry skin, brittle nails, reduced intellectual capabilities…

Is the list impressive? Then note that the onset of the effects it will not happen “to push into the future.” If it came, it came. It will only be possible to reduce the degree of its severity by hormone replacement therapy. Decide for yourself whether you are willing to pay the price of early aging, which could be avoided, for a few years of frivolous self-deception.

But it is better late than never, that is – to start hormone replacement therapy is never too late. The later you start, the less benefit you will get, but some benefit will still be. That there is an age at which hormone replacement therapy becomes useless is also a myth. Whenever you start hormone replacement therapy, it will benefit you. But the sooner you start – the more good it will be.

Yes, and here’s another thing – hormone replacement therapy should begin immediately after the production of estrogen in the body will decrease. At the level of everyday understanding-to start immediately after menstruation will become irregular, and not after menopause.

That’s all.


Adequate, that is-corresponding to the needs of the body, hormone replacement therapy, carried out on prescription and under the supervision of a doctor, brings the body only benefit.


No medical center or pharmaceutical company sponsored this Chapter, which expresses the author’s personal opinion based on a thorough and comprehensive study of the subject.

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