It’s just that it didn’t reach a level of statistical significance so that we can be confident that that is real, but there was a definite trend.
It’s just fascinating because we here at EmpowHer, we try to provide, you know, all the sides to the argument so women can make the most informed decision pertaining to their own health. And, you know, often we hear what you are talking about the harmful effects of hormone replacement therapy, but then there are also those doctors that share the benefits. How can a woman weigh out the difference between the harmful effects and the benefits?
Dr. Jill Siegfried:
Well, I think when doctors speak of the benefits, they mostly are referring to short-term hormone replacement therapy use to take care of symptoms that make women very, very uncomfortable when they are going through menopause, and many of the harmful effects we have been seeing are when women have had this long-term use.
So, hormone replacement therapy was originally developed to take care of things like hot flashes and other unpleasant symptoms in menopause. And then, a lot of data came out to suggest, for instance, that women have less cardiovascular disease than men and they live longer. So, you know, we came up with the hypothesis that it was the estrogen that might be doing this. So for instance, heart disease in women definitely does start to increase after menopause.
So the idea was, well, let’s just keep those hormones going for as long as possible and this is going to protect women, but unfortunately, you know, we had a very simplistic idea about what hormone replacement therapy was going to do. So I think it definitely still has a role for helping women get through the perimenopausal period, but the idea that we should use these hormones for 3, 5, 7 years to ward off these other diseases, that’s where we are really running into the problems because now we are seeing that breast cancer goes up, lung cancer deaths went up, and actually there was more heart disease in the women that took hormone replacement therapy for long periods of time.