Estrogen alone as Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is safe. Estrogen actually saves lives compared to no estrogen replacement after hysterectomy in women between 50 and 59. 13 women’s lives were saved for every 10,000 women in the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) study between 2002 and 2011.
Many women have avoided HRT ever since 2002 when HRT was reported to slightly increase cardiovascular deaths. Further analysis of that data showed that Progestin was the problem. Estrogen by itself protects against heart disease! NOT taking Estrogen is dangerous! Estrogen also protects against osteoporosis and fractures!
The benefit of estrogen alone is much larger than the risk from estrogen and progestin together. Unfortunately, the original media reports in 2002 simply said that all HRT was dangerous. As a result most women have avoided Hormone Replacement Therapy.
The new study, led by Drs Philip Sarrel and David Katz of Yale, was published in the “American Journal of Public Health” July 2013. I learned about it from “MedPage Today”.
The new analysis of WHI data estimates that between 23,000 and 92,000 women have died over a decade because they did not take estrogen after their hysterectomy. That is a lot of women and that is not the whole story. Women who had natural menopause rather than surgically caused menopause were not included in this study. The benefits of estrogen should be similar in both groups, and the natural group is much larger.
Estrogen protects against osteoporosis and fractures. Now we know it can protect against death too. HRT is a reasonable option for your bone health. You should consider it.
Jay Ginther, MD