Good News From The Menopause Meeting About Menopausal Hormone Therapy

Good News From The Menopause Meeting About Menopausal Hormone Therapy

By: Holly L. Thacker, MD • Posted on October 05, 2012

The Latest Study Results About Menopausal Hormone Therapy

The long awaited result of the Kronos Early Estrogen Prevention Study (KEEPS) were unveiled at the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) meeting in sunny, Orlando, Florida. This was a study about recent menopausal women, not much older women and women that were a decade or more past the time of menopause, which was the group that the Women's Health Initiative prevention trial examined.

I was so excited to get the good news out to women that I tweeted highlights of the KEEPS trial out during the presentation. I believe I was the first person to do this because when I searched the Speaking of Women's Health twitter feed for #KEEPS, I only found my tweet along with several tweets having to do with "keeping your girlfriend."

In recently menopausal women on hormone therapy, there was found:

  • No harm
  • No increased risk for heart disease or cancer
  • No memory loss
  • The expected benefits on hot flashes, menopausal symptoms
  • A trend for improved cardiovascular markers
  • Improved sexual function
  • Improved bone health
  • Interestingly, decreased tension and negative mood symptoms in women on oral conjugated estrogen
  • Reduced liver effects and improvement in sexual function were found in women on transdermal (patch) estrogen

All women with a uterus were given 12 days of natural oral progesterone and either 0.45 oral conjugated estrogen tablet (Premarin) or a weekly estradiol patch 0.05. These results provide additional reassurances to women that they do NOT have to suffer with menopausal symptoms, including:

  • Hot flashes
  • Sleep problems
  • Word finding difficulty
  • Dry vaginas
  • Brittle bones

These results also emphasize that one size does not fit all. Some women, particularly those with high triglycerides, blood clot concerns or low testosterone will want to focus on transdermal estrogen, while women with negative mood and tension associated with menopause may want to select oral estrogen. Furthermore, women do not have to turn to compounding pharmacies for unregulated concoctions (that many times are not covered by insurance) in order to obtain relief.

Share The Good News With Your Menopausal Women Friends

The result of this four year study of recently menopausal women should be plastered all over the front pages of newspapers, but good news doesn't sell, so unfortunately, it won't be. So it is up to social media, grass roots efforts and medical organizations to get the news out to women, their physicians and healthcare providers. Retweet (RT), modify tweet (MT), post, share on facebook, text, email or pin to your Pinterest site. At the meeting it was great to hear first-hand about the latest research in women and to see non-medical folks like Staness Jonekos, who wants to share empowering and helpful health information to women and the people who love them.

So if you want to be a girlfriend to your girlfriend, you will not warn your girlfriend who is on menopausal hormone therapy to stop taking her therapy because it is safe, effective and well-studied. And if you want to stay a vibrant "girlfriend" to your intimate partner, you don't want to be cranky, tired and with an atrophic, thin vagina that feels like you are sitting on shards of glass.

There are many options for midlife women to stay healthy and strong and it is important to find a menopause specialist who is credentialed by NAMS and is a NCMP (NAMS Credentialed Menopause Practitioner) if you are having menopausal problems.

For more information on menopause, download our free Menopause Treatment Guide.

Be Strong, Be Healthy, Be in Charge!
- Dr. Holly L. Thacker

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