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Misinformation About MHT: Don't Believe Everything You Read On The Internet

In today's digital age, information on menopause is readily available at our fingertips. However, the abundance of resources online also means encountering misinformation alongside valuable advice. At Purely Menopause, our mission is to provide reliable guidance and evidence-based treatments to help women manage their menopausal symptoms effectively.

Is MHT A Miracle Drug - The Fountain of Youth?

Many social media influencers push the notion that menopause hormone therapy (MHT) can keep you from aging by restoring you to your younger self. However, MHT cannot reverse the aging process entirely. Although it won't make you look and feel 25 again, scientific literature is clear that MHT can alleviate symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal symptoms (the genitourinary syndrome of menopause), as well as prevent osteoporosis. Ongoing research likely will provide additional insight into how MHT can mitigate symptoms of menopause.

How Long Does It Take to Feel Better on MHT?

One of the gratifying aspects of menopause hormone therapy (MHT) is the relatively quick onset of symptom relief. Although results vary, many women notice improvement within a few weeks after starting MHT.

Do I Need To Take MHT For The Rest Of My Life?

In short, probably not. The duration of MHT usage depends on various factors, including age, symptom severity, risk factors, and personal preferences. Some women may use MHT for a few years to alleviate symptoms and then find that they don't need it anymore because their symptoms have disappeared. Others may require longer-term treatment, particularly if they entered menopause before they were 45 years old. Women who are 65 or have been on MHT for 10 years should talk with their doctor about whether gradually tapering off MHT is appropriate for their circumstance. Each individual has their own tolerance for balancing symptom management with potential risks. That said, there's no hard and fast endpoint for when women must cease using MHT. Women using MHT should check-in with their doctor regularly (at least annually) and after any significant change in their health condition.

Doesn't MHT Cause Breast Cancer?

Concerns about MHT and breast cancer risk are common (and frankly, overblown), but the relationship is nuanced. Although prolonged use of combined MHT (estrogen and progesterone) may slightly increase breast cancer risk, the absolute risk remains low. Interestingly, most available data points to the finding that MHT consisting of only estrogen actually reduces breast cancer risk. It's essential to assess individual risk factors, such as family history and genetic predisposition, when considering MHT. Regular screening mammograms and vigilant self-examination, along with conversations with your doctor, are recommended to detect any changes early and mitigate potential risks associated with MHT usage.

Why Do I Need to Take Progesterone With Estrogen?

The primary role of progesterone is to protect the uterine lining from overgrowth, which can lead to uterine cancer. In the absence of a uterus, progesterone is not necessary. However, individualized assessment and consideration of risks and benefits of using progesterone by a woman and her doctor are encouraged since progesterone also has other uses.

At What Age Should I Be Concerned If I Haven't Reached Menopause?

The average age of menopause is 51-52, but some women experience natural menopause in their 40s and some not until their 60s. Comprehensive medical evaluation, including menstrual history and laboratory assessments, can provide clarity on menopausal status and guide appropriate healthcare interventions. For women approaching their 60s who have not yet experienced menopausal symptoms, ongoing ovarian hormone production may offer certain health benefits. Talk with your doctor regularly to reassess your situation and confirm that your bleeding is the result of continued menstruation and not some other cause.

Will I Start Menopause Earlier If I Started Menstruating Younger?

The timing of puberty does not dictate the onset of menopause, contrary to popular belief. Although family history may offer some insight, individual experiences of menopause vary widely. There are significant health concerns associated with starting menopause before age 45 so talk with your doctor if you are experiencing symptoms.

Incorporating accurate information and personalized guidance into menopause management empowers women to navigate this transformative stage of life with confidence and informed decision-making. By relying on reputable sources and collaborating with healthcare providers, women can effectively address their menopausal concerns and optimize their well-being.

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