the 4 resources on hormone replacement therapy

Hormone Replacement Therapy – The 4 Resources Everyone Needs

Do you know the facts about hormone replacement therapy?

The sad truth is, most of us don’t; including many doctors.

Hormone replacement therapy, which is now known as menopausal hormone therapy, is a very polarizing topic that is often characterized in extremes.

It’s not the dangerous product that we were all told to fear in 2002. Nor is it a magic bullet that will fix everything as per your social media feeds.

The truth is somewhere in between. Usually clouded with confusion, misinformation, and fearmongering.

Menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) can be an important tool for a variety of menopausal symptoms. And while it’s not right for everyone:

  • You may not need MHT.
  • You may have health risks that make MHT a risky choice for you.
  • You may not want to take MHT.

Everyone should understand its benefits and the potential risks that apply to their unique health profile. You should also be given the opportunity to decide if this medication is right for your journey. Or at the very least understand why a doctor has determined that MHT is not an option for you.

Uncertain? Scared? Confused? Having troubling finding a doctor who can take you through the benefits and risks of MHT?

We’ve pulled together the resources you need to understand the facts, build your confidence, and help you advocate for the care and support you deserve.

These are the 4 resources everyone needs because they are:

  • Created using evidence-based information;
  • Free or cost very little;
  • Regularly updated; and
  • Easy to understand.

1. Dr. Jen Gunter’s Hormone Therapy Guide

This Hormone Therapy Guide is a great place to get easy-to-understand information from what many consider to be THE menopause source. Dr. Jen Gunter is building this guide using her platform on Substack called The Vajenda.  In this evolving guide you’ll find information about:

  • What symptoms can and can’t be treated with MHT;
  • The different preparations and when one might be more appropriate over another;
  • The risks of MHT and why these risks are more significant for some people;
  • When MHT is indicated for disease prevention and when it’s not; and
  • So much more.

There are free articles every week, but you’ll need a subscription to access the hormone therapy guide and other content. At just $5 USD/month or $50 USD/year, we think this is one of the best investments you can make for your menopausal journey. You also get the ability to comment. Reader comments give Dr. Gunter ideas for additional posts. And the opportunity to address the nuance and misinformation of this very large and complex topic.

2. MQ6 Menopause Assessment Tool

The Menopause Quick 6 or MQ6 is an assessment tool designed for patients and providers.

Many primary care clinicians have had little experience treating menopausal patients. The MQ6 tool was designed to address these knowledge gaps. The tool’s 6 quick questions can help start a menopause conversation with your doctor. And your doctor can use the MQ6 to quickly assess your symptoms and identify treatment options for you.

The MQ6 site has a lot of great resources for both patients and providers. Check them out to build your knowledge, and consider sharing this tool with your medical provider. Watch the video below to learn more.

Interview with Dr. Susan Goldstein, creator of the MQ6:

3. Women Living Better

When Nina Coslov and Jo McChesney were in their early 40s they started struggling with symptoms like sleep problems and mood changes. Their doctors told them it couldn’t be perimenopause. They resolved to figure out what was going on. They sent an initial survey to 400 women in 2016. The results convinced them that there was a need for better research and information about perimenopause.

The Women Living Better site was launched in 2018. The goal is to provide women with the information they need to navigate perimenopause. Through their own research and interviewing experts, they create consumer-friendly information on complex topics.

This post on the difference between progesterone and progestins really helps to clarify this confusing class of hormone. Especially since the term progesterone is often used to refer to all types of progestogens. See what we mean?

4. The Menopause Society’s 2022 Hormone Therapy Position Statement

Admittedly this resource is a little harder to read and not quite as accessible as the other three. But hear us out.

These guidelines were created using expert consensus and are considered the authoritative source in North America. We don’t expect you to read this document. But we do recommend you check out the Key Points highlighted in the sections that are of interest to you.

The Key Points can be very helpful in understanding when MHT is indicated and when it’s not. They can also help initiate a discussion with a reluctant medical provider.

For example. Hormone therapy is FDA approved for prevention of bone loss. You have a family history of osteoporosis. And you know from past appointments that your doctor is reluctant to prescribe MHT. Consider booking an appointment to help you better understand The Menopause Society’s recommendations on MHT and osteoporosis. Bring a copy of the 2022 NAMS Position Statement with you to the appointment. Be sure to highlight the section on osteoporosis on page 8.

Key Points on Osteoporosis:

NAMS 2022 Position Statement

Note that the recommendations/key points are also graded according to these categories:

  • Level I: Based on good and consistent scientific evidence.
  • Level II: Based on limited or inconsistent scientific evidence.
  • Level III: Based primarily on consensus and expert opinion.

Let’s us know if these resources help you better understand hormone replacement therapy. Send us an email at hello@thisisperimenopause.com.

We’d love to hear from you!