I’ve been on bioidentical hormones for what is certainly not deemed “short-term” use. Actually, it’s been eight years. (I can hear you gasp.) That’s even as I am literally swimming in all the reasons I shouldn’t be taking them, as well as for me personally, a heckuva’ lot of reasons I think I should be. I find this area of women’s health to be deep: A cursory Google of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) on even reputable sites sends me mentally running for cover.
My internist is my internist because she thinks intelligently outside the box and she is not so traditional. We have open communication. My compounding pharmacist is highly regarded in his discipline. I ask them both lots of questions and I read a lot. Still, the water is rising and I think I’m paddling outside the rip current.
Arlene Weintraub’s careful and insightful analysis in the Huffington Post waxes eloquently about Suzanne Somers, a vocal bioidenticals proponent. The analysis is replete with a history of this category of hormones and is peppered liberally with convincing statistics, followed by an impressive and confounding roster of comments both pro and con. Yes: Evidence for the con far outweighs that of pro.
I “think” hormones keep my baby boomer skin somewhat more pliable, might be evening out my moods, help me sleep better and improve my sex life. I get blood work done regularly to assess hormone levels and am religious about an annual mammogram, plus an ultrasound, and of course, those de rigueur breast self-exams. I work out almost daily and yes, I think seriously about the fact that Mom had breast cancer—twice—even though it was very late onset.
Obviously, I am unsure about breaking up with hormones. I mean, we were a pair for so long naturally—it just doesn’t seem right that they dumped me just because I got older. So I brought them back in the form of compounded C-BI-EST drops and progesterone capsules—and testosterone foam. With so much controversy and no pat answers, I’ll continue to ponder if this is a relationship I can sustain “forever.”
Note: I found this chart on hormone products to be exemplary, even if you’re not a chemist. It’s included in comprehensive information from The North American Menopause Society. What’s your take on hormone therapy? Yes or no?