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too old for hormone replacement therapy? the lost generation: women aged 60-65+





I’m sixty-five, and I’m starting hormone replacement therapy.

 

About two months ago, I experienced the sudden onset of intense hip and knee pain. Not the general arthritis I’ve had brewing for the past ten years or so. But something altogether new.

 

Reading recent news and research, I was excited to discover new hormone replacement therapy (HRT) formulations with positive study results. My new joint pain and other bone issues, coupled with the release of a flurry of new medical studies on hormone therapy, made me sit up and take notice.

 

A Little Background

 

In 2002, when the Women’s Health Initiative study announced the early suspension of their clinical research on HRT due to the increased risk of breast cancer (along with a long list of other possible problems,) millions of women stopped taking it, and doctors stopped prescribing it.

 

That was twenty-two years ago. I was forty-three at the time and on birth control, not only to avoid getting pregnant but also to reduce my risk of ovarian cancer. My mom died from ovarian cancer when I was twenty. My OBGYN told me there was a current theory proposing that the site where the egg is released during ovulation may play a part in ovarian cancer. So, no more ovulation for me!

 

I stopped taking birth control at the age of 50. When  I asked my doctor, “What about menopause?” He said, “Oh, you’re probably through with all of that.” Within a month of stopping, my life felt like it had been turned upside down. I went from a chemically regulated schedule to no periods. Boom! It was hard, and with no safe HRT, and ovarian cancer in the family, I suffered through it. Kvetching with girlfriends, trying natural remedies, and drinking wine on occasion were our collective coping mechanisms.

 

Over the next sixteen years, many of us who aged through our late forties, fifties, and sixties, timed out of trying traditional or new experimental HRT within what was considered to be a reasonable window of safety, “Within ten years of your last period and before sixty” were the general recommended limitations. There were also caveats regarding taking HRT, depending on your personal and familial health histories.

 

New Hope on the Horizon

 

On March 9th of this year, a new medical study was published analyzing data from 10 million postmenopausal women over a period of thirteen years (2007-2020). The study’s objectives were in part “. . . to assess the use of menopausal hormone therapy beyond age sixty-five years and its health implications, taking into account types of estrogen/progestogen, the methods of administration, and dose strengths.”

 

They found surprising positive results, among them was “. . . the use of estrogen and progestogen combo-therapy, using low dose of transdermal or vaginal E+ progestin exhibited significant risk reductions in endometrial cancer (45%), ovarian cancer (21%), ischemic heart disease (5%), congestive heart failure (CHF) (5%), and venous thromboembolism (5%).”

(Italics mine)

 

What does this mean? It means that with specific formulations of estrogen and progestogen delivered through the skin, the risk is low and the potential benefits are considerable. (Before you consider any therapy, talk with your doctor or find an OBGYN menopause specialist.)

 

As this and other studies emerged, I began following three women physicians whose practices focus on women’s health, emphasizing menopause and aging resilience.

 

Dr. Vonda Wright is an orthopedic surgeon who encourages women to preserve their bone and joint health as they age, and she promotes an understanding of the role estrogen plays in both.

 

Dr. Mary Claire Haver is an OBGYN specializing in peri-to-post menopause treatment and education, with an NYT best-selling book, “The New Menopause.”

 

Dr. Corrine Menn is an OBGYN, a menopause specialist, and a Breast Cancer Survivorship Medical Advisor.

 

You can find them all on Instagram, where they offer easy access to an amazing amount of good information.

 

Why these three? Because each of them has information that is related to my issues with aging.


Dr. Vonda Wright: I have osteopenia, scoliosis, spinal stenosis, arthritis, and joint pain.

 

Dr. Mary Claire Haver: I sometimes experience brain fog, a mild case of, “Where are my keys?", and still have occasional insomnia and night sweats.

 

Dr. Corrine Menn: I don’t have breast cancer in my family, but there is ovarian cancer, and though my BRACA I and II were negative, I want to keep up with breast cancer survivor hormone treatment developments for my clients.

 

Informed with all this new information and additional medical studies (you can find all the links below) I decided to consult a female doctor informed in the newest hormone treatments. She ordered a slew of blood tests, and I was off to the races. She’s also a Naturopath, and focuses on whole person health.


Along with prescribing a low-dose combination of estradiol, progesterone, and testosterone, she discovered that even though I’ve been diagnosed as hypothyroid and have been on medication prescribed by my primary doctor for years, my thyroid hormone levels are off. They are far enough off to suggest that I have been living with undiagnosed Hashimotos, an auto-immune condition that can compound and blur with menopause. Well, better to find out late than never! I started my HRT on May 24, 2024.

 

So now I’m on a journey to take the best care of my health that I can: my bones, brain, thyroid, spine, hell, my entire body!  I’m happy to be working with a female physician who believes in whole-person health.


It's my hope that with all the steps I am taking to improve my health, I can slow down or stop further bone loss and joint damage, improve my thyroid issue, enhance my overall health and well-being, and prevent cognitive decline.

 

Boomers, Late Boomers, Millennials, and all the women behind us are the first generations of women to live as a group past menopause in the history of humanity. We are living into a new life stage and creating it as we live it. I call our new life stage Regency; we have another 20-30 years to live our most authentic and fulfilled lives. I want to live these years as fully and vibrantly as I can.

 

Though I have my share of issues with my aging body, I plan to make my Regency years the best they can be. I hope you’ll join me. I’m inviting you to follow my journey as a sixty-five-year-old post-menopausal woman who is trying the new HRT.

 

In the coming weeks, I’ll share my journey to inspire you to live your best life, including my continuing weight loss program, workout and exercise routines, the supplements I take, how my body is holding up, and my health results.

 

I invite you to follow me on social media and subscribe to my email list to keep up with the latest updates. Please, let me know how you are doing and how you are making the most of your Regency Years!

 

I’ll be posting about my journey every week.

 

Namasté,

Dr. A.

 

Remember, Midlife is much more than Menopause; it’s a triple transformation: physical, psychological, and spiritual.


Subscribe to my email list here on my website, or if you're reading this on social media go to https://www.drandreaslominski.com 

 

 Medical Studies


Use of menopausal hormone therapy beyond age 65 years and its effects on women's health outcomes by types, routes, and doses

 

 

Review of menopausal hormone therapy with estradiol and progesterone versus other estrogens and progestins

 

 

Progesterone for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis in women

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