Menopause & Myths about Hormone Replacement Therapy


Post Updated February 7, 2022

For the large majority of us who suffer one or more symptoms of menopause, we can all agree that it is NO FUN.

So what can we do about it?

According to the North American Menopause Society (NAMS), a leading group of health care providers who specialize in health issues for women at perimenopause and beyond, hormone replacement therapy remains the most effective treatment for the symptoms of menopause.

But wait! Isn’t hormone replacement therapy bad for you?

There has been much conflicting information about the benefits and risks of hormone replacement therapy, so we at MiraKind want to try to dispel the myths and sort through the noise so that you can make a clear and informed decision for yourself.

What is hormone replacement therapy (HRT)?

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) supplements a woman’s estrogen levels during perimenopause and menopause, helping diminish the unpleasant symptoms—night sweats, hot flashes, vaginal dryness, sleep disturbance—that result from decreasing estrogen levels. HRT can be taken in various forms—pill, patch, gel, spray—and either given as estrogen alone (typically used for women who have had a hysterectomy) or combined with progestin for women who still have their uterus (progestin is protective against risk of uterine cancer when estrogen is used alone).  

Talk with a menopause-specialist doctor about HRT to learn more about the risks and benefits – you may even be able to get a prescription online by speaking with a genneve menopause specialist via video appointment.

Why has HRT gotten such a bad rap?

Hormone replacement therapy has gotten a bad rap, in large part due to the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) study published in 2001.  The WHI indicated that hormone replacement therapy led to increased breast cancer risk, increased risk of stroke, and blood clots, among other health issues.  When the WHI study findings came out, HRT usage among peri- and menopausal women plummeted, and has yet to recover, even 16 years later.  However, the study was found to be plagued with several flaws that were corrected in later studies.  Still, confusion remains. According to the NAMS 2012 position statement on HRT use, “Ten years have passed since the publication of the first results of the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) hormone therapy trials. The debate that followed gave women and their providers the impression that the experts don’t agree on the topic of hormone therapy.” 1

Hormone Therapy Perscriptions Graph

So is HRT OK for me to use or not?

The ultimate conclusion, with consensus by the North American Menopause Society, Society for Reproductive Medicine, and the American the Endocrine Society, is that “most healthy, recently menopausal women can use hormone replacement therapy for relief of their symptoms.” 1  Scientists who conducted a 13-year, long-term follow-up of WHI participants concurred, reporting in 2015 that, “For most recently menopausal women, benefits of HRT outweigh the risks.”  In short, hormone replacement therapy is not a one-size-fits all solution, and the decision to take it should take into account numerous factors, including a woman’s health and family history, the severity of her symptoms, age of menopause, etc.

How do I know if HRT is right for me?

A 2015 MiraKind survey of 600 women showed that 60% expressed concern or a lack of clarity around HRT and 50% of women surveyed believe that HRT increases cancer risk.  Clearly, there is still a lot of confusion and misunderstanding around the topic, so how do you decide whether it is right for you?

While there are many factors to consider, understanding your genetic profile can prove invaluable in your decision-making process.  Joanne Weidhaas, MD, PhD, and her colleagues published research in 2015 that pointed to estrogen withdrawal—which occurs during menopause, abrupt stoppage of HRT, or a pre-menopausal oophorectomy without HRT—as a potential trigger for the onset of cancer in women who carry an inherited genetic mutation known as the KRAS-variant.  For women who do test positive for the KRAS-variant, maintaining one’s estrogen levels via hormone replacement therapy through peri-menopause and into menopause appears to be protective in decreasing cancer risk.

While any decision around prescription HRT should involve a consultation and discussion with your physician, if you are a woman experiencing menopausal symptoms and are trying to decide whether to go on or stay on HRT, you may want to consider getting tested for the KRAS-variant.  Regardless of whether you test positive or negative, the result will provide you with a powerful piece of genetic information to help inform this important decision about your health.

Recommended Reading: “Women Have Been Misled About Menopause”, by Susan Dominus, New York Times Magazine, February 2023.

Learn more about menopause and the KRAS-Variant.

Learn more about our latest research on estrogen and how it impacts the KRAS-variant.



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  • I had the Kras Varient Screening done several years ago, along with my spouse (colon cancer in his family). I had severe endometriosis and symptoms from age 30-45. At 45, I had a hysterectomy but GYN left my cervix. The fact that I previously had endometriosis, prompted me to get tested. I am delighted to share that my husband and I do not have the varient gene.
    I am very concerned however, having read all the studies over time and still being on HRT (estrogen patch and Prometrium for over 12 years that I still have the concern for breast cancer. I have dense breasts, and this is the ugly truth that one size does not fit all for HRT.
    At the very least, the screening put my mind at ease that my HRT was of no consequence with regard to this gene concern.

    • Hi Alston,

      Thank you for your response! For individuals that have the KRAS-variant, Hormone Replacement Therapy has been proven to be a safe option. Additional findings continue to validate HRT’s benefit in further populations, but work still remains in assessing all the risks and benefits.

      Please let us know if you have any additional questions!

      The MiraKind Team

  • I really like the post that you have shared with us. The Menopause symptoms can be shocking but HRT can help. Hormone replacement therapy is a highly effective method for treating many conditions and improving overall health.

    • Thank you so much for taking the time to read our post and for your response! We’re very glad you enjoyed reading it and appreciate your feedback.

      The MiraKind Team

  • Interesting article. For people who wanted to try hormone replacement therapy, first thing you should is to go to your doctor and have him/her check you up. As mention in this article, it is not a one-size-fits all solution and different examines should be done first.

  • Thank you for taking the time to share your informative article with us. In which information Helped my sister tremendously! I love this program. Changed her life for the good.

  • It was helpful when you said that the benefits can outweigh risks. My sister was telling me about how she wanted to do hormone therapy. I’ll make sure to pass this information along to her so she can know more about it!

  • I’m glad you clarified that the benefits of hormone replacement therapy outweigh the risks. I’ve heard that hormone restoration can be helpful for women going through menopause. Thanks for sharing this article and helping me feel comfortable pursuing hormone therapy.

  • It’s good to know that HRT is probably safe, but that we can get a genetic test to find out whether she has a mutation that makes it more risky for her. My wife has started to feel symptoms of menopause and is interested in minimizing them. Maybe we should talk to a doctor and see whether this treatment would benefit her.

  • Great read!!!
    Every woman should be aware of the hormonal imbalance triggers afterward the menopausal period.
    The secretion of certain types of hormones like estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone declines drastically which might affect certain types of physiological activities.
    So, a person should be aware of the factors which should be taken into consideration to deal with such kinds of hormonal imbalance triggered due to menopause.

  • Thanks for such a thorough look at this confusing subject. I did not do any HRT and find myself with osteoporosis of the spine and non-obstructive coronary artery disease at age 56, despite feeling fit, healthy, and strong.

    • Hi-
      It is important to understand that there are some serious consequences of NOT taking HRT. Thank you for sharing your story.

  • My mother is turning 55 this year, and it has been tough for her since this is her menopausal stage. That’s why I’ve been advising her to try hormone replacement therapy so she can have that youthful glow again, but she’s quite scared of the effects. Gladly, you were able to mention here that studies found about HRT in regards to cancer risk and blood clots issues are bombarded with many flaws.

  • Thanks for sharing an informative blog which is quite helpful for women as well for awareness. It’s good to know that HRT is probably safe and Hormone replacement therapy is an effective method for treating and improving overall health.

  • Thanks for helping me learn more about hormone replacement therapy. It’s good to know that this could actually help reduce distress and even reduces depression and anxiety. That said, it sounds important to know what you should personally do for HRT to work well, especially if you can get all these benefits.

  • Thank you for sharing such an informative article. Bringing the HRT treatment to the people helps them to ease the degenerative side effects of aging and other medical issues. Keep it up


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Any discussion of medical management options on this website is for general informational purposes only and does not constitute a medical recommendation. All medical management decisions should be made based on consultation between each patient and his or her healthcare professional.

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