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December 2015

Update on Timing of Hormone Replacement Therapy in Menopause

Update on Timing of Hormone Replacement Therapy in Menopause

In 1964, Dr. Robert Wilson, a gynecologist in New York City, advocated in his book Feminine Forever that all menopausal women should receive hormone replacement therapy (HRT).  The outrage of the feminist movement led the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to fund the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) in 1991 to determine if HRT could safely protect women’s cardiovascular and bone health.  In July 2002, the trial was prematurely canceled due to findings of a statistical increase in both breast cancer and stroke.  Based on these findings and the resultant publicity, millions of women stopped their HRT, and doctors stopped prescribing HRT.  As a result of this precipitous change, the majority of menopausal women have gone without HRT for more than a decade.