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What most doctors mean when they say HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) they mean either Premarin® (conjugated estrogens derived from the cruel “harvesting” of equine estrogens from the urine of pregnant mares) or Provera® (medroxyprogesterone a synthetic progestin … NOT progesterone), birth control pills (a combination of estrogen usually with a progestin), Prometrium® (progesterone in really high physiologic doses in peanut oil) or estrogen patches (many of which at least try to deliver the approximate total amount of estrogen produced by a woman’s body) that, many times irritate the skin and become intolerable or fall off prematurely.
Unfortunately, conjugated estrogens and synthetic progestins are not the hormones a woman’s body was meant to respond to in a healthy way. It is real easy though: All human women’s bodies were made to produce and respond to human estrogen and human progesterone in physiologic doses in a cycle (prior to menopause). The constant barrage of supra-physiologic doses of equine estrogen and equine estrogen metabolites like 4-hydroxy equilin a known carcinogen (many, many times unopposed by progesterone) and/or the exposure of women to synthetic progestins (note, we did not say progesterone!) can, and does, increase the incidence of endometrial cancer, endometriosis, fibroids, heart disease, depression, weight gain, strokes and pulmonary embolism just to name the short list.
Why is it important now? Because we are all (women and men alike) being bombarded by estrogens or estrogen-mimicking substances in our environment (xeno-estrogens). Because young women are starting to menstruate at an earlier age and experience menopause at a later age than their mothers, taking birth control pills and gaining more weight in the years in between menarche and menopause they are exposing their breast and endometrial tissue to cumulatively more estrogen then their mothers and grandmothers. Because the time of exposure (especially unopposed by the modulating effects of progesterone) to estrogens in a woman’s lifetime is one of the most important factors in the development of breast cancer and endometrial cancer. Because women need estrogen and progesterone throughout their lives. Your uterus is not the only organ that needs estrogen. Your brain needs it. Your bones need it. And your brain needs progesterone too. Your skin needs progesterone and estrogen. Progesterone can prevent fibrocystic breasts. Progesterone can help you sleep at night. Progesterone can help you alleviate anxiety. Some women need testosterone replacement also.