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Hormone Risk Throughout the Lifespan

May 9, 2016 - By Christina Cherel, National Women's Health Network - 0 Comments

Millions of women take hormones every day, and yet many don’t fully realize the risks. People often forget that the birth control pill, revolutionary, game-changing medicine, is in fact, a drug. In its early form, “the Pill” had such high hormone levels and negative side effects that women, and the women’s health community, protested – and succeeded in making it safer. Thirty years ago, women going through the menopausal transition were liberally prescribed hormone therapy not only to help with menopause’s unwanted symptoms but also as preventive care. Doctors prescribed and women took menopause hormone therapy without knowing the serious consequences of long-term hormone use, including increased risks of breast cancer and endometrial cancer, and stroke.

Today, we know that both hormonal contraception (like the Pill) and menopause hormone therapy do carry risks – and must not be exempted from the scrutiny we conduct on other drugs. In this article, we discuss hormone use over a woman’s lifetime, the risks from hormonal birth control and menopause hormone therapy, and how you can decide if taking hormones is right for you.

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