As the research currently stands, it appears that vaginal estrogen is a safe and effective treatment for vaginal discomfort due to menopause, and has a much lower risk of the cancers and cardiovascular events typically associated with hormone therapy.
Hot flashes are the most common symptom of menopause, and are extremely aggravating to women. While some women never have hot flashes and others have mild or infrequent hot flashes, some women experience dozens each day.
Since the early 2000s, the use of menopausal hormone therapy has continued to decline after the initial findings of the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) showed an increased risk of breast cancer and serious cardiac events with the use of estrogen plus progestin.
No form of estrogen, or estrogen plus progestin, has been proven to prevent heart disease. Yet millions of women have taken these powerful drugs, encouraged by physicians who believed that hormone therapy prevented heart disease.
Menopause hormone therapy works to relieve symptoms whether a woman is 41 and adjusting to the aftermath of surgical menopause, or she’s 71 and enjoying sexual activity with a new partner.
The widespread popularity of hormone therapy in the United States is a triumph of marketing over science and advertising over common sense. Drug companies and many health care providers view menopause as a disease to be treated.