Part 1 Perimenopause and Menopause Series


Perimenopause and menopause have gained significant attention recently, which is highly encouraging. The symptoms associated with these stages of life are extensive and diverse, often leaving many unaware that they are related to hormonal changes. As a healthcare provider, I regularly discuss these topics at my clinic. I find it intriguing that despite readily available information, there are still prevalent misconceptions. Additionally, some people express hesitancy in disclosing their use of Menopausal Hormone Therapy (MHT) due to concerns about judgment and the pressure to pursue more “natural” approaches.


This blog post will provide recommendations and credible sources for further information. It is important to note that we do not have to endure the distressing symptoms of perimenopause and menopause alone. There are numerous safe and easily accessible options available. However, consulting a knowledgeable healthcare professional who remains up-to-date with the latest research and guidelines is crucial.


Debunking the Old Study: 


Menopause Hormone Therapy (HRT) IS Safe and Effective


For decades, menopause has been a topic of interest and concern for many women. The transition into perimenopause and menopause brings about various hormonal changes that can lead to uncomfortable symptoms. In the past, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) was widely prescribed as a treatment option. However, due to an old study that raised concerns about its safety, HRT fell out of favour. Recent research has now debunked these claims, proving that Menopause Hormone Therapy is safe, effective, and even preventative (Cagnacci & Venier, 2019).


The Flawed Study:


In 2002, the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI), a large-scale study by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), released findings that shocked medical professionals and women alike. The study suggested that HRT use increased the risks of heart disease, stroke, blood clots, and breast cancer in postmenopausal women. This revelation led to widespread fear and confusion surrounding HRT usage (Cagnacci & Venier, 2019).


Reevaluating the Data:


Over time, researchers began reanalysing the data from the WHI study and discovered significant flaws in its methodology. It became evident that the results were not representative of all women experiencing perimenopause or menopause but were specific to a particular age group with preexisting health conditions (Cagnacci & Venier, 2019).


Alleviation of Symptoms:


MHT, whether in the form of systemic and local estrogen or systemic estrogen combined with progestin, can provide relief from bothersome symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, and painful intercourse. These benefits persist for as long as MHT is continued (Mehta et al., 2021).


Enhanced Bone Health:


The use of systemic estrogen or estrogen plus progestin in MHT is associated with a decreased risk of hip and vertebral fractures. This positive effect on bone health is observed for the duration that MHT is maintained (Mehta et al., 2021).


Reduced Risk of Breast Cancer:


Contrary to common concerns, systemic estrogen is linked to a lower risk of breast cancer. This finding underscores the importance of understanding the nuanced impact of MHT on different aspects of women’s health (Mehta et al., 2021).


Lower Risk of Breast Cancer Mortality:


Additionally, there is evidence suggesting a lower risk of death from breast cancer associated with the use of systemic estrogen. This nuanced perspective sheds light on potential positive outcomes related to breast health in MHT (Mehta et al., 2021).




It is crucial to acknowledge that not every woman experiences symptoms during perimenopause and menopause, let alone severe ones. Therefore, blanket recommendations for MHT are unnecessary and potentially misleading. However, when discussing treatment options, including information about MHT clearly and straightforwardly can empower people to make informed decisions regarding their health.


By avoiding unnecessary fear tactics when presenting the range of options available, healthcare professionals can ensure that people receive unbiased information about MHT. This approach promotes transparency and empowers people to take control of their journey through menopause.


In conclusion, creating a culture of acceptance around menopause is vital. People should feel empowered to seek assistance without judgment or shame. While MHT may not be necessary for everyone, providing comprehensive and unbiased information will enable people to make informed choices regarding their health during this crucial phase of life.




Please form your opinion, remembering that knowledge is a source of empowerment. Seek advice from a healthcare provider, engage in conversations with your friends and family, and feel free to reach out to me for a chat anytime.


Dr Louise Newsom 

Dr Mary Claire Haver, author of The New Menopause 

Estrogen Matters 

Jean Hailes 

Australasian Menopause Society 

Davina McCall – this documentary was originally on SBS





Cagnacci, A., & Venier, M. (2019). The Controversial History of Hormone Replacement Therapy.  Medicina55(9).


Mehta, J., Kling, J. M., & Manson, J. E. (2021). Risks, Benefits, and Treatment Modalities of Menopausal Hormone Therapy: Current Concepts.  Frontiers in Endocrinology12(564781).

Breaking the Silence on Perimenopause and Menopause

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