Great Job Cutting Through the Noise!
...Is what he said to me in response to my last blog post, If Menopause is a Natural Process, Why Use Hormones? “He” is Dr. Steven Rabin, M.D., a Burbank, California gynecologist – and I did appreciate the support and enthusiastic thumbs-up for my article. It’s always good when members of the medical community offer kudos. I just don’t know how well I actually cut through the noise.
It’s brutal out there.
In order for you to fully grasp the magnitude of my angst about all of the conflicting opinions on estrogen therapy for women in perimenopause and menopause, it’s important that you understand my background.
I’m a former accountant (tax accountant, I might add), who, in another life, lived in a world that was accurate, precise, and not subject to interpretation. In other words, your numbers either balanced or they didn’t. If they didn’t, the answer was simple: you made a mistake. Find it. Fix it.The only creative license allowed in accounting came at the end of the year if an “adjustment” was needed.
Outside of the occasional “creative license year-end adjustment” accounting was neat, orderly, and predictable. My opinion, your opinion, anyone’s opinion was irrelevant, and I liked it like that. Conflicting medical studies every other year? Equally credible and competent experts arguing over what is right or what is wrong?
Now do you see why I regularly rant, stomp my foot, and throw my hormonally induced weight gain around about all of this? My inner accountant is looking for an indisputable, not-subject-to-interpretation, couldn’t-care-less-about-your-stupid-opinion answer, to whether estrogen therapy is okay or not.
So as much as I’m flattered that the good Dr. Rabin gave me a cyber fist bump on my article; there are probably ten more physicians who would line up to tell me I’m putting my health at risk by using estrogen, and that I’m also doing women a horrible disservice by discussing it in a positive light.
But I don’t think I am.
Every time we take a Tylenol®, an Advil®, or even a Bayer® aspirin, we’re taking a risk with our health. I’m also willing to bet that nearly every one of those physicians who might think I’m playing Russian roulette with my health by taking estrogen takes any one of those “drugs” fairly regularly.
So here’s my long-winded point and conclusion to this matter: I think women should and ought to make their own decision about estrogen therapy based on the best information we have available. Personally, I’ve come full circle on the subject.
When I first began blogging on perimenopause in 2007, my attitude was that you should “do whatever you think is right for you.” I had not yet rubbed shoulders with the militant “all natural, bioidentical” crowd, which I will admit, made quite an impression on my thinking.
I explored the field of bioidentical hormones, and gave serious consideration to what many physicians, all of whom I respect to this day, had to say about estrogen and estrogen therapy. I am now right back to where I began.
Women should educate themselves and make the best decision possible for their health.
Don’t misunderstand me. I still wave a flag for plant based, bioidentical hormones. It’s the estrogen that I’m taking another look at. I know you all are probably not that interested in my personal-estrogen-evolutionary journey.
I just felt an obligation to explain myself in this matter, since many of you have likely followed my blogs, and hence, my estrogen evolution. Now that I’ve done that, I can and will move on to more informative blogs for you.
Thank you for your patience with me.
Magnolia Miller is a certified healthcare consumer advocate in women's health and a women's freelance health writer and blogger at The Perimenopause Blog.