History of HRT

Updated: Jun 26, 2020

One of the most controversial menopause treatments currently available is hormone replacement therapy (HRT). However, HRT is also one of the most effective methods of treating menopause. It has been around for a long time and has a fascinating history. Read on to learn more about the history of HRT.

The History of HRT

HRT has been around since the 1930s, when Canadian researcher James Bertram Collip discovered a way to extract estrogen from the urine of pregnant women. Initially, Collip's discovery was used to treat menopause symptoms such as hot flashes and vaginal dryness.

However, by the 60s Collip's findings had captured the imagination of millions, with some even claiming that this man from the little market village of Belleville had discovered a cure for menopause: it was believed that menopause was completely preventable.

In 1960's people thought that menopause make women less female

Literature on the subject of HRT became very popular as people clamored to sing the praises of HRT. The author of Feminine Forever, Robert A. Wilson, even suggested that, because a woman's estrogen levels drops during menopause, those who remain untreated were not in fact still truly women.

Wilson embarked on a nationwide tour to expound his theories. There was much fanfare when a Wilson lecture came to town and his arrival would be given a royal welcome and was often accompanied by fun fairs and circus tours. However, the sweet success of Wilson's tour soon turned sour, after it was revealed that his book had been sponsored by a company peddling dodgy HRT. Although still widely considered as effective in the treatment of menopause, the general opinion of HRT has changed. Keep reading to learn more.

Recent Findings

HRT has a higher risk of developing breast cancer and other diseases

HRT is still a popular form of treatment for menopause symptoms. However, it is usually only considered as a last option after other remedies and lifestyle changes have been tried and assessed. This caution is not misplaced: studies by the National Institute of Health found that those receiving HRT were at a higher risk of developing breast cancer, heart attacks, and strokes.

It is for this reason that patients receiving HRT are administered customized treatments and given only the smallest amount of replacement hormones as possible. Moreover, the use of HRT is only suggested over the short term, with lifestyle changes and other remedies found to be a safer alternative to HRT.

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