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Hot flashes, night sweats, weight gain and more, are all uncomfortable symptoms of menopause. For the past decade and a half, many women have shunned hormone replace therapy after reports that hormones could increase the risk of breast cancer.

Dr. Mache Seibel, from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, says those life-threatening claims were off-base. Dr. Seibel says estrogen replacement therapy, when done at the right time, is safe and highly effective.

Dr. Seibel says, “The right time is what I call the estrogen window. And the estrogen window, is a window of time that begins when menopause begins and continues roughly for about ten years.” 

Karen started hormone replacement therapy a year ago.

Karen says, “I was having a great deal of brain fog, my skin felt very dry, I was suddenly having weight gain, especially in the middle area.” 

Studies now prove estrogen is both safe and beneficial for most women early in their menopause.

Dr. Seibel says, “Estrogen by itself can actually lower the risk of breast cancer by 23 percent. It can lower the risk of heart disease by 32 percent.” 

Experts say it’s important to point out that starting estrogen hormones after that 10-year menopausal window has closed might not be as safe. 6,000 women a day go through menopause equaling two million women a year.