Bioidenticals No Safer Than Other Hormone Replacement Therapy

Manning wants hormone therapy in prison. Will it happen?

This can lead to symptoms like hot flashes, trouble sleeping, vaginal and urinary problems, shifts in mood, and osteoporosis. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can alleviate some of those symptoms. However, use of HRT dropped sharply after 2002, when a major study called the Women’s Health Initiative linked longer-term use of a combination estrogen-progestin pill to increased risk of heart disease, breast cancer, and other serious conditions. More recent research shows that estrogen alone (without progestin) did not increase the risk of breast cancer. Some women choose to use bioidentical hormones to treat their symptoms. These are mixtures of hormones that are manufactured to have an identical molecular structure to what the patient naturally produces, according to Harvard Health Publications .
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Hormone Therapy Not for Older Women

Vanessa Adams entered a North Carolina facility at age 29. She was biologically male but “self-identified as female throughout her adult life,” according to court documents. “Because of this, she wanted to initiate the gender transition process prior to her incarceration, but found herself unable to do so in the face of the restrictions imposed on her by a conservative family and workplace,” the lawsuit continues. Adams had been diagnosed with gender identity disorder; Manning has also received the same diagnosis. Adams filed a lawsuit in 2009 after her prison denied treatment. That suit was settled outside of court two years later, with one prong of the settlement being a change to prison policy, allowing hormone therapy treatment to start in prison.
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Because of it’s early halt, the WISDOM trial followed women only for about a year after starting hormone therapy. Nevertheless, the trial found that hormone therapy has serious risks for older women (the average age of the 5,692 women in the trial was 63). Researcher Janet H. Darbyshire, MB, is director of the clinical trials unit of the U.K. Medical Research Council, which sponsored the trial. “There was no evidence of benefit, which we hoped there would be,” Darbyshire tells WebMD.
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