The Background Of Hormonal Replacement Therapy
Back in the early 1930s, James Bertram Collip, who is a famous Canadian researcher, an educator, a biochemist and the co-discoverer of insulin turned all his attention endocrinology, which is the study of the endocrine system. It was during this era that he introduced and developed the process of isolating and studying gonadotrophic hormones from a woman’s ovary. He did this by extracting oestrogen from the urine of expectant mothers. Although this treatment was initially used to treat the symptoms of menopause, by 1960, James Collip’s findings had captured the attention and imagination of millions.
In 1962, Premarin, the first oestrogen pill, was introduced. Ever since then, manufacturers and producers of these hormones have stirred a cultural suspicion that this treatment may be capable of doing more harm than good. Oestrogen was popularised in 1960 with a book entitled ‘Feminine Forever’ that was written for the masses by a Manhattan gynaecologist, Robert Wilson. He had very strong financial ties to some hormone producers which clearly gave him a rather biased perspective. In his book, to the shock of everyone, he called women who were undergoing menopause ‘castrates’ especially if they were not making any efforts of taking or using these hormonal drugs. He made nationwide tours where he won many women’s trust and interest using scientifically reasoning and promises that this treatment will give them a more youthful appearance in spite of ageing, enhanced beauty and incredible sex. The FDA ( Food and Drugs Association) even banned him from undertaking any kind of research because of the unsubstantiated claims that he was laying out. After his book, millions of women on their postmenopausal stage started taking this medication which promised to suppress all the symptoms of old age. Articles, books and magazines further praised and promoted this treatment as a salvation for older women and even claimed that it could cure cancer. Manufacturers even produced educational films that were meant to enlighten physicians on hormonal treatments, most forms of media contained pure misinformation, which sadly, exists up to date.
In the later periods of the 1990’s, a number of questions had started arising on the information and use of HRT. Some common questions were, ‘ Why were all women put on the same dosage?’ and ‘Did all women who were at their old age really need this medication?’. In 2002, the results from an extensive study on women by the Women’s Health Initiative looked into the long term effects of the HRT. Its findings were overwhelming. This study established that hormone replacement therapy did not actually decrease a woman’s chances of acquiring a heart condition but rather increased her risks of blood clotting within blood tubes and capillaries, breast cancer and strokes.
To this date, many advances have been made due to further intensive research by scientists using the latest technology to establish trends. We are now far more knowledgeable and informed on matters pertaining the HRT. We know who should receive the treatment and who will benefit from it at what quantity. Unlike the past HRT, modern HRT is administered according to an individual’s requirements and monitored continuously with repeated tweaking of the hormonal levels in order to provide all the necessary safety measures. This is an approach that is certain to maximize all the benefits of this treatment to an individual.