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Michelle Obama Made Menopause Easier with HRT

May 25, 2023

Menopause is something every woman will face in her lifetime. For former first lady Michelle Obama, when menopause symptoms began to appear, she wanted to know what she was getting into but felt there wasn’t enough information available to properly educate herself. After in-depth discussions with her doctors and friends who are OBGYNs, she decided to start HRT, or hormone replacement therapy, particularly to treat her hot flashes. 

Michelle Obama Begins HRT

Starting HRT was not a decision Mrs. Obama took lightly. She is quoted in a People Magazine interview saying, "I've had to work with hormones, and that's new information that we're learning. Before, there were studies that said that hormones were bad. That's all we heard. Now we're finding out research is showing that those studies weren't fully complete and that there are benefits to hormone replacement therapy.” 

What is Hormone Replacement Therapy?

Hormone replacement treatment, in essence, replaces the estrogen and, in some circumstances, progesterone that the body stops generating after menopause and alleviates many menopausal symptoms. Hormone replacement treatment is available in a variety of forms, including tablets, injections, skin patches, capsules, troches, and creams. In the past, there has been some controversy around HRT due to the potential risk of breast cancer, but current evidence shows that only specific forms of hormone replacement therapy may raise the risk of breast cancer, and the risk varies depending on the type, the dose, the patient's age, and the length of time the patient takes the medicine.

Signs That You May Need HRT

Women entering menopause can experience a variety of different symptoms, some of which can be life-changing. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, hormone replacement therapy may be right for you. 

Hot Flashes

This is one of the most common complaints and symptoms for menopausal women. A hot flash develops when your body's internal "thermostat" (called the hypothalamus) becomes more sensitive to even minor variations in body temperature due to a lack of estrogen. As a result, your hypothalamus may misinterpret how hot or cold you are, triggering a chain reaction that results in a hot flash.

Night Sweats

Another commonly known symptom of menopause is night sweats. Hormone levels have the potential to influence your body's internal "temperature control." As a result, your blood vessels may dilate, causing a surge of heat to cause perspiration and red skin. Women in perimenopause, or the years preceding menopause, are also prone to night sweats.


Menopause can make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. Lacking adequate sleep can lead to a long list of other issues, including memory problems, difficulty concentrating, depression, anxiety, and an increased risk for heart disease and high blood pressure.

Hair Loss

A decrease in estrogen during menopause may cause women to lose hair. Hair loss could be explained by other reasons such as genetics, age, nutritional deficiencies, or illness, but it's worth considering it as a symptom of menopause as well. 

Mood Swings

Everyone encounters mood swings from time to time, but hormonal changes during menopause may make them more frequent. The severity of mood fluctuations might make it difficult to accomplish everyday tasks and can affect your relationships. 

Decreased Sex Drive

A lack of estrogen might alter your libido, making it more difficult for some women to feel sexually aroused. Menopause frequently causes vaginal dryness and weakens vaginal tissues, making intercourse unpleasant or even painful.

Vaginal Itching or Burning

Estrogen is responsible for naturally lubricating your vagina. It also aids in the preservation of the thickness and flexibility of your vagina. Low estrogen levels may lead to vaginal irritation and thinning, leading to vaginal atrophy. This might result in itching and burning.

What To Know When Starting HRT

Despite new evidence indicating that hormone replacement therapy can be quite effective, these old worries about HRT continue cause some women to avoid trying this treatment. However, it can make a huge difference in quality of life. Anyone interested in starting HRT should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis to determine if it is the right choice. 

Speak With A Professional About HRT 

While perimenopause and menopause are considered ‘normal’ life changes, you get no medals for suffering through it alone. Joi offers hormone replacement therapies to help you not only cope but thrive during this transition in your life. Joi has board-certified clinicians that can evaluate your health and determine if HRT is right for you. Visit the website to learn more or schedule a virtual consultation today!

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