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Over 60?: How to have the hormone therapy conversation

Vivian asks:

I'm 66 and 7 years postmenopause. How can I have an effective, yet succinct, conversation with my doctor about the potential benefits of hormone therapy?

My reply:

Are you asking for “SCRIPT TIPS?” Those are my absolute favourite thing to do in the NEST! Here are a couple notes re: your post + an example of how “script tips" might shape your next health conversation…

  1. The recommended guideline for initiating hormone therapy is within 10 years of menopause or under the age of 60. This is a guideline and not a deadline. Everyone is individual and your care provider is obligated by your request to conduct a benefits vs. risks assessment based on YOUR health, and not dismiss your inquiry based on age alone. Ideally, a decision to try hormone therapy will be made via shared decision making between you and your health care provider, but the ultimate decision for choosing hormone therapy is yours.

  2. I invite you to rethink the phrase “wasted years”; we learn about things when we learn about things. The best time to plant a tree is 100 years ago & the next best time is today!  That means you are learning, inquiring and advocating for your health today and that needs to be acknowledged and celebrated!


SAMPLE “Script Tips” for your next health appointment:

(the underlined sections can be customized for anyone!)


"I’m here today to discuss the potential benefits of hormone therapy. As you know, I am 66 and I have been in postmenopause for 7 years.


My primary concerns include investing in my heart, brain, bone and genitourinary health. For example, I know that at this age, I have most likely already experienced bone loss and I want to ensure I am taking all the right precautions to prevent osteoporosis. 


Recently, I have been investing in my own hormone health education. I’ve learned the recommended guideline for initiating hormone therapy is within 10 years of menopause or under the age of 60. I’ve also learned that hormone therapy decisions are very individualized and that “before 60” is a guideline; not a deadline. 


I want to explore the benefits of menopause hormone therapy with you in an effort to reduce my future health risks and to invest in my quality of life/health for the next 30-40 years. 


Will you work with me to conduct a benefits vs. risks assessment? If the benefits outweigh the risks, and we decide to try hormone therapy, I promise to keep good notes and report back to you as we monitor my experience together. 


Maybe you can use my experience as a guide for other women in your practice who are the same age as me? Will you support me in this approach?


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