HRT, Bioidenticals & Menopause: Benefits & Risks


This episode provides a comprehensive exploration of hormone replacement therapy for women during perimenopause and menopause. Dr. Stephanie Estima addresses the historical mistreatment of women in medicine, dispels myths surrounding HRT, and emphasizes the importance of individualized care and patient advocacy.

Take a wild and science-heavy ride through the world of hormone replacement therapy for women during their perimenopausal and menopausal years. Join Dr. Stephanie as she navigates the hormone maze and deciphers the difference between HRT and BHRT, all while exploring the somewhat baffling history of medical misconceptions that have left us wondering if HRT might just stand for “Hilariously Risky Treatment.”

Whether you’re craving the full “dark roast” of scientific details or just want a “TLDR” hormone summary, we’ve got you covered in this episode!


Women’s Health Initiative

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CDC Breast Cancer Statistics

Nurse’s Health Study

Book: Estrogen Matters

Lifetime Risk of Dying From Breast Cancer

Lifetime Risk of Developing Breast Cancer

Lifetime Risk of CVD Development

Estrogen only increases uterine cancer

Estrogen + Progesterone nulls uterine CA

Ridiculous scare tactic announcing halting of WHI

Atypical Femoral Fractures

Reduction of risk of fractures w estrogen use

Estrogen reducing colorectal CA


0:00:00 Skepticism around hormone replacement therapy and mistreatment of women
0:05:08 Introduction to Menopause and Definition
0:07:55 Estrogen Plummets in Menopause, Symptoms and Effects
0:10:03 FSH Levels: Normal vs. Tighter Range
0:13:50 Optimal Range for Free T4 and Free T3 in Menopause
0:16:53 Estrogen and Cardiovascular Protection
0:19:31 The Benefits and Misconceptions of Estrogen
0:27:27 High Risk: Cardiovascular Disease vs Breast Cancer
0:29:12 Estrogen and Breast Cancer: A Common Misconception
0:29:36 Estrogen Environment and Breast Cancer Risk in Older Women
0:34:15 WHI Study: Nutritional and Hormone Replacement Arms
0:38:20 The Controversial Study and Rushed Press Release
0:41:31 Understanding Bioidentical Hormones
0:48:38 Calcium, Vitamin D, and Estrogen in Osteoporosis Treatment
0:52:02 The Benefits of HRT for Bone Health
1:02:10 Legal and medical disclaimer: Take this information with caution

I’m Dr. Stephanie

Part geek, part magic, and all the way passionate about being a well-lived woman.

I want to throw my grandkids in the air in my 70’s. I want to be squatting even more weight than I am now, and putting my OWN luggage in the overhead bin. Sound like weird goals? For me these are just some of the little things that represent a life well-lived.

My health is MY job – I’ll be damned if I rely on luck, ‘good genes’ or a cocktail of drugs that over promise and under deliver.

The Betty Body is my first book-baby, and a collection of what I’ve learned after thousands of clinical hours, hundreds of conversations with the world’s top experts, and most importantly…

This book is an outline of what took ME from “rock-bottom health” at 38, to being my own version of a Betty in my perimenopausal mid 40’s. A woman who is physically strong, full of energy, enjoys mental clarity, great sex and a joyful family life. Is it all roses? Of course not. But I have the stamina and tools to deal with the push and pull of life so that it doesn’t turn into chronic stress.

I want this for you too. Let’s go Bettys!