Oh, so NOW hormone replacement therapy is a good thing

Published May 23, 2024

By Celia Rivenbark

Hey ladies! Remember a few years ago when they said we shouldn’t take hormone replacement therapy for menopause symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats? They said it was bad for you! It could give you cancer! Use guided imagery to power through those sweats and headaches and mood swings! Better to be safe than sorry.

         Fun fact: Turns out the science wasn’t nearly as sciency as we thought and some of us could’ve skipped a decade of severe to moderate crazy-making unpleasantness. Now, “they” say it’s perfectly OK, and may even be better for you to take sensible doses of estrogen. (For the three men still reading, estrogen is Latin for “Lord, don’t let me kill my husband ‘fore the house is paid for.”)

Not only is hormone replacement making a comeback but also it turns out it’s GOOD FOR YOU. Your heart just loves it! When properly dosed, modern cocktails of HRT can swaddle your heart in protective goodness AND protect against bone loss!


Ima need to speak to someone right now. RIGHT FRIKKIN NOW. Where’s Cousin Eddy when you need him? Remember how he kidnapped Clark Griswold’s miserly boss in “Christmas Vacation” and brought him to the Griswold home just so Clark could yell at him in person? Yeah, that would be kind of perfect. Get me the researcher who said reports of cancer and strokes were “flawed.” I’ll wait.

I’m righteously angry. The kind of angry that makes the oft-maligned “Karen” complaining about the degree of wilt in her Cobb salad seem downright quaint by comparison.

What’s next? Smoking is good for you? The tar and nicotine meet up inside your lungs and knit tiny sweater vests you can cough out and give as holiday gifts to your loved ones?

What about asbestos? Should I return to the 1950s-built house I grew up in and lick the exterior shingles because it will give me great eyesight and, interestingly, a useful third hand?

What about lead pipes and paint? Are those going to be OK, too? Will we learn that rather than causing learning disabilities and life-altering physical ailments lead is the secret ingredient in the Barefoot Contessa’s irresistible crispy-skinned roast chicken?

 Speaking of food, remember how they told us not to eat eggs? And then they were OK. And then they weren’t. And then they were…I’m not even sure anymore.

The new guidelines of “HRT Okie Dokie” (my term, not theirs) applies to women under 60. While I’m happy for my sister-girls in their 50s, I hope they know there’s a whole bunch of us who still have to apologize to a clerk at TJ Maxx who had the wretched misfortune to ask, again, if we’d like to apply for a store credit card. There was NO reason to scream. Let alone scream “Sure because apparently I look like I can’t even afford the stuff in this GODFORSAKEN sea of sign “art,” gallon jars of pink Himalayan sea salt and garlic presses.”  So many, many garlic presses…

Yes, we acted ugly because we had no estrogen. The stuff that had once plumped our skin, hydrated our parts and made us look at our spouses with more desire and less homicide.

To be sure, they’ve done some important tweaking over the years to make HRT safer, like using patches instead of pills (greatly reduces risk of stroke) and keeping the recommendation to women under 60. (Apparently, the bad study had too many older women and y’all know how we can be.)

Today’s HRT’s benefits outweigh the risks, they say. And that’s great news for millions of women. Yay you. My generation toughed it out and now find ourselves on the other side, newly obsessed with digging in the dirt and subscribing to something called Britbox.

Just you wait.

         Celia Rivenbark is a humor columnist and NYT-bestselling author. Write to her at celiarivenbark@gmail.com