A quarter of the women who stopped hormone replacement therapy (HRT) have renewed their prescriptions, according to an April 2004 report by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. This trend follows a 2002 HRT exodus in which 65 percent of women on hormone replacements were convinced to stop their therapies because of a Women’s Health Initiative study that tied HRT to breast cancer. Many women found menopause relief with remedies such as wild yam extract and black cohosh, but others did not find success with alternative therapies. “Some women only got the relief they were looking for from HRT,” says Rena Bloom, ND, president of the Colorado Association of Naturopathic Physicians and cofounder of the Denver Naturopathic Clinic.

Still, the Mayo Foundation recommends that women with a history of breast cancer avoid HRT. Those hoping to prevent memory loss, heart disease, heart attacks, or strokes should also consider HRT alternatives.