Sex Roles

, Volume 54, Issue 5–6, pp 401–411 | Cite as

Fallout from the Women’s Health Study: A Short-lived Vindication for Feminists and the Resurrection of Hormone Therapies

  • Ann M. VodaEmail author
  • Carol A. Ashton
Original Article


The Women’s Health Initiative studies were begun in 1997, in large part the result of women’s health activists who for 40 years questioned the safety of hormone use at menopause and criticized the menopause as disease ideology. The studies were prematurely discontinued when investigators found that heretofore acclaimed benefits of hormone use were not supported. Risks to health such as stroke, breast cancer, and thrombophlebitis were found. A feeling of vindication was experienced by feminists but was quickly replaced by cautious optimism as strategies to continue hormone use were published and quality of life issues tied to symptom management emerged. The focus of this article is a review of the hormone story, a discussion of the implications of the Women’s Health Initiative results, and strategies for resolution of the continuing hormone dilemma.


Menopause Women’s health initiative Hormone replacement 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Professor Emerita, College of NursingUniversity of UtahSalt Lake CityUSA
  2. 2.Associate Dean and Director, School of NursingIdaho State UniversityPocatelloUSA

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