Hormone Replacement Therapy
My doctor recently cut off my bc, which are the same hormones as in hrt (though hrt doses are smaller, as I understand it).
I don't know how long the bc hormones were replacing my own hormones, but I haven't had a period since (a little over months).
The hormones in bc and hrt increase the risk of cardiovascular illness and death, so my doctor wanted me off the bc immediatey and would only consider hrt as an absolute last resort.
I was terrified of going off the hormones, because my severe cramping, pms (pmdd really, hubby called me werewolf), appetite and weight gain was insanely out-of-control before birth control. I didn't want to go back to any of that.
As it turns out, hormone-free has been wonderous. I've had mild hot-flashes and am more cold-sensitive, but my hunger levels are lower than they've ever been and the emotional rollercoaster has evened out as well.
I don't like what menopause is doing to my skin and sex drive, but the rest is awesome.
I probably would have elected to continue birth control or some form of hrt if my doctor would have allowed it, because I was afraid to let go of what I perceived as their benefits.
For me the potential benefits weren't worth the risks and side effects. I am not saying every woman should feel that way, it's just important to discuss your personal risks and benefits with your doctor as you experiment.