About the author
Helen Pensanti M.D. graduated from Medical School in 1980.
Trained under the auspices of the University of Maryland.
Helen Pensanti, M.D. began her career in Orange County, California in 1985.Helen Pensanti M.D. Physician and Surgeon Dr Pensanti was practicing traditional Office Gynecology. Somewhere into the 4th year of private practice when she became more and more alarmed at the side effects her patients were experiencing from synthetic hormones.
Refusing to write another prescription for synthetic hormones, Dr Pensanti began to search for an alternative for her patients. Dr Pensanti met John R. Lee M.D. while interviewing him for her television show "Doctor to Doctor" in 1990. He became her mentor and friend which changed the course of her life. Dr Pensanti explains it as " …it was as if Dr Lee handed me a baton and said "Now run, with it Helen, it's your turn".
She was so thrilled that he mentioned her in his book "What Your Doctor Hasn't Told You About Menopause", and was very saddened at the news of his death at the age of 75 in 2003. She considered him the "father of natural hormones" and believes he should have won a Nobel Prize for his work on Progesterone. She learned everything she could from Dr Lee about Phyto-Progesterone and began treating her patients with it and eventually started manufacturing her own phyto-hormones in 1994.
"The biggest difference between my phyto-progesterone (Diosgenin) formulas and other phyto-progesterone cremes is that I refused to put Black Cohash and Dong quai into the formula. Black Cohash and Dong quai are estrogens and mixing them with the plant progesterone would cause some women to have two periods a month. As a trained Physician in female physiology, I knew that combination wouldn't work. So many of the other companies just didn't understand that" says Dr Pensanti.
Early in the 1990's Dr Pensanti began speaking out against synthetic hormones on her national, weekly TV program. For 14 years her voice went out across America trying to explain that synthetic hormones were dangerous and that they could cause breast cancer, stroke, heart disease. Most of her Doctor friends warned her not to be so visible and vocal about what she was saying, fearing repercussions for her. In those years the standard of care for the treatment for: PMS, Perimenopause, Menopause and Osteoporosis was the use of synthetic hormones. Unwilling to write prescriptions for what she considered "poison pills", Dr Pensanti decided to "kick it up a notch" and became an "activist" against synthetic hormones by taking her message to the radio waves as well as her weekly TV program.
Then July 9th 2002 happened! The National Institutes of Health stopped a study that they were doing with women on synthetic Estrogen and synthetic Progestin. They concluded that taking a combination of these drugs were demonstrating a 29% increase risk of Breast Cancer, 26% increase risk of a first time heart attack, 41% increased risk of strokes and double the risk of blood clots to the legs and lungs. Read the top ten reasons to get off synthetic hormones.
"It was a long time coming, but I am glad I was finally vindicated. I am glad that I had the determination to stick it out against all odds" concludes Dr Helen Pensanti.