I read someplace that menopause frees women from the domesticating effects of Estrogen. I started peri-menopause at 39. I managed to navigate the whole 'period' without hormones. I allowed my body to do what it needed to do. I adjusted my diet as I found caffiene made the hot flashes worse. I cut down on dairy products & added more soy. I'm 61 now and very grateful to be on the other side. It is completely liberating!