Our Beginning Into BHRT
The Happy Hormone Cottage was born from Lyn’s vision to create a warm, inviting, cozy gathering place for women to visit and learn more about natural, healthy options for hormone balance. Through her job as a marketing consultant for the Piqua Compounding Pharmacy (which she and her husband own), she encountered women from all walks of life and all ages. Many of them were struggling with a multitude of issues: adrenal fatigue, depression, weight gain, thyroid issues, memory loss, bone density issues and the entire spectrum of menopausal symptoms.
Lyn became frustrated with the lack of support women were receiving from their health care professionals. Instead of being educated on all the options available-including healthy, natural choices like natural compounded hormones – most women were not heard, educated or given options.
Instead, they were prescribed antidepressants and/or drugs that are “one size fits all” and can be associated with serious health risks, including cancer. For example, the Women’s Health Initiative, a study conducted at 40 US medical centers, involving 16608 postmenopausal women aged 50-79 years, was stopped early after the researchers concluded that when using “the most commonly used combined hormone preparation in the United States”, which contains conjugated equine estrogens plus medroxyprogesterone acetate, the “overall health risks exceeded benefits.”
[The Journal of the American Medical Association, July 17, 2002, Volume 288, Issue 3, pages 321-333]
BHRT for a Better Solution
When natural hormones (BHRT) were discussed on Oprah, Dr. Phil and The Doctors, Lyn knew the time was right to find a way to bring women together to connect on these critical issues. She developed the concept of the Happy Hormone Hour for women to talk about their journey over a glass of wine and get information on natural compounded hormones, get their questions answered and speak with a practitioner on BHRT. From here, she seized the opportunity that was offered to her to open a cute little rustic cottage in the heart of Centerville that she laughingly calls the Happy Hormone Cottage.
Her vision for this cottage is to offer women HOPE; to let them know that there ARE healthy options out there for natural hormone balance. Additionally, there ARE practitioners who will listen, and give them the steps to take to achieve natural hormone balance. Lyn is passionate about empowering women to take control of their journey to hormone balance AND healthy living. Her mission is to spread the word to women everywhere to “GET TESTED! GET TREATED! GET BETTER!”
Two Women, a Teapot and a Box of Tissues
By Kelly Kuhlman Brown
When Lyn Hogrefe started the Happy Hormone Cottage in 2009, she had one mission… to talk with women. She wanted to share the facts about hormones, health, and disease prevention since she had lived it through her own experience. Years earlier, Lyn needed a hysterectomy and she knew it would launch her into surgical menopause. Lyn’s husband Jeff, a pharmacist, knew what Lyn was about to experience because he saw it every day through his work. Jeff went back to school to learn how to compound bio-identical hormones so his wife wouldn’t suffer through the effects of menopause from lack of hormones. “Not on his watch”, as Jeff put it.
Lyn had such great results with her compounded bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) that she started talking with other women about it – women were drawn to her energy, youthful appearance, and healthy glow. After teaching school for 30 years, Lyn had a passion for education. Friends encouraged her to start talking with groups of women, so she started hosting, “Happy Hormone Hours”. Women showed up by the dozens.
A local shop owner in Centerville observed Lyn filling a niche so she offered up a small stone cottage behind her boutique where Lyn could “talk with women”. Following a hand-shake-deal, a shingle went up outside of this tiny one-room building which had no electricity, heat or running water… and the Happy Hormone Cottage was born.
A chat at the Happy Hormone Cottage consisted of two women, a teapot and a box of tissues. Lyn offered a warm and cozy environment where hormone imbalance issues could be validated. The tissues sopped up tears as women shared their negative experiences with drugs and physicians. Many had been told their symptoms were in their head, or they’d been prescribed anti-depressants, anti-anxieties, sleeping pills, pain pills, etc. when all they really wanted was to understand why they felt so bad.
The two women would sip tea as they shared stories and found common ground. Lyn would then lead the conversation into educating the women on how to address their core issues instead of masking symptoms with synthetic drugs. She gave women options and she taught the value of BHRT not just for symptom relief but also for overall health and disease prevention. She would suggest women undergo hormone testing then take the test results to their healthcare practitioner who would work with her compounding pharmacist husband to develop an individual wellness strategy.
Clearly, there was a need to be filled as the demand for Lyn’s guidance quickly outgrew the confines of the tiny cottage. Lyn leased office space and hired more women to handle the volume of requests for chats – which evolved into consultations. She also had to buy computers and develop a client database. Gone were the simple notepads that stored records. Today, there are three Happy Hormone Cottage offices along the I75 growth corridor in Mason and Centerville. Their headquarters are at their new IHC (Integrative Hormone Center) & Pharmacy in Centerville.
Lyn never envisioned the booming business her little cottage would become. She is a living example of how a passion can be more valuable than a business plan and how a simple idea can impact the lives of thousands of women.
The teapot is now a Keurig but much has stayed the same, Lyn’s mission is still at the heart of the business, two women still sit to chat and the box of tissue remains in its place while tears are shed and feelings are validated.