While you can start taking HRT at any age, the earlier you start, the better. If your doctor recommends starting HRT at a younger age, you should talk to him or her about how it may affect your health in middle-age and older years. The effects of hormone therapy are cumulative over time; for example, if you take estrogen after menopause but miss some doses along the way because of illness or other problems, it’s important to keep on schedule. If you’re having trouble getting back into an on-schedule schedule with your hormones later in life, discuss this problem with your doctor or nurse practitioner. He or she may recommend that you try a different form of HRT (called combined oral contraceptives) instead of monthly injections for several months before switching to another method entirely.