HRT - Hormone Replacement Therapy
It's important to remember that menopause is a natural phase in every woman's life and is not the end, in fact, it's just the beginning for some. How best can you manage your symptoms? Do your symptoms have a negative effect on your life, family, marriage? There are now excellent guidelines available for you to educate yourself and help you to help yourself. (Links below)
I am not suggesting you must or must not take HRT, It is purely a personal choice. Many women sail through Menopause without any symptoms at all. However, being armed with as much information as possible makes it easier to make an informed decision. Here is a very informative link for you EASY HRT PRESCRIBING GUIDE. YOU alongside your doctor or women's health specialist must decide if it is for you or not. You may be advised against taking HRT if there is a history of breast cancer in the family or you are at a higher risk of breast cancer, at risk of strokes, diabetes. (Please see the NICE Guidelines link below for more information). However, HRT evidence based research now shows that it DOES NOT actually CAUSE breast cancer. Take a read of this ARTICLE.
Due to the lack of oestrogen women are at a much higher risk of heart disease than breast cancer. HRT protects against heart disease by approximately 30-50% and has many other protective qualities including osteoporosis.
HRT has been developed and refined and there is now a wide range of options: oestrogens, with or without progesterons, even Testosterone (Testosterone's are not available on the NHS yet) They can also be taken in different forms such as tablets, skin patches, creams or gels, even vaginally and are bespoke for your symptoms. This can make it a bit confusing which is why you must consult with your doctor.
According to Dr Louise Newson (a menopause specialist and GP), who wrote a recent report for the Royal College of General Practitioners, it’s increasingly clear that many of the ‘scares’ were largely unfounded. As she points out, ‘Much of the negative publicity surrounding HRT stems from the misinterpretation of the findings in the Women’s Health Initiative study, published more than a decade ago. Many women and healthcare professionals are still unnecessarily concerned about the perceived risks of HRT, resulting in a significant proportion of patients being refused it and inappropriately offered antidepressants.’
HRT is very much a personal choice as I have already mentioned and is dependant on your symptoms. As some symptoms can be life debilitating, HRT can be life changing and many women swear by it.
Research suggests that women on HRT live approximately 7 years longer than women not on HRT due its protective benefits to the heart bones and brain.
Each decision made should be considered, pros and cons noted, and further monitoring after prescribed to see whether suited must be carried out. Do not just take blindly, note any changes for the good or bad and go back to your Doctor because your dosage can be changed.
PRIMARY CARE WOMENS HEALTH FORUM