Traditional dating pros and cons articles
As Dr Heather Currie, a consultant gynaecologist at Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary in Scotland, explains: ‘It is perfectly fine to start HRT for the first time a few years after your periods stop, but the key is not to wait until more than ten years after the menopause before thinking about starting HRT.
In terms of specific risks, such as ovarian cancer, Katherine Taylor, acting chief executive at Ovarian Cancer Action, says: ‘It’s important to remember that every woman is different, with different risk factors.
But a hugely influential study in 2002 changed everything.
It showed that HRT could increase the risks of heart disease, stroke, blood clots and breast cancer, and the number of women on HRT dropped by more than 50 per cent.
I’d get them every fortnight and they would last for a couple of days.
The pain was bad enough to send me back to the doctor.
This fits with current NHS advice to stay on HRT for no more than three to five years.
This limit was set because studies show health problems are more likely to occur in older women who have been on HRT for longer periods.
In any event, patients should be reviewed annually, and anyone who develops health problems (breast cancer or stroke for instance) should stop HRT, says Haitham Hamoda, of King’s College Hospital London.‘Most menopause symptoms resolve within three years, but in 10 to 20 pc of women symptoms can persist for longer and they may need continued treatment,’ he says. The age of the woman at the time of starting treatment, the route of administration of oestrogen, as well as the type of progesterone used, may all have a significant impact on her risks.’ GP Jane Woyka, who sits on the advisory board of the British Menopause Society, says: ‘It is right and proper that your GP should regularly review your treatment, but if you have menopausal symptoms, our advice is there is no reason why you should not continue on HRT, provided you do not develop any new conditions, which might increase your risk of breast cancer or blood clots. The increased risk of breast cancer for taking HRT is the same as having a glass of wine every night.’Dr Currie explains this can happen because your body can become dependent on the additional hormone supply.
We know that a woman’s genetic makeup can have a significant impact on her likelihood of developing ovarian cancer, particularly in the case of mutations in the BRCA1/2 genes.’Dr Helen Stokes-Lampard, a GP specialist in women’s health and spokesman for the Royal College of GPs, says: ‘Don’t let the bad publicity put you off considering treatment if symptoms are affecting your life.‘HRT is not a villain: it is a drug with benefits and harms.
Eighty per cent of women will suffer symptoms at menopause, and for 20 per cent of women the symptoms will be severe.
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) aims to boost your declining hormones, levelling out the peaks and troughs to relieve the symptoms of menopause and protect against longer-term health risks, such as osteoporosis and heart disease, which can rise significantly in women after the age of 50. Though Michael and I had children, we did quite want another, but it just wasn’t happening.
I was a bit low and slightly tearful every time we tried and it didn’t happen. I was lucky in that I didn’t have any symptoms other than headaches, though they were pretty debilitating.