HRT- The facts
As you may have seen there have been a lot of news reports circulating around Hormone replacement therapy, commonly known as HRT. This is a result of studies speculating that HRT raised the risk of heart disease and breast, ovarian and womb cancers. Whilst there may be a slightly increased risk of Breast Cancer amongst HRT users, links with these other malignancies have been largely discounted.
It is often difficult as a patient to know exactly what the right option is for you so it’s important to know the facts and have any questions or queries answered before proceeding.
We sat down with our Resident Consultant Gynaecologist to ask the questions you may have about HRT and the menopause.
How does HRT work?
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is used to replace female hormones that due to the menopause a woman’s body no longer produces, these hormones play important roles in a woman’s body. These hormones are Oestrogen and Progesterone.
The aim is to restore the Oestrogen level to elevate menopausal symptoms.
What types of HRT treatment are available?
Most people will use tablets or patches but other forms such as gel or implants may be preferred. Most authorities would advocate its use for 5-10 years.
Is it safe?
For most patients HRT is safe and incredibly beneficial to them, however women wishing to start HRT should discuss the benefits and risks carefully with their doctor to see what is right for them. This should take into consideration their age, family and medical history.
What are the benefits?
The biggest benefit most women will find by using HRT will be the relief of sweats and flushes, which are the most common menopausal symptoms. Many women find it helps their mood, concentration as well as improving libido and sexual function. There are also benefits in the preservation of bone mass and the prevention of Osteoporosis.
When should I look into having HRT?
There are some important questions you should ask yourself before moving forward with HRT.
How much do you menopause symptoms affect you?
Ask your Doctor if HRT can help with the symptoms that affect you the most?
Which type of HRT is likely to work best for me?
Your Gynaecologist will be able to guide you in the best way possible, offering advice and assessing the risks and benefits to cater to your medical needs.
Does HRT work for everyone?
The menopause isn’t an illness but a change that is part of every woman’s life, it is normal but sometimes it can cause symptoms that can be distressing and take their toll on your day to day lifestyle and happiness. This is when HRT can be very beneficial to a woman who would like to ease these symptoms.