Menopause and Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is when female hormones (oestrogen by itself or with progesterone) are given to a woman during or after menopause when the production of oestrogen by the ovaries declines. The hormones can be taken as tablets, implants or skin patches.
HRT has become less popular in recent years because a large study in the USA found that long-term use of HRT can increase the risk of some serious diseases, such as breast cancer and blood clots. However despite this, most studies show that women on HRT tend to live longer than those not taking HRT. Also for many women, life is unbearable without HRT and they feel the benefits outweigh the risks. HRT provide relief from symptoms caused by having less oestrogen in their bodies, such as hot flushes,low libido, poor sleep and poor concentration. Health benefits incude improved of bone density and possibly reduced risk of heart attack..
The risks and benefits of HRT should be thoroughly discussed with a doctor before treatment begins. For women with medical reasons not to use HRT, eg a family history of breast cancer, there are also non-hormonal options which can still relieve sypmtopms and improve a woman's quality of life.
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This page was last updated at 8:28PM on October 14, 2019.