Is It Safe To Take HRT To Combat The Effects Of The Menopause?
With symptoms of menopause including hot flashes, weight gain, joint pain and depression, it’s crucial that women going through the menopause are able to manage this unavoidable life change in the most dignified way possible. If left untreated, women may find day to day living difficult, and there have been reports of women feeling suicidal.
Recent confusion in the media about the link between Hormone Replacement Therapy and Breast Cancer, has left Doctors and patients wondering about the safety of HRT during menopause. This has left thousands of UK women unsure of their best course of action when wanting to manage the symptoms of menopause.
Recent studies have shown that the increase in the risk of female cancers, particularly breast cancer is minimal so there is little reason as to why a woman experiencing menopause shouldn’t take Hormone Replacement Therapy.
After the Lancet study was published, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) issued a drug safety alert to all doctors to communicate the breast cancer risk to women considering or taking HRT. (British Medical Journal).
If YOU are experiencing symptoms of menopause or are wondering if you could be, your CJA Balance Doctor can talk to you and offer advice and tests to help you choose the course of action that is best suited to you. Simply call us on 01962 454788
Does HRT Increase A Woman’s Risk Of Breast Cancer And Other Female Cancers?
The study in the Lancet concluded that while the general risk of breast cancer for women aged 50- 69 who have not taken HRT is 6.3 percent, those on Oestrogen plus daily progesterone (the most common form of HRT) – for five years, have an 8.3 percent risk.
This is an increased risk of just 2%.
The British Medical Journal recently revisited the Lancet study , and found that there can be no conclusive evidence to show that HRT directly increases a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer.
The study in the Lancet did not take into account other crucial factors that may lead to an increased risk of breast cancer, such as a woman’s lifestyle, diet, how much alcohol she consumes, and her body mass index.
It could therefore be argued, that the benefits of taking or remaining on HRT far outweigh the risks, and there has been concern that many GP’s have been stopping prescribing hormone replacement therapy, particularly in young women, who were not included in the study.
The study looked at the age group 50-69, as the average age that a woman in the UK experiences the menopause is 51, but young women in their 30’s and 40’s can also experience the menopause, and the symptoms of the period leading up to it, known as the perimenopause, can also be debilitating.
This gives rise to a large population of women who are entering perimenopause and menopause without any proper plan or treatment and are technically being ‘left to their own devices’, often sourcing ‘natural hormones supplements’ via the internet from unregulated bodies.
‘The alert has caused considerable anxiety, particularly in women who go through the menopause before the age of 40 and have a higher risk of early death and heart disease if left untreated.’ – (BMJ 2019;367:l5928 doi: 10.1136/bmj.l5928 (Published 11 October 2019)
So, should UK women stop taking hormone replacement therapy (HRT) as a way to cope with the symptoms of menopause, or are we scaring women unnecessarily and leaving them to face consequential health conditions such as early death and heart disease?
We would argue that there is no need for a woman to avoid taking Hormone Replacement Therapy during menopause, and that when combined with a balanced lifestyle, it offers life changing benefits.
The British Medical Journal in October 2019 has concluded that ‘we all have a role in empowering women to make the best choices for their health by providing high quality, unbiased evidence and supporting them to make decisions.
Women now live longer in the postmenopausal period than in the reproductive phase, and our focus must be on not merely extending women’s lives but improving their quality of life.’( BMJ 2019;367:l5928 doi: 10.1136/bmj.l5928 (Published 11 October 2019)
CJA offer expert advice for menopausal women and offer at home blood tests to assess whether your symptoms are, indeed, down to the menopause. Your CJA Balance doctor is a specialist in HRT and menopausal symptoms so please call us on 01962 454788
The Benefits Of HRT For Alleviating Menopausal Symptoms.
About one million women in the UK currently use hormone replacement therapy (HRT), the most commonly prescribed treatment for the symptoms of ovarian failure. HRT can bring many benefits, improving the quality of life and offering protection against bone loss and fragility fractures. – The Lancet Journal.
The journal suggested that ‘Young women who stop HRT are likely to adversely affect their long term health and raise their risk of death.8-10’ and that’ women should be counselled that other factors, including body weight and alcohol consumption, have a greater effect on breast cancer risk than HRT. For example, the extra risk of breast cancer associated with being overweight or obese is six times higher than the extra risk associated with combined HRT, according to NICE.2’
Therefore, it’s advisable that any woman who thinks that she may be entering the menopause and would like to be empowered in choosing how to navigate her way through it, should contact her CJA Balance Doctor. We need to address a woman’s health based on her being an individual and look at a personalised medical plan that takes into account her entire lifestyle.
The good news is, that women do not simply have to avoid HRT during the menopause and there is support available in regards to embarking upon it.
Your CJA Balance Doctor Is A Specialist In HRT And Menopausal Symptoms – You Do Not Have to Suffer The Symptoms Of The Menopause Alone.
If you have any questions about which is the right course of action for YOU as you navigate your way through the menopause, your CJA Doctor at CJA UK is here to offer advice and support and prescribe the right treatment for you.
Your CJA Balance doctor is a specialist in HRT and menopausal symptoms so please call us on 01962 454788 if you are interested in a consultation.’ CJA offer expert advice for menopausal women and offer at home blood tests to assess whether your symptoms are, indeed, down to the menopause.