HRT for menopause symptoms – is it dangerous?

The answer is NO!  The benefits of taking HRT far outweigh any risks.

But that’s not what we’ve been lead to believe, is it? That’s mainly because of a flawed trial that was undertaken about twenty years ago and was halted early (in 2002) due to what was thought to be adverse results. I won’t go into detail here, but this report has been discredited many, many times since. I quote Liz Earle here from Chapter 3 of her fantastic e-book ‘The Truth About HRT’, “It was a perfect storm: Biased medical trials, inaccurate analysis and skewed data-reporting combined with myth-making media.”  The women in the trial were current or past smokers, overweight, clinically obese and on average, age 63! Thankfully, a great deal of new research and controlled trials have since been undertaken and we now know that taking HRT has far more benefits than risks.

The primary worry for most women is the risk of breast cancer. That’s understandable. We’ve been lead to believe that this is likely if we take HRT. This just simply isn’t true. And unfortunately, there is still so much information bandied about that sends this inaccurate message.

Our worries are unfounded. How many of us were on the Pill when we were younger? I was on it for 25 years and never questioned the potentially disruptive effects it may have had on my body. But when it came to HRT, I was perturbed by all the hype and didn’t take it. Little did I know that by NOT taking it, I was risking more later-in-life problems than someone taking it.

Some studies have found that oestrogen decreases the risk of breast cancer development and some specialists would not hesitate to prescribe HRT for women who have HAD breast cancer. As a knock-on benefit, taking HRT can significantly reduce the risk of colon cancer, it the risk of coronary heart disease, hip fractures, Type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, and potentially Alzheimer’s disease (for this studies are still ongoing, but are looking positive).

Conversely, we have a significantly higher risk of contracting breast cancer if we smoke, are obese, do no exercise and/or drink two glasses of wine a day.

If you’re in your forties or early fifties, and if you feel stressed, exhausted, you’re not sleeping well, you have no libido, everyday occurrences overwhelm you, etc. etc., you may have convinced yourself that it’s because of your career, your kids, your relationship, your parents, and so on. But it can also be because your oestrogen levels are falling. This is where the very crucial conversation needs to take place between you and a menopause specialist, not your GP, unless they have a particular interest in menopause.  Under no circumstances, let them prescribe you anti-depressants, and if you’re 45+, a blood test is pointless.

It’s all about you, lovely. Put yourself first for a change and get the facts, the earlier the better. Taking HRT can help you feel like yourself again.

#hrt #menopause #perimenopause #oestrogen

 I’m not a qualified clinician, dietician, or psychologist.  I write based only on my own experiences and research into menopause. J Wood

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