So much has been written about the risks and benefits of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for the symptoms of the menopause that it can be difficult to know what's the best option for you. Here we tackle some of the most common questions.
What is HRT?
Hormone replacement therapy, or HRT, is a treatment which replaces some hormones that are at a lower level during menopause, and can therefore help tackle certain side effects.
How can HRT help with the menopause?
If you're struggling with hot flushes, vaginal dryness or mood swings, you might consider taking HRT to help re-balance your hormone levels and therefore your mood.
Are there other benefits to taking HRT?
Yes, studies have shown that it may reduce your risk of osteoporosis, and cancer of the colon or rectum.
What are the risks of HRT?
HRT isn't right for everyone, and you may decide that your symptoms don't warrant taking extra hormones. Side effects can include bloating, headaches or even depression. It can also slightly increase your risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, womb cancer or stroke. Your risk of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism may also increase. Click here for more details on the risks of HRT.
Should I take HRT?
Of course this decision is one that only you - and your doctor - can make. But HRT supplements are generally not recommended if you have a history of any of the following:
- ovarian, womb or breast cancer
- blood clots
- heart disease or stroke
- liver disease
- untreated high blood pressure