Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is the most effective treatment for menopausal symptoms, particularly for younger women at the onset of menopause, according to a new review published in 'The Obstetrician & Gynaecologist'.
Menopausal symptoms, including hot flushes and night sweats are common, affecting around 70% of women for an average of 5 years but may continue for many years in about 10% of women. HRT is a medical treatment for menopause. It provides low doses of the treatment for menopause, with or without progestogen.
Previous studies examining the effects of HRT failed to address the effect of HRT in symptomatic younger postmenopausal women and have not addressed the benefits of HRT given at the window of opportunity, for example, administrating HRT for symptom relief during the early phase of the menopausal transition.
Shagaf Bakour, Honorary Senior Lecturer and Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at City Hospital, Birmingham, and co-author of the review said, "Women are sometimes concerned about the increased risk of breast cancer related to HRT. However, this risk is much lower than that associated with other factors such as obesity, alcohol consumption and later maternal age. HRT is the most effective treatment for symptoms of the menopause and when HRT is individually tailored, women gain maximum advantages and the risks are minimized."
Doctors should not be concerned about discussing the risks and benefits of HRT with women who have menopausal symptoms, or be hesitant to offer a trial of appropriate medicine.
Jason Waugh, TOG Editor-in-chief said, "The use of HRT is an individual decision, which a woman can only make once she has been given correct information and advice from healthcare professionals. If women have any concerns about menopausal symptoms or HRT, they should talk to their doctor who will be happy to discuss treatment options further."