HRT is usually taken around the time of menopause to help control the hot flushes and night sweats. Despite it receiving bad publicity surrounding cancer there are many people that find it very successful in helping with a few of the distressing systems.
When Does Menopause Occur?
Well this occurs between the ages of 45- 50. However, the HRT can be started at any age if there are good reasons to take it. If the hot flushes are particularly unpleasant and you feel you can`t manage. Also there are other symptoms to take into account as well, for instance there is hair loss, osteoporosis.
Many women take the HRT for a couple of years to treat the unpleasant symptoms of flushes and night sweats. There is no evidence that breast cancer increases if the HRT is used for more than a few years and even beyond that. If however, you are on long term combined HRT you do have to be careful with this since this is connected with the risk of breast cancer. This is also connected with venous thrombosis and stroke.
Only you can decide whether any of the benefits out weigh the risks.
Women reaching sixty who need the treatment are usually advised to consider any of the non- hormonal treatments first. In order to prevent the osteoporosis treatment is needed for life because bone loss begins when HRT stops.
A lot of women want to continue the HRT treatments because they feel so well. There is no reason why they shouldn’t continue providing the benefit is weighed up.
How Do You Stop?
HRT balances out the hormonal changes in our body that are responsible for the menopausal symptoms. You can`t stop straight away because if you do you will get an abrupt drop in oestrogen which will cause the symptoms to return. It doesn’t reflect what is happening with your own hormones inside.
1.The best thing is to gradually reduce the amount of oestrogen over a period from two to six months by cutting any pills or matrix patches. They won’t leak out, or you can use small amounts of gel. This allows the level to decline minimising the symptoms developing. You must continue to take the same progesterone in the usual way until you have stopped the oestrogen.
The women who use the oestrogen implants can also reduce the dose of each implant every six months. However if the implant has been put on the uterine lining the effects can occur for two to three years. So unless you have had a hysterectomy you must carry on taking progestogen. If any oestrogen is present it could cause the lining of the uterus to thicken. If there is no bleeding it is usually safe to stop taking the progesterone.
HRT can be started at any age but the usual time is around the menopause in order that it controls the flushes and sweats. There isn’t any risks if it is taken five years beyond the menopause.
Women who have premature menopause should take HRT until they are fifty. There isn’t an increased risk because it is normally replacing hormones that would have been present