Information about HRT

HRT stands for Hormone Replacement Therapy and does exactly what it says – replaces the hormones that your body’s trying to get rid of.

 

Is there just one type of HRT?

  • There are over 50 forms of HRT
  • If the one you’ve been prescribed doesn’t suit you or you’re getting side effects (see below), then go back to your Doctor and ask for it to be changed.
  • HRT comes in patches, gel and tablet form and different ‘strengths’ or ‘dosage’.
  • It’s always advisable to start on the lowest strength possible.

 

When Can You Have HRT?

Generally you’ll be offered HRT if you’ve gone 12 months without a period or your symptoms are severe.

If you’re considering taking HRT, you should carefully discuss the benefits, but also the risks of taking it with your Doctor. You need to know if it’s right for you and they’ll take into account your medical history, age, the risk factors and your personal preferences.

If you’re not happy with the way your Doctor is handling your menopause, you do have the right to request advice from a local Menopause Clinic or a Specialist with known expertise in menopausal health.

 

Questions to Maybe Ask Your Doctor

  • How long do they advise you stay on it for?
  • What are the risks to you whilst being on it?
  • Will you still have periods whilst on HRT?
  • Will your periods carry on or come back when you come off it?
  • What happens when you come off it?
  • Do your symptoms come back (no matter what age you are)?
  • Does your body still go through the ‘Menopause’ when you no longer take HRT?
  • Do they give you yearly check-up’s? (absolutely they should).
  • It’s used also to help prevent Osteoporosis – is there anything else that can help? (they should say “yes” and give you all the things that can help).

 

Are There Side Effects to Taking HRT?

If you feel sick, dizzy, get headaches, blurred vision, bloated, sore breasts or vaginal bleeding, then definitely go back to your Doctor immediately. The type of HRT they put you on might not be agreeing with you.

A small increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer, DVT, heart attacks, strokes and memory problems (greater risk for women over 60). But it’s said to help reduce the risk of colon cancer and hip fractures.