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HRT - need to weigh up my choices? Can anyone tell me what the latest research/thinking is?

(7 Posts)
inthesark Mon 15-Apr-13 12:42:05

Hello fellow menopausites,
Thanks to some really grim anxiety and insomnia, I'm trying to weigh up the pros and cons of HRT. I know that the scare research has been to some degree discredited, but can't work out what the latest thoughts are. I'd particularly like to know about:
- oestrogen only versus oestrogen + progesterone
- 'nature-identical' hormones vs the normal stuff

Are there different cancer risks associated with these choices? Do some work better than others? Or do I keep sitting it out with 1 ton of supplements and reflexology? Any thoughts/experience/advice/links would be very much appreciated.

hackmum Mon 15-Apr-13 18:07:09

I'm not able to answer your question (sorry) though on another thread someone linked to a recent Danish study. That was looking at heart attack risk, however, not breast cancer risk.

One thing my GP said to me that I found helpful was that HRT reduces your risk of osteoporosis, and more women die from osteoporosis than die from breast cancer. Of course, osteoporosis tends to occur in older women, whereas you can get breast cancer at a young age, but as someone who went through an early menopause, I thought it was certainly worth bearing in mind.

The other thing I'd say is that if you are taking herbal supplements they probably haven't been well researched and may carry their own risks.

inthesark Mon 15-Apr-13 19:19:41

I'm not taking anything too fierce, just Oil of Evening Primrose and soyal based stuff, but it's a good point.

I may have to go and lift some heavy weights as well to keep my bones strong...

missbopeep Mon 15-Apr-13 20:18:46

I think you'll find bags of info on here

www.menopausematters.co.uk

Look at the green menu and under HRT- and see the diagram of the 'scales' for risks v benefits. Benefits outweigh risk for women under 60.

If you join the forum you'll find lots of discussion- more so than here which is not a very active board as women tend to be younger on MN.

In brief though-
unless you have had a hysterectomy you cannot take just oestrogen- oestrogen by any route stimulates the uterine lining so to avoid build up and potential cancerous changes you need to take progestins too- either daily or as part of a cycle.

Bio-identical hormones are available on the NHS and have been for ages- this includes a gel and patches plus a progesterone.

Google bio identical hormones/ Nick Panay ( gynae)/ Daily Mail for an interview.

Happy to send you a PM to youbut won't keep repeating myself here as got a rather unkind email from one poster who said I always gave the same advice which she didn't want !

missbopeep Mon 15-Apr-13 20:20:17

backmum the Danish study covered all side effects including cancer- you can find it by googling BMJ/HRT/ Danish study.

You can also find more by googling KEEP HRT- research being done in US, and by looking at the website of Dr Nick Panay, under his section on HRT.

missbopeep Mon 15-Apr-13 20:29:02

DANISH STUDY

www.bmj.com/content/345/bmj.e6409

the primary aim was on cardio side effects but if you read ALL of the report here, the incidents of breast cancer etc are there.

There were only 1000 women in this study and IMO it needs to be rolled out over a larger group, but on the plus side it was a long trial- 16 years- compared to the WHI which was only 5 years.

inthesark Tue 16-Apr-13 08:54:42

That's brilliant, thank you - just what I was looking for. When I get a moment I will go through all of that!

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