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HRT for the over-60s

(6 Posts)
PreferredPlanet Wed 22-Jun-11 09:50:36

I'm posting on behalf of my mum, who's 66 and was on HRT for many years, but started to come off it earlier this year. Since then, she's had terrible menopausal symptoms of sweating (having to shower more or less every hour at times!) and general ill-being (if that's the opposite of wellbeing!) - fatigue, fuzzy head etc etc.

She's tried various natural remedies such as cohosh, flax seed etc, and they seem to work temporarily then wear off, and she's back to the symptoms again. Docs have said it could be 2 or 3 years before she's over the menopause and she's getting desperate and saying she's going to give it another couple of weeks, then ask to go back on a low-dose HRT. She says there are risks associated with that but she's in a low category. Does anyone know what these risks are?

And if anyone has any experience of this or advice, I'd be most grateful, for her. Thanks in advance.

PreferredPlanet Wed 22-Jun-11 12:14:57

Should I try asking on Gransnet, maybe?! wink

strawberryjelly Wed 22-Jun-11 19:47:35

You could try posting ont e menopause forum here.

The risks of long term use of HRT are clear- breast cancer is the chief one and the risk increases from not very much to a bit more if you have taken it for more than 5 years.

The main issues are:
how long was she on it?

starting HRT late in life can have sdie effects for the heart. The say that starting young- within 2-3 yrs of menopause is less risky.

If your mum has just come of it at 66 I would assume she was on it for ages already- say 50-ish to now?

Elibean Wed 22-Jun-11 22:31:53

My mother was put on HRT in her 70s, low dose and only for a few years, mostly because her bone density was not good - and she was low risk of BC at that age.
BUT she hadn't had any up until then, unlke your Mum, nor did she have many side effects around menopause.
Was your Mum on a higher dose? The symptoms do sound a bit grim, I'm just wondering if she was weaned off or stopped suddenly?
What do her doctors say?

strawberryjelly Thu 23-Jun-11 08:25:11

It's not considered good to start HRT in your 70s as there is an increased risk of heart disease. also, breast cancer risk rises as you get older- it doesn't stop.

HRT is not first choice for bone density- they would usually give you bisphosphonates such as Fosomax, unless they were contraindicated by stomch/ gut issues- but now there is an injection which gets round this anyway.

Elibean Thu 23-Jun-11 08:53:15

Ah well, she's off it now anyway (a fit 82) it was only for a short while, about ten years ago - imagine new info has come in since then re biophosphonates. Yes, she had gut issues, so they were a no go.
Interesting about BC risk rising, I thought it plateaud always learning new things on MN!

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