Doctor, won’t you please tell me – should I take HRT?’ There is no correct answer. It depends on your individual situation.
Significant research on the benefits and drawbacks of hormone therapy has been conducted worldwide. Unfortunately, it mostly resulted in misinformation. Although there were some unexpected findings, the results were not nearly as dramatic as portrayed.
I remember medical school gynecological lectures back in the mid ’90s. I recall the professor’s emphatic words: -Unless contraindicated, HRT is mandatory for all menopausal women.’ This meant that unless you had a medical reason not to go onto HRT, you should be encouraged to go on it. It made perfect sense. HRT keeps your bones strong, alleviates the symptoms of menopause and the scientific consensus was that it had a protective effect on the heart and prevented certain cancers.
Menopause is a process that can begin from two to 10 years before your last period and the symptoms may continue for upwards of five years. Symptoms include hot flushes, night sweats, irritability, depression, foggy head, insomnia, painful intercourse and urinary incontinence. Menopause is a deficiency or total absence of oestrogen. This hormone is vital in maintaining tissue elasticity and strength. Declining levels cause wrinkles as you age and thinning of tissues and muscles in the vagina and urinary tract.