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HRT: Balancing Risks & Benefits


Benefits

  • Symptom control
  • Quality of life
  • Osteoporotic fracture
  • Large bowel cancer
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Risks

  • VTE (blood clots)
  • Breast cancer
  • Stroke
  • Gall bladder disease
  • AGE UNDER 50
  • AGE 50-60 AND
    HAVING SYMPTOMS
  • AGE 60 +
  • AGE OVER 70
  • PAST HISTORY OF HEART DISEASE AND STROKE

The risk/benefit balance of HRT varies between women and for each woman, from year to year depending on presence or not of symptoms, other medical history and number of years that HRT has been taken.

Generally though, if you become menopausal early (before age 45) or prematurely (before age 40), the benefits of taking HRT up to at least age 50 far outweigh the risks. If you are under 60 and having menopausal symptoms, the benefits also outweigh the risks.

There are no arbitrary limits as to how long HRT can be taken, it is up to each women to balance the risks against the benefits for her. Some women may not need HRT at all, or may take it for a few years only, while others continue to take HRT for many years since it continues to provide significant benefits for them.

Every woman should be supported to make an informed choice about their use of HRT.

Page last updated: 6 December 2011

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