I was recently invited to a debate with the UK’s leading menopause experts at the Medical Society of London, putting across their views on the risks and benefits of HRT.
It was a lively event, with both sides of the argument putting together strong arguments supporting their point of view.
Some of the key elements to come out of the debate itself, and the discussion that followed afterwards with questions from the audience (most of whom were medical professionals) were as follows:
- The lack of consistency in interpreting the data for studies regarding the risks and benefits of HRT.
- All parties seemed to agree HRT was appropriate for most women experiencing early menopause.
- For those women taking HRT the length of time should taking HRT should be looked at closely – those ‘against stressed that HRT should be used for the shortest possible time.
- The risk of breast cancer did increase with HRT, but it was down to the individual to understand the level of risk as it applied to them, and weigh this against the potential benefits of HRT.
- Opinion of the benefits of HRT was divided in respect to the medical profession at large, with many GPs having little or no understanding of the menopause, its symptoms or possible solutions to problems.
An excellent handout was given at the end of the debate, and I asked for permission to share a great infographic which was in the information pack, which I felt gave a good visual summary of when to consider HRT (or not) as the case may be! As always – go to your GP rather than take risks with your health!