Article by Dr Marilyn Glenville
Continuing our Menopause Monday series where we address readers questions about the Menopause
Anna: I have been on HRT for a few years now and I would like to come off it. What is the best way to do this?
Dr Marilyn Glenville, the UK’s leading Nutritonist, who specialises in women’s health author of Natural Solutions to Menopause:
The question I am asked most often ’Should I just suddenly stop HRT or should I come off it gradually?’ You should talk to your doctor about your decision to come off HRT and have any check-ups that might be needed. My recommendation is always that a gradual weaning process is easier on your body. Stopping HRT suddenly is similar to going ‘cold turkey’ and there have been reports of ‘rebound’ effects from the quick withdrawal of the hormones. The rebound effects can actually give tremendous hot flushes and seemingly worsened menopausal symtpoms.
Wean yourself off HRT gradually
I suggest that you take three months to wean yourself off HRT gradually. First, make sure you are in the best health by the time you stop HRT. Ask your doctor for a lower dose and if you cannot reduce the dose of the HRT, you could switch to a patch. Because the patch delivers oestrogen through the skin and does not have to be broken down by the liver first, you can get by with a lower dose than if it is taken orally. If you take a ombined HRT do not alter the dose of the progestogen (or progesterone) as that part of drug protects your edometrium (womb lining) from building up abnormally, as discused above.