Most women are able to stop taking HRT after their menopausal symptoms finish, which is usually two to five years after they start.
Prescribing menopausal hormone therapy: an evidence-based approach
Gradually decreasing your HRT dose is usually recommended, rather than stopping suddenly. You may have a relapse of menopausal symptoms after you stop HRT, but these should pass within a few months.
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If you have symptoms that persist for several months after you stop HRT, or if you have particularly severe symptoms, contact your GP because treatment may need to be restarted, usually at a lower dose. After you have stopped HRT, you may need additional treatment for vaginal dryness and to prevent osteoporosis brittle bones. Creams and lubricants are available for vaginal dryness, as are local oestrogen preparations see above. Read more about who can use HRT. If you are unable to have HRT, different medication may be prescribed to help control your menopausal symptoms.
Read more about alternatives to HRT.
Read more about possible side effects of HRT and how to ease them. However, long-term use is rarely recommended, and bone density will decrease rapidly after HRT is stopped. Combined HRT slightly increases the risk of developing breast cancer, womb cancer, ovarian cancer and stroke. Most experts agree that if HRT is used on a short-term basis no more than five years , the benefits outweigh the risks. A low dose of HRT hormones is usually recommended to begin with.
It is best to start with the lowest effective dose, to minimise side effects. Persevere with HRT and wait a few months to see if it works well for you. If not, you can try a different type or increase the dose.
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While there are more than 50 different preparations of HRT, the three main types are discussed below. There is no need to take progestogen because there is no risk of womb uterus cancer , sometimes called endometrial cancer. It is useful to maintain regular periods so you know when your periods naturally stop and when you are likely to progress to the last stage of the menopause.
In some cases, a woman using cyclical HRT may continue having periods after the menopause when she is post-menopausal. Continuous combined HRT is usually recommended for women who are post-menopausal. As the name suggests, continuous HRT involves taking oestrogen and progestogen every day without a break. Oestrogen used in HRT is different from oestrogen used in the contraceptive pill , and is not as powerful. This means it's possible to become pregnant if you are taking HRT to control menopausal symptoms. If you don't want to get pregnant, you can use a non-hormonal method of contraception , such as a condom or diaphragm.
You will need to add oestrogen as either a tablet, gel or patch. You can begin hormone replacement therapy HRT as soon as you start experiencing menopausal symptoms. There is no way of predicting exactly when the menopause will happen. This is known as the peri-menopause. You should have regular smear tests for cervical cancer. For you, this may be because:. There will be choices to make about the type of treatment you wish to receive. You will probably have a lot of questions and may wish to discuss your options with family and friends.
To begin with, try to get answers to three key questions:. For more information about working with your healthcare professional to make the right choice for you, please visit the NHS Shared Decision Making website. Toggle navigation Other pages in this section. HRT and alternatives Information for women, their partners and families about hormone replacement therapy HRT and the alternatives for treatment of menopausal symptoms.
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This book is a must for every woman going through menopause or has had a hysterectomy. The references for Doctors and biodentical replacement is wonderful. I would recommend this book wealth of information, easy to read. One person found this helpful. A little dated but good informaton. This was an excellent quick read book. I felt empowered and have changed my diet and followed much of the knowledge in the book and it has made a big difference in my life. I have recommended this book to a couple of my girlfriends and they felt the same. Wonderful good information to know.
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) - Tests & treatments | NHS inform
I bought this book to share with my doctor who is very conventional. I read it and passed it on to her. Excellent source of information about natural hormones. They did a good job with the cover, although you must read the dimensions to determine if this will fit your board carefully.