Menopause: Life-threatening ‘risks’ when you take hormone replacement therapy

Menopause: Life-threatening ‘risks’ when you take hormone replacement therapy

Lisa Snowdon details the symptoms of her early menopause

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

While the menopause can lead to hot flushes, vaginal dryness, and insomnia – due to dwindling oestrogen and progesterone hormone levels – boosting these via hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can be dangerous. For women who still have their uterus, taking HRT can increase the risk of endometrial cancer, the Cleveland Clinic stated. Endometrial cancer, otherwise known as womb cancer, can lead to unusual vaginal bleeding, nausea, and loss of appetite, the NHS pointed out.

The NHS stated: “The risk of developing womb cancer is linked to the body’s exposure to oestrogen.”

Oestrogen levels not well balanced by progesterone can cause the cells in the endometrium to divide, thereby increasing the risk of cancer.

Other risk factors include: obesity, being over the age of 40, and having polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).

HRT may also increase the risk of blood clots, which can lead to a stroke if the blood clot interrupts the blood supply to the brain.

There is also an increased risk of breast cancer with long-term use of HRT, the Cleveland Clinic added.

The key word in all of these life-threatening conditions is that a person’s “risk” is increased.

As such, this does not mean HRT will definitely cause such conditions to develop.

Another possible risk with HRT is an increased chance of gallbladder problems.

Before taking any type of HRT, it is best to discuss the benefits and risks associated with doing so.

There are side effects to be mindful of too, with the most common being:

  • Monthly bleeding
  • Irregular spotting
  • Breast tenderness
  • Mood swings.

Less common side effects could include:

  • Fluid retention
  • Headaches
  • Skin discolouration
  • Increased breast density making mammogram interpretation more difficult
  • Skin irritation under oestrogen patch.

Not all women who take HRT will experience such side effects, therefore benefiting from all that HRT can offer.

The benefits of taking HRT can include lowered risk of colon cancer, diabetes, and decreased tooth loss.

HRT may also lead to improved mood and an overall sense of well-being.

It is also possible for HRT to lead to a modest improvement in joint pain and can reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis.

While HRT is not for everybody, some women do really benefit from taking this treatment option.

If you would rather stay away from HRT, there are steps you can take to help ease menopausal symptoms.

For instance, the NHS advises to reduce stress levels, to do regular exercise, and to lose weight if you are overweight.

Furthermore, it can helpful to avoid hot flush triggers, which will be unique to you, but most commonly include:

  • Spicy food
  • Caffeine
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol.

Eating a healthy, well balanced diet can also help to mitigate menopausal symptoms.

Source: Read Full Article