As a GP and menopause specialist, I spend a lot of my professional life explaining the science behind what women go through. I tell my patients that the menopause should be considered as a long-term hormone deficiency with considerable health consequences. And that we have a very cost-effective and safe treatment for the condition, in the form of HRT.
三级成人视频Research has shown that menopausal women have an increased risk of diseases including cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes, osteoporosis and dementia. In fact, one in two women over the age of 50 who do not take HRT will develop osteoporosis, while the risk of a heart attack increases five times after the menopause.
三级成人视频The evidence is very clear that for the majority of women taking HRT, there are more benefits than risks. Robust evidence has shown that women who take HRT have a lower risk of all these diseases, as well as a lower risk of death from all causes including from cancer if taken for more than 18 years.
Despite these facts, globally a minority of women take HRT. To my mind, a primary cause is that there's a lot of misinformation out there, which has been given to healthcare professionals for many decades.
Many people who work in the sector cite a concern about HRT and the perceived risks of breast cancer – a topic that is back in the news this week三级成人视频 with a study by a group in Oxford that has been published by the British Medical Journal. It was a study looking at the risk of breast cancer in women taking different types of HRT, using data collected over the past two decades.
三级成人视频While headlines are focusing on a link between HRT and breast cancer, I believe the results from the study are actually reassuring, as they show the risk of breast cancer is lower than in previous studies, such as a meta-analysis published in the Lancet just over a year ago.
There are, however, some limitations to the Oxford study. Firstly, it is an observational study which means that it is not possible to show any cause and effect with treatment – it simply shows an association. Secondly, the types of HRT that researchers looked at did not include micronised progesterone, which is the 'body identical' progesterone we now prescribe as part of HRT. Micronised progesterone is known to have lower associated risks of breast cancer compared to synthetic progestogens.
Finally, there was no mention of this study about the numerous benefits of taking HRT. From a lifestyle perspective, HRT can provide powerful changes: many who take it lose weight, do more exercise, and drink less alcohol because they feel better. All those habits are associated with a higher future risk of developing breast cancer compared to any type of HRT.
Ultimately, women need to be given robust evidence when they come to making choices about HRT. It's easy to be swayed by headline statistics, but when you delve into the research out there, it seems clear to me that many women needlessly suffer because they are not aware of the benefits of taking HRT – and the extent to which they outweigh any risk. Women deserve to receive better healthcare so they can enjoy their menopausal years.
Dr Louise Newson is a GP specialising in menopause, and the founder of . Find out more about her work