Dr Tina Peers a Consultant on women’s health at the Centre for Health has a wealth of experience and expertise surrounding her studies of HRT and gives some much need information on why HRT is right for you.
The biggest problem that women have at the moment is getting accurate information about the benefits and risks of HRT.
Many are being denied access to HRT by misguided and misinformed GPs, or are being taken off HRT unnecessarily.
Here are some findings from recent studies which may help to dispel false information:
A recent study in Germany performed by a German Gynaecologist, asked female gynaecologists if they would take/are on HRT, or if they have recommended that their wives/partners should be on HRT if they are male gynaecologists, and it was found that -
97% said 'YES'!
The hysterectomised women in the WHI study, who were on oestrogen only HRT, were shown to have a reduced risk of breast cancer .The relative risk went from 1 to 0.63 - yet many of these women are refused HRT or are taken off it because of the fear of an increased risk of breast cancer!
Another study, published in 2006 on 'Increased longevity in older users of postmenopausal oestrogen therapy: The Leisure World Cohort Study’ shows that women who go on HRT and stay on it, live longer, have a better quality of life, better health, with fewer cancers, heart attacks, strokes, osteoporotic fractures, less dementia, and are less likely to die of any disease by a factor of 15%, than women not on HRT.
As women are living longer and longer, osteoporosis and dementia are putting our families, healthcare systems and social services under huge pressure and this will only increase with time.
HRT reduces osteoporosis by 50-70%, and the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease by 40% in women and additionally the relative risk of breast cancer, although increasing in women on combined therapy from 1 to only 1.08 after 7 years of use actually means that there is 1 extra case for every 1250 women on HRT per year. This is lower than the effects on women who drink a few units of alcohol every week where it increases more than this, as does eating grapefruit, being obese, or sleeping with an electric blanket-(Relative risk goes up to 4 in this case!)
Dr Peers says, “I believe that the menopause is not a 'natural' state for women.”
Women’s bodies NEED oestrogen to function normally and to keep healthy.(Basically we are not meant to live this long!)
Oestrogen receptors, when stimulated, give important signals to the nucleus of the various different cells and tell the cells what to do - without these signals the cells malfunction.
The lucky women are the ones who suffer from various menopausal symptoms which may include hot flushes, night sweats, moodiness, depression, difficulty concentrating, palpitations, weight gain, low libido, poor sleep, nocturia, bladder infections and irritability, dry vagina, dyspareunia , vaginal infections, suicidal thoughts, carpel tunnel syndrome , night cramps etc.
They are lucky because they come and ask for help, and will, hopefully be given HRT in doses that not only reduce their symptoms, but also give them reduced risk of osteoporosis (50-70%), Alzheimer’s Disease (40%), Heart attacks and strokes (40-60%), and a reduction colorectal cancers, and restored sexual function. In short, it will keep them healthy! -and help them to have more fun!
The poor women who 'fly' through the menopause without seeking help , will , within 5 -7 years of their last period, have a risk of losing up to 20% of their bone mass, and will have coronary artery disease setting in!
The biggest killer of women over 50 is Cardiovascular Disease-responsible for 57% of deaths.
Osteoporosis is also a big killer-30% of women who fall and fracture their hip will die within 6 weeks of the fracture. Of the others who survive, 50% will have to live in a home and will die within 6 months of the fracture, the others will be well enough to live alone, but may well have reduced mobility.
Breast cancer is responsible for only 4% of deaths in women over the age of 50.
It is about time that women and their doctors were aware of the huge health benefits of HRT.
I believe that women in their late 40s/early 50s are just getting into their stride-this is not a time to be struck down by the menopause, or to lose who you are in a myriad of debilitating symptoms and the promise of ill-health.
If you are interested in having a consultation with Dr Tina Peers please contact the Centre for Health on 01293 780447 or visit the website: www.centreforhealth.org.uk
Dr Peers is a Consultant in Contraception and Reproductive Health, Member of the British College of Aesthetic Medicine, MBBS, DRCOG, DFSRH, FFSRH and further information about her training and experience can be found on her profile on the Centre for Health website.