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  • Writer's pictureCatherine Lilburn

The Menopause & HRT debate, circa 2024

Updated: Feb 27

Back in 2002 the WHI (Women’s Health Initiative) study stopped the HRT (Hormonal Replacement Therapy) arm of their study early as they found some safety issues had arisen in their study. These safety issues included a small increased risk of breast cancer, heart disease, stroke, and blood clots.

 

This was a major turning point for menopausal women and for the use of HRT around the world. The finding created a real stir and understandably many women stopped taking HRT or decided not to take HRT once they became menopausal.

 

Fast forward to 2024 and the menopause and HRT debate has radically changed. Firstly, the WHI study has been criticised for being flawed, so the findings have been questioned. And further, HRT has modernised and is now known as MHT (Menopause Hormonal Therapy).

 

MHT is different to the older style HRT (which included oral dosing of synthetic oestrogen). MHT now uses bio-identical forms of oestrogen (oestradiol) and the natural oestrogen comes in the form of creams and patches, as transdermal application is the safest way to uptake oestrogen. If you still have a uterus, then you should also take progesterone, and this is now also available in the bio-identical form (commonly dispensed in Australia as Prometrium). Both these bio-identical hormones are available as prescriptions from your GP.

 

So, things have changed, and for the better. I believe in a best of both worlds approach to both Perimenopause and Menopause. I recommend assessing the risks and benefits of all your options before deciding how best to navigate this transition in your life.

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