The British Menopause Society (BMS) and Women’s Health Concern recently published a literature review of the evidence on the use and effects of HRT.
In summary, their key recommendations are:
- The decision whether to use HRT should be made by each woman having been given sufficient information by her healthcare professional, including information about complementary therapies and lifestyle and dietary changes.
- HRT dosage, regimen and duration should be individualised, with an annual evaluation of the pros and cons.
- Arbitrary limits should not be placed on the duration of usage of HRT; if symptoms persist, the benefits of hormone therapy usually outweigh the risks.
- HRT prescribed before the age of 60 has a favourable benefit/risk profile.
- It is imperative that women with Premature Ovarian Insufficiency (POI) are encouraged to use HRT at least until the average age of the menopause.
- If HRT is to be used in women over 60 years of age, lower doses should be started, preferably with a transdermal route of administration.
- Research and development of new compounds should continue to maximise benefits and minimise side effects and risks.
Panay N, Hamoda H, Arya R and Michael Savvas, on behalf of The British Menopause Society and Women's Health Concern, ‘The 2013 British Menopause Society & Women’s Health Concern recommendations on hormone replacement therapy’, Menopause Int, first published on May 23, 2013. doi:10.1177/1754045313489645
For patient information about the use of HRT to treat symptoms of menopause, please visit Women’s Health Concern. For healthcare professionals, please visit the British Menopause Society.