Menopause Hormone Therapy

Postmenopausal women and physicians should no longer fear hormone. The Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada (SOGC) released yesterday its new clinical guidelines on menopause. According to the SOGC, took the hormone for less than five years are harmless and can instead help women get rid of troublesome symptoms such as hot flashes.

By publishing these guidelines, the SOGC has sought to silence the belief that hormones increase the risk of breast cancer and cardiovascular disease in post menopausal women.

In 2001, a study conducted in the United States had shown that after four years of hormone therapy, breast cancer increased by 26% in postmenopausal women. With the publication of this study, more than 50% of Americans have stopped their treatment.

SOGC analyzed data available to determine whether the hormone is so harmful. "We have noticed that the 2001 study was conducted mainly on women aged 60 to 70 years. The average age was too high! Especially when we know that age is the main risk factor for breast cancer and cardiovascular disease, "says the director of the division of reproductive endocrinology and infertility at Queen's University, Dr. Robert Reid .

"We put women in front of exaggerated fears. Women were afraid, "says professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Laval University, Dr. Michel Fortier.

According to the SOGC, postmenopausal women who want to avoid bothersome symptoms should first change their lifestyle. Control weight, smoking and level of exercise is essential.

Dr Reid acknowledged that this method is beneficial for women with symptoms means. For those with strong symptoms, hormone therapy taken in the short term is a safe and viable option, "said Dr. Reid.

85% to 95% of women see their symptoms with reduced hormone. The risk of fractures related to osteoporosis as well as the risks of suffering from vaginal drying declining.

If the hormone is less than five years, the health risks are invalid, says the SOGC. If the treatment lasts for more than five years women see their risk of contracting breast cancer increased slightly. "The risk is greater for women who are obese or who smoke," said Dr. Reid.

Increased risk among women who gave birth after age 30

According to him, should be more concerned that mothers are becoming older. Studies have shown that mothers who had their first pregnancy after age 30 are more likely to suffer from breast cancer. A third of breast cancer could be eliminated if these factors were controlled.

As to the effects of hormone therapy on cardiovascular disease and stroke, the SOGC believes they are void. We know that the hormones slightly increased risk of clots in the legs. "But in this case, age is a risk factor even more important that the hormones," said Dr. Fortier.

As for the effect of hormones on memory, studies are contradictory. According to Dr. Fortier, only younger women will have their memory improve with treatment. "But we still can not recommend hormone therapy to treat Alzheimer's disease," said Dr. Fortier.



January 31, 2009 at 8:07 PM

I am glad to see this issue put to rest, but I still think that not all women are going to want or need HRT to deal with menopause symptoms. My concern was that for awhile it seemed like a lot of women were hearing from their docs, "Oh, you're nearing 45, time to start taking premarin" I think the landscape now is more balanced as to what method a women will use to remain healthy as she ages. Didn't mean to write a book, I've just been thinking about this topic since Oprah had her shows on HRT this past month. Also, here's a good (and balanced) article about Perspectives on the risks of HRT


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