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“Hormone Replacement Therapy: Is it Safe?”

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) has a number of benefits but recent studies are raising concerns about its use.  HRT usually refers to taking estrogen/progesterone combinations, such as Prempro or Premarin.  However, many women now take HRT as a patch or gel rather than a tablet.  HRT replaces female hormones that are no longer produced during the menopause and can help with hot flushes, insomnia, headaches and irritability.  The symptoms of the menopause can be so severe that they interfere with day-to-day life.  We have to weigh up the quality of life alongside the risks.  Physicians focus on women’s risk-to-benefit ratio as regards HRT.  A 2012 study reported that women who take hormone replacement therapy (HRT) may cut their risk of heart problems but experts are still cautious about long-term safety risks.  They also found that after stopping the therapy, the women continued to see health benefits for six years. Past studies have been inconsistent regarding a possible increased risk of cancer, heart attack or stroke.

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