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A growing number maintain that both the 2002 study and last year’s Lancet report involved women who were post menopausal and taking less sophisticated forms of HRT than those now available.They say the findings don’t reflect the risks for menopausal women today.The private clinics argue that they offer an individually tailored cocktail of hormones (including testosterone in the mix if required) in a single cream or daily lozenge which dissolves against the gum.‘The dose can be tweaked to suit the patient,’ says Dr Amalia Annaradnam, a GP at the Marion Gluck clinic.As Dr Heather Currie, a consultant gynaecologist at Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary in Scotland, explains: ‘It is perfectly fine to start HRT for the first time a few years after your periods stop, but the key is not to wait until more than ten years after the menopause before thinking about starting HRT.
Tomorrow, we’ll take an in-depth look at the best alternative remedies on the market.These apparently mimic more closely the action of the body’s hormones and may lower the risk of side-effects such as blood clots and stroke, and possibly breast cancer, says Mr Hamoda.Bio-identical hormones (bio-identical hormone replacement therapy or BHRT) are formulated on a smaller scale than the types your GP may prescribe, at a cost, by private clinics such as Haitham Hamoda, a consultant gynaecologist who leads the menopause unit at King’s College Hospital London, and is a member of the British Menopause Society’s Medical Advisory Council, speaks for many of his peers when he says the health risks of HRT are actually ‘very small when put into context’. Some women do not like the idea of taking hormones, and aren’t willing to consider any risk at all.
But for others, it comes down to a case of individually balancing the risks against the benefits.
I’d get them every fortnight and they would last for a couple of days.