Fast Facts

  • Taking HRT does not just delay the inevitable menopause symptoms. When HRT is stopped symptoms do not necessarily return. Some women do experience troublesome symptoms after stopping HRT - these symptoms would likely have been present (but masked) all the time they were taking HRT.
  • A blood test to measure hormone levels is usually not required to diagnose menopause. Saliva tests cannot determine which doses of hormones should be taken. 
  • Cystitis is not always a sign of bladder infection. Oestrogen deficiency can cause similar symptoms. Vaginal oestrogen can be very effective.
  • Alcohol can be a trigger for menopausal flushes, night sweats and insomnia. Red wine in particular can trigger severe symptoms for some women. Clear spirits are often better tolerated. Moderate drinking – no more than 14 units a week spread over a number of sessions with some alcohol free days each week – is considered within safe limits.
  • Hangovers and alcohol intolerance get worse with menopause! As the female body ages, less water is stored so alcohol is more concentrated and stays in the body longer. Also as women enter menopause they often gain some weight – body fat cannot absorb alcohol, so excess fat can lead to lower alcohol tolerance levels.
  • HRT is not contraceptive. If avoiding pregnancy, contraception should be used for 2 years after last period if under age 50, and one year after last period if over 50.
  • HRT can be taken for a long or as little time as the individual women feels is right for her. 
  • HRT provides heart and bone health as well as treating menopause symptoms. Women do not generally develop Osteoporosis (thin bones) or Cardiovascular Disease (heart attacks, strokes) until after menopause. This is because oestrogen prevents it. 
  • HRT does not always treat vaginal dryness. Vaginal oestrogen may be required as well as or instead of HRT. 
  • HRT can help with low mood associated with menopause and should be offered rather than antidepressants.
  • HRT doesn’t cause breast cancer. HRT used for more than 5 years after age 50 can stimulate the growth of breast cancer cells which are already present in breast tissue. 
  • Caffeine can trigger hot flushes and night sweats – tea has half as much caffeine as coffee, cola drinks can contain considerable amounts...consider cutting back/swapping to decaf products... alcohol and spicy foods are also triggers for some women.
  • Vaginal oestrogen for treatment of menopausal vaginal dryness does not work immediately. It can take 3-6 months to get the full benefits, and should be continued long term as symptoms frequently return when treatment is stopped.