Benefits and Risks
I believe management of per-menopause and menopause should be a choice based on evidence. Some women cant or choose to not take HRT. Seeing someone close suffer from breast cancer may be enough for a woman to decide they want NO increased risk at all. That is perfectly justified.
I have summarised what we currently know in terms of the the benefits and small risks with modern, body identical HRT.
Starting HRT in the peri-menopause (ie when symptoms are starting but a woman still has periods) or soon after the menopause ,offers many health advantages.
These include protection from osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, stroke and metabolic conditions. It also cures the distressing menopausal symptoms.
HRT has also been shown to reduce overall death.
Breast cancer is what is often the biggest concern for women. At the moment we think there is a very small increased risk of breast cancer when taking combined oestrogen and progesterone. The increased risk is the same as the increased risk from drinking a couple of glasses of wine a night. It is similar to taking the combined oral contraceptive pill. The risk increase is equivalent to the risk decrease if you exercise for two and a half hours a week. Obesity is the biggest risk factor and increases the risk 6 fold. Also, there is no increased risk of dying from breast cancer when taking HRT.
I hope this goes a little way to explain the safety and benefits of HRT as we understand it today.