If you are not struggling with your symptoms of menopause, then taking HRT may make the experience more difficult. HRT rarely comes without its side effects. However, in the main, these side-effects are mild and usually preferable to severe symptoms of the menopause. Common side-effects include:
This is the situation when blood clots form in the veins of the body. There are two common areas where clots can form as a side effect of HRT:
- Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) – this is when a blood clot forms in one of the deep veins in the body, typically in the lower leg or thigh. Symptoms will include swelling of the leg or calf accompanied by pain.
- Pulmonary Embolism (PE) – this is the condition which occurs if part of a blood clot present because of a DVT breaks off and travels to the lung.
Both DVT and PE are known medically as Venous Thromboembolism. The risks appear to be higher when taking Continuous Combined Therapy (CCT) rather than oestrogen-only HRT, and the risk is also higher in the first year of taking HRT.
A small increase in the risk of these cancers has been reported as a side effect of HRT.
- Breast tissue is highly sensitive to oestrogen and progesterone. The longer the body is exposed to these female hormones, the higher the likelihood of developing breast cancer. Continuous Combined Therapy (CCT) increases the risk of breast cancer more than oestrogen-only HRT.
- The risk of developing cancer of the ovary slightly increases if HRT is taken. This risk decreases again once HRT is stopped.
- Oestrogen in HRT increases the risk of cancer of the uterus. By taking CCT, the risk is reduced, and this is part of the reason why progesterone is included in HRT. There is no need to take progesterone if you have had a hysterectomy.
Another side effect of HRT is an increased risk of developing a stroke. This is a condition where the blood supply to the brain is affected, causing damage to the brain, and loss of brain function.
High doses of oestrogen (ie. more than 50 micrograms) increase the risk more than low doses. However, the risk of a stroke is higher from lifestyle factors such as smoking, obesity and high blood pressure.
Sense of smell & body odour changes during menopause
Heart disease is very common in the western world. This condition affects the arteries of the heart and is the cause of angina and heart attacks.
There is a small increased risk of heart disease as a side effect in women who have begun using Continuous Combined Therapy (CCT) more than 10 years after their menopause. However, there is no evidence to suggest that oestrogen-only HRT increases the risk of heart disease.
This week it’s all about smell, including how your sense of smell can change, as well as how certain areas of your body can start to smell different, including your vaginal area, underarms and your feet.
Missed one? Watch them all on my menopause blog.
Soy isoflavones for before, during & after the menopause
Menopause Support can provide support to the body through all stages of the Menopause but is especially useful when broad range of symptoms such as hot flushes, irritability, tiredness, pains and aches, vaginal dryness etc kick in.
- Made from fermented soya beans
- Support for all stages of the menopause
- Also contains magnesium and hibiscus
A herbal dietary supplement containing soy isoflavones, magnesium and hibiscus extract for all stages of the menopause.
TIP: Read why so many women recommend Menopause Support for before, during & after the menopause
How I survived the menopause
What is happening to me? I know I asked this, so if you are asking it too, don’t worry, you are not alone! The menopause can be a daunting, confusing and scary time if you let it be, but as they say, knowledge is power.
I use my personal experience of going through the menopause (and surviving it) to offer support and guidance to help you have a happier, healthier menopause.
I survived the menopause and so can you!
Don't go through the Menopause alone!
Menopause expert Eileen Durward explains the benefits of joining the A.Vogel Menopause Health Hub.
This week's talking point
HRT 'increases ovarian cancer risk' Well ladies, it's in the news again. According to a recent study, HRT has been linked to an increased risk of ovarian cancer in women taking it for over 5 years.
Menopause Expert Eileen Durward looks at the medical facts behind the news headlines.