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10 Mar 2003

Please can you answer the following questions for me:

1. How long one has to be on HRT for? I have been on Femigel for the past 4/5 years now.

2. How safe is HRT these days?

I have heard that it protects you from oestroporasis (sic), heart attacks and stroke but of recent studies they say this is no longer true.

I suffer from high blood pressure which is controlled with medication.

I look forward to your response.

Answer 626 views

01 Jan 0001

To answer your second question first, there are advantages and disadvantages to HRT. The advantages are that it protects against osteoporosis and colon cancer and helps menopausal symptoms. The disadvantages are that there is a slightly increased risk of breast cancer. This tends to go up after 5 years, hence this is the average time that HRT is recommended for. It used to be thought that HRT was protective against heart disease, but this is no longer the case. In fact, combined HRT (not oestrogen only as you are taking) seems to be associated with a slightly higher chance of heart disease.
So in terms of how long to take it for, you are looking at an increased risk of breast cancer, though still small , after 5 years versus the advantage of osteoporosis protection. You will have to balance these depending on your age and risk factors for the two.

Best wishes
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