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When should I stop HRT?

Taken to relieve the symptoms of menopause, Hormone replacement therapy or HRT aims to restore female hormone levels by replacing small doses of oestrogen and progesterone in the body.

Most women are able to stop taking HRT after their menopausal symptoms finish which is usually around 5 years after they start.  Women on a low dose of HRT should be able to stop as soon as they wish but those on a higher dose should gradually decrease their HRT dosage over a few months rather than stopping suddenly.

What if symptoms return?

On stopping, some women’s symptoms may return, but they are often mild and should resolve in time with no treatment.

However, for a minority of women symptoms may be more severe.  If this is the case for you then it is advisable to make an appointment to see your GP where they may prescribe a low dose of HRT.  Before doing so, however, your GP will need to consider your individual risk of developing ovarian cancer, breast cancer, endometrial cancer, venous thromboembolism, stroke and coronary heart disease.

What else may happen?

Some women may experience symptoms of vaginal dryness or bladder problems after they stop HRT.  These symptoms can be controlled with creams or pessaries containing a very low dose of oestrogen which can be obtained via your GP.  Since these creams and pessaries are applied locally and the applied dose of oestrogen is very low, the risk associated with the use of HRT is proportionally lower.

Visit our Silversurfers section on menopause for more advice and information.

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