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Last Updated: Wednesday, 1 February 2006, 14:34 GMT
Women reveal concerns over HRT
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Most women feel HRT is effective, but have concerns over its use
Three quarters of menopausal women would not recommend hormone replacement therapy to their daughters, a magazine survey suggests.

This reluctance was seen despite 80% of the women believing HRT works.

However, the survey of 2,000 women for Health Plus magazine found most would advise their daughters to try alternative remedies first.

There have been concerns over links between long-term HRT use and breast cancer and heart disease.

But experts say women need to talk to their doctor to assess the benefits and risks for them based on factors such as severity of menopausal symptoms, and their risk for heart disease and cancer.

The menopause is the last great taboo
Collette Harris,
Editor of Health Plus magazine

The poll of women, who had an average age of 52, found six out of 10 women had tried HRT, but 33% had chosen to come off it after less than a year.

The main reasons for stopping HRT were concerns over breast cancer risk (47%), feeling unwell (33%), and worries about heart disease (26%).

A fifth of women (20%) said they were putting on too much weight and 36% were worried about putting chemicals into their body.

Almost all of those questioned - 95% - said they were trying natural alternative remedies and were convinced they worked.

Natural remedies

The most popular natural alternative was evening primrose oil used by 40%, with others using soya foods (35%) and soya supplements (28%), black cohosh (28%) and red clover (16%).

Three quarters of those surveyed believed natural remedies should be available on the NHS.

Women also found that healthy diets helped them.

Of those who took HRT, 75% said they used it to feel better from the symptoms and 25% said it was to stay looking and feeling young.

On average, women take HRT for around four years.

Women said HRT had helped them.

Eight out of 10 said it had relieved menopausal symptoms.

Colette Harris, editor of Health Plus, which is aimed at women over 40, said: "With so many HRT scares, women want in-depth advice from their GPs on natural alternatives, but unfortunately GPs are often not up to speed on these and so it's easier to just write a prescription for HRT."

She added: "The menopause is the last great taboo.

"Every woman will go through it, but no one discusses it openly, unless it's to make a joke about hot flushes.

"As a result women coming up to the menopause are terrified by the multitude of scary rumours and misconceptions which are far worse than the actual event itself."

Warning over long-term HRT use
30 Nov 04 |  Health

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