Hormone replacement therapy—clarity at last

The British Menopause Society and Women's Health Concern have today released updated guidelines on Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) to provide clarity around the role of HRT, the benefits and the risks. The new guidelines appear in the society's flagship title, Menopause International.

Over the last 11 years, HRT has changed from being branded the "elixir of youth" to being considered extremely risky and only to be used in certain circumstances. Since the publication of the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) trial in 2002, and the Million Women study (MWS) in 2003, confusion and controversy has surrounded the use of HRT and the known benefits have often been forgotten.

A panel of experts have carefully considered, researched and reanalyzed the WHI and MWS studies alongside conducting further trials and studies, to offer practioners a detailed review of the evidence to help them optimize their , and provide women with more balanced and accurate advice on HRT treatment for .

The new HRT recommendations are designed to complement the BMS Observations and Recommendations on menopause. The updated guidelines detail key recommendations targeting access to advice on how women can optimize their and beyond, focusing in particular on lifestyle and diet and an opportunity to discuss the pros and cons of and HRT.

"Our aim is to provide helpful and pragmatic guidelines for health professionals involved in prescribing HRT and for women considering or currently using HRT" says Nick Panay, Chair of The British Menopause Society and lead author of the recommendations. "With these updated recommendations, it is hoped that HRT will once again be used appropriately and provide benefits for many women in their menopause."

More information: "The 2013 British Menopause Society & Women's Health Concern recommendations on hormone replacement therapy" by Nick Panay, Haitham Hamoda, Roopen Arya and Michael Sarvas on behalf of the British Menopause Society and Women's Health Concern, published by SAGE in Menopause International, June 2013.

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