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Question
Posted by: novdec | 2004/11/23

duration of hrt

I thought the current thinking was that HRT should not continue for more than 5 years. I have just learned that my 82 year old mother has been taking HRT for 30 years! I take black cohosh instead of HRT and was told by a naturopath that it is adequate treatment as menopause is not an illness but a normal developmental stage of life- thus we are supposed to get less hormones as we get older. What is your truly objective point of view?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageGynaeDoc

There are advantages and disadvantages to taking HRT. The advantages are the relief of symptoms like hot flushes and protection against osteoporosis and colon cancer. Osteoporosis can be very debilitating, resulting in hip fractures, etc, so that is a significant advantage. The disadvantages are the slight increase in breast cancer, which increases after 5 years. In your mother's case, I would think it reasonable to stop the HRT now. In your case, black cohash has been shown to relieve the symptoms in some women but does not provide the other protective effects. Unfortunately, every woman has to make her own decision based on which benefits and risks are most important to her.

Best wishes

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