In 2002, a major research study was reported in the news that described risks of hormone therapy that caused millions of women to stop their treatments overnight, and stopped physicians from even offering hormone therapy. In the sixteen years that have passed, much new research has been conducted. This has improved our understanding of who can safely take hormone therapy, and who should not, and has helped us find safer ways to use hormones. According to the SOGC’s Managing Menopause Clinical Practice Guideline 2014, HT is a safe and effective treatment option for moderate to severe menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, insomnia, difficulty concentrating and vaginal dryness.
Most recently, the North American Menopause Society published a consensus opinion of medical experts, supporting the position taken by the SOGC, and stating that for women within ten years of menopause, the benefits of hormone therapy outweigh the risks. The risks and benefits are different for every person, and the ultimate decision is always the woman’s to make. These statements affirm that for women suffering with menopausal symptoms, hormone therapy may be a sensible option to consider.
Anyone taking hormone therapy should consult with their health care provider each year to review dosage, reasons for taking HT, and risks and benefits.