So here we go again. Menopause – the taboo topic. Unless of course there’s a scary cancer headline to be had.
100% of women will go through menopause. 1 in 3 women in the UK are experiencing menopause symptoms to some degree at this very moment. And yet when it comes to controlling symptoms we’re still faced with scary headlines, conflicting advice and inconsistent findings.
We already know from previous studies that taking HRT can increase your risk of cancer. What this most recent study by The Institute of Cancer Research and Breast Cancer shows is the risk is greater than previously thought.
Over a period of 40 years The Institute of Cancer Research and Breast Cancer have studied 100,000 women.
What they’ve found is that if you’ve been taking a combined oestrogen and progesterone pill taken for up to five year means you’re 2.7 times more like to develop cancer compared with women who take nothing or the oestrogen only pill.
That risk rises to 3.3 times if you’ve been taking the combined HRT pill for 15 years or more.
In real terms your risk of developing breast cancer in your 50s rises from 14 in 1000 women to 34 in 1000 if you’re taking the combined pill.
What you should do now
If you’re taking the combined pill do not stop!
At least don’t stop today. Your symptoms, the very reasons you resorted to HRT in the first place will return very quickly. The hot flushes, anxiety, night sweats, mood swings, even that menopause weight gain will return with a vengeance.
If you want to come off HRT and not revert to the menopausal maniac you were pre HRT, you need to reduce your dose gradually, preferably over a period of about six months. And even then it will take a further 12 months for it to completely come out of your system.
- Don’t change anything. You may well feel that the benefits of HRT outweigh your risk of cancer in which case carry on taking it. It’s your body, it’s your choice.
- Wean yourself off HRT and control your symptoms through practical and natural solutions. That’s what I did. After 10 years of HRT I chose to wean myself off and now I keep my symptoms at bay through my eating, exercise and lifestyle choices
Ultimately the decision is yours. But consider this: we don’t medicate young girls to get them through puberty, we don’t typically medicate through pregnancy so why the urge to medicate through menopause?
Menopause is a natural part of the female lifecycle and some tweaks to your eating, the way in which you exercise and how you manage stress can be just as effective as medication. Plus a cleaner lifestyle won’t just help with controlling your menopause symptoms it will ensure you remain fit and healthy into your 60s and beyond.
The choice is yours and if you want a safe place to make that choice, to connect with other women going through exactly the same as you, I invite you to come and join the Hot Flush Freedom Fighters.
The Hot Flush Freedom Fighters is a free private facebook group where you can share your stories, get advice and inspiration from other members and of course ask questions direct to me. Just CLICK HERE to join us.
You are not alone!