Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is a highly effective way of reducing or eliminating menopausal symptoms. It does not, however, prevent you from going through menopause…it only postpones it. You will usually experience symptoms when you stop the HRT, regardless of the age at which you stop.
HRT, although effective at treating symptoms of menopause, is not without risks. It usually consists of estrogen +/- progesterone, depending on whether or not you still have your uterus. Current research suggests that HRT triples your risk of blood clot (in the leg, heart, brain or lung) and doubles your risk for breast cancer compared to non-users. This is significant since 1 in 8 ladies develops breast cancer and the most common killer in postmenopausal women is heart disease. Nevertheless, ladies that are at lower risk for blood clot or breast cancer may still be good candidates for HRT.
The decision to use HRT is not easy and there are many factors that should be considered. Talk to your provider about the risks and benefits of HRT specific to your health.