Getting your period at a young age may mean early menopause, too

Can getting your period at a young age play a role in when you reach menopause? The average age of menopause is 51, however, for some women this can vary widely from between the age of 40 and 55. A study has found that those women who had started menstruating at 11 or younger were 80 percent more likely to have experienced early menopause than women who were 13 or over when their periods began. The risk was heightened among women who started their periods early and subsequently had no children; they had a fivefold increased risk for premature menopause and double the risk of early menopause compared with women whose periods had started at 12 or later and who had had two or more children.   Sources: Gita D. Mishra et al (Jan 2017) Early menarch, nulliparity and the risk for premature and early natural menopause. Retrieved on 6 February 2017. Retrieved from https://academic.oup.com/humrep/article/2937790/Early-menarche-nulliparity-and-the-risk-for      ...

Effect of HRT on Sleep Quality

Extract from The British Menopause Society. “Many women experience disturbed sleep as a menopausal symptom which can have a significant effect on mood and energy levels and cause distress. In addition poor sleep can lead to increased risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. The role of HRT in improving sleep quality is unclear but a recently published review provides some clarity. The authors reviewed 42 trials which included 15,468 women. It was found that use of hormone therapy was associated with improved sleep quality in women who experienced vasomotor symptoms (flushes and sweats) but not in women who did not have such symptoms. This could mean that it is the vasomotor symptoms which may lead to disturbed, or poorer quality sleep, rather than estrogen deficiency in the absence of symptoms. Hence treatment of the vasomotor symptoms leads to improved sleep as a secondary effect. Since sleep complaints are reported by 40% to 60% of menopausal women, more research would be helpful”. Reference: Efficacy of menopausal hormone therapy on sleep quality: systematic review and meta-analysis. Cintron D, Lipford M, Larrea-Mantilla L et al. Endocrine, 2016 Related Articles: Menopause Insomnia Hot Flushes and Night Sweats Sources: Effect of HRT on Sleep Quality (Nov 2016) Retrieved on 28 November 2016. Retrieved from  https://thebms.org.uk/2016/11/effect-hrt-sleep-quality/ Efficacy of menopausal hormone therapy on sleep quality: systematic review and meta-analysis. (Retrieved Nov 2016) Retrieved from https://mayoclinic.pure.elsevier.com/en/publications/efficacy-of-menopausal-hormone-therapy-on-sleep-quality-systemati    ...

Guidance on Menopause and the Workplace

On the 25 November 2016, the Faculty of Occupational Medicine of the Royal College of Physicians UK, issued Guidance on Menopause and the Workplace. You can download a copy of the guidance in pdf form here.      ...

Are Hot Flashes Genetic?

A team of UCLA-led researchers may have found a clue in a first-of-its-kind study: genes could be a factor in determining which women get hot flashes. It appears that women who have gene variants that affect a receptor in the brain that regulates estrogen release are more likely to have hot flashes than women who lack them. The study published in the Menopause Journal is a step that could lead to new treatments to relieve the symptom of hot flashes. Dr Carolyn Crandall, professor of medicine in the division of general internal medicine and health service research at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and the study’s principal investigator said “no previous studies have focused on how variants in women’s genes may be linked with hot flashes, and these results were highly statistically significant.” Furthermore, Dr Crandall said “these associations were similar across European-American, African-American and Hispanic-American women, and they persisted even after we accounted for other facts that might influence hot flashes.”   Sources: Rivero, E., (Oct 2016) Are hot flashes genetic? First-of-its-kind study finds gene variant linked to the symptom in menopausal women. Retrieved from http://newsroom.ucla.edu/releases/are-hot-flashes-genetic. Crandall, Carolyn J. MD, MS; Manson, JoAnn E. MD, DrPH; Hohensee, Chancellor MS; Horvath, Steve PhD, ScD; Wactawski-Wende, Jean PhD; LeBlanc, Erin S. MD, MPH; Vitolins, Mara Z. DrPH; Nassir, Rami PhD; Sinsheimer, Janet S. PhD. (Oct 2016) Association of genetic variation in the tachykinin receptor 3 locus with hot flashes and night sweats in the Women’s Health Initiative Study. Retrieved fromhttp://journals.lww.com/menopausejournal/Abstract/publishahead/Association_of_genetic_variation_in_the_tachykinin.97898.aspx    ...

Effect Of Combined HRT On Breast Cancer Risk

A Breast Cancer Now Study finds the effect of Combined HRT on breast cancer risk is likely to have been underestimated. The effect of combined hormone replacement therapy (HRT) in increasing a woman’s risk of breast cancer is likely to have been underestimated by a number of previous studies, according to a new prospective study published in the British Journal of Cancer, highlighted on the British Menopause Society Website on 23 August 2016. Women taking combined HRT are 2.7 times more likely to develop breast cancer than non-users, with risk increasing with longer HRT use, Breast Cancer Now Generations Study finds Study comprehensively updated information about women’s HRT use and analysed accurately to allow for age at menopause Research suggests many previous investigations which did not do so may have underestimated the increased risk of breast cancer by up to 60% The new research was part of the Breast Cancer Now Generations Study – a major prospective study led by scientists at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, following more than 100,000 women for 40 years to investigate the causes of breast cancer. Some 39,000 women with a known age at menopause were identified and monitored for six years, with follow-up questionnaires gathering comprehensive data on any HRT use (type and duration) as well as their general health and lifestyle. During this time, 775 of these women developed breast cancer, with the researchers finding that women using combined HRT (for a median duration of 5.4 years) were 2.7 times more likely to develop breast cancer during the period of HRT use than women who had never used HRT. You...
What’s New About Menopause 2016?

What’s New About Menopause 2016?

  Written by Dr Karen Morton, consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist and Founder of Dr Morton’s – the medical helpline. Congratulations to the organisers of the British Menopause Society’s 26th Annual Conference at the Royal College of Physicians on Thursday and Friday 19 and 20 May 2016. Both content and organisation were excellent, and I am sure every one of the delegates: GPs, gynaecologists and Specialist nurses, will all have left London inspired to give their patients the most up to date advice and to become evangelists for optimising the health of women in their middle years and beyond. So What’s New About Menopause in 2016? What were the take-home messages? The title of the conference was ‘NICE Menopause Guideline: from publication into practice’, so clearly time was spent looking at the key messages from the 29 page NICE recommendation document which was published in the Autumn of 2015. But there were also several lectures on the periphery of what NICE looked at which gave out clear messages for change or enhancement of practice. For me the striking messages were: Women should talk about their problems and get help. Awareness of women’s needs at this time in their lives should have prominence in the workplace. More about this later. Good diet and lifestyle with regular exercise, moderate alcohol intake and not smoking are more important than anything else. OF course! Oestrogen-only HRT (only suitable for women who have had their uterus removed) causes no significant increase in breast cancer. If you have a uterus it must be protected with progestogen and after several years of taking it, this combination probably...