News & Research

Keep up to date with all the current news and research surrounding menopause and women’s health issues.

Cardiovascular death risk after stopping HRT

A study from Finland following 332,202 women who stopped taking HRT between 1994 and 2009, reported an increase in mortality rate from cardiac death or stroke compared both to the baseline population and to women who continued taking HRT. There did appear to be an age effect with an increase in mortality shown if HRT stopped under age 60, but no increase if HRT stopped after age 60. This study adds to the increasing evidence that use of HRT up to the age of 60 provides many benefits and may be harmful to stop too early. Sources: News and Press Releases: Cardiovascular death risk after stopping HRT. Retrieved on 11 May 2016. Retrieved from Ref Mikkola TS, Tuomikoski P, Lyytinen H, et al. Increased cardiovascular mortality risk in women discontinuing postmenopausal hormone therapy. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2015;100:4588-94      ...

Bone loss after stopping HRT

A 15 year follow up study from Finland has confirmed previous knowledge that that women who stop HRT experience loss of bone mineral density and increased risk of wrist fracture but has also shown that the longer that HRT has been taken, the less is the bone loss and less is risk of wrist fracture. Having taken HRT for only 5 years or less did not make any long term difference but HRT use for 10 years or more provided most benefit. Sources: News and Press Releases: Bone loss after stopping HRT. Retrieved on 11 May 2016. Retrieved from Ref Bone loss and wrist fractures after withdrawal of hormone therapy: The 15 year follow-up of the OSTPRE cohort. Saarelainen J et al. Maturitas 2016;85:49-55    ...

NICE Issues First Guideline on Menopause

November 2015, NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) UK, issued their first guideline on menopause to stop women suffering in silence. More than a million women could benefit from the first NICE clinical guideline on diagnosing and managing menopause. I receive many emails from women whose main gripe is that their doctor is dismissive of their menopause symptoms and that discussions about HRT very much depends upon which doctor they are talking to. Hopefully the new guideline will improve the doctor/patient relationship on the subject of menopause for the future. NICE has published wide-ranging recommendations for the NHS on the support, information and treatments needed to address the often debilitating symptoms of menopause. The guideline covers determining if menopause has started, prescribed and non-prescription treatment options that help with the physical and psychological symptoms of menopause and provides clarity on the benefits and risks associated with taking HRT (hormone replacement therapy). The guideline also focuses on the often overlooked needs of women experiencing premature menopause (under the age of 40) and women who have a surgically induced menopause either as a result of treatment for hormone-dependent cancer or gynaecological conditions. HRT and Breast Cancer The guideline also includes a section on breast cancer as part of the section on the long-term benefits and risks of HRT. There has been a great deal written in the media about HRT and breast cancer risk, unfortunately, much of it has been incorrect and alarmist. NICE are reporting risk as absolute figures rather than percentage of relative risk i.e. a risk referred to as ‘doubled’ or ‘100% increase’ sounds much more...

Free Ovarian Cancer Symptom Diary App

Target Ovarian have launched a Free Ovarian Cancer Symptom Diary App. Women who are concerned about ovarian cancer are now able to record their symptoms on a Symptoms Diary App which is intended to help reach an earlier diagnosis. Dr Sharon Tate, Head of Primary Care Development for Target Ovarian Cancer, said “We hear too many stories of women who have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer too late after showing symptoms and visiting their GP numerous times. The Symptoms Diary is an easy way for women to accurately record their symptoms and help them communicate what is happening with their body with their doctors.” According to Target Ovarian only three percent of women are very confident at spotting a symptom of ovarian cancer. Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer Include: Feeling bloated Needing to wee more Tummy pain Always feeling full Three quarters of women are diagnosed once the cancer has already spread. If diagnosed at the earliest stage up to 90% of women would survive five years or more. For more information visit the Target Ovarian Cancer Website. Sources:-

Menopause Does Not Affect Sleeping Patterns

According to research carried out at the University of Pennsylvania, US, menopause does not affect sleeping patterns. The study was led by Ellen W Freeman, a research professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the Perelman School of Medicine. The findings were that sleeping patterns did not seem to be affected by the onset of menopause. However, the study showed that women in their late 30s and 40s who already had sleeping problems noted that this was made worse during menopause. Only 25% of women involved in the study developed slight sleeping problems during a 16 year period around menopause (not an insignificant number in my opinion!). Obviously, studies can only give a snapshot of those women taking part in the study. They may have been women who do not suffer from night sweats, restless leg syndrome, anxiety and other menopause symptoms that are very likely to cause women’s sleeping patterns to change. Ms Freeman said “Sleep problems are a major issue for women approaching mid-life, particularly for women who have moderate or severe sleeping problems before reaching menopause as they are likely to experience increased issues throughout the transition.” Related Articles Menopause Insomnia Imagecourtesyof/

Researchers Find Evidence of Longer Menopause Symptoms

I was pleased to read the findings of a 17 year study carried out in Miami which concluded that symptoms from menopause can last considerably longer than previously believed. From the informal interviews I carried out prior to starting the Menopause Health Matters website, many of my interviewees and indeed family members and friends have reported that they are still experiencing menopause symptoms, mostly hot flushes and night sweats for at least 10 years post menopause and in some cases longer. The 17-year study included more than 1,400 women from a variety of racial and geographic groups. It found that symptoms from menopause could last considerably longer than previous believed. Gynecologist Dr. Elizabeth Etkin-Kramer said menopause can last an average of four years longer. “Previous studies suggested that hot flashes and menopausal symptoms would last around three years after the last period, but this study suggests they last longer, up to on average seven years,” she said. Research from the study also suggests that some women of color experience symptoms of menopause longer: African-American and Hispanic women are more likely to have longer menopausal symptoms. “In some women it can last up to 14 years,” Etkin-Kramer said. Related Articles Menopause Facts Imagecourtestyof/

Menopause Symptoms Could be an Early Warning Sign for Bone Deterioration

Hot flushes and night sweats during the menopause can be a clue to your risk of bone deterioration. A study carried out by the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles looked at data from almost 24,000 older women over a period of eight years. Dr Carolyn Cradell said ‘Our findings suggest women who exhibit moderate to severe menopause symptoms are more likely to have issues with bone health than their peers’. Therefore, menopause symptoms could be an early warning sign for bone deterioration. This is the first large cohort study to examine the relationship between menopausal symptoms and bone health in menopausal women.’ The prospective study examined data from 23,573 participants in the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) Clinical Trial, who were aged between 50 and 79. Related Articles Osteoporosis and...

NAMS Announces New Menopause App

NAMS announces new menopause app. The North American Menopause Society (NAMS) has launched a free iPhone/iPad App  to help women work more closely with their doctors. MenoPro guides users through treatment decisions for a variety of symptoms, including hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal dryness. Furthermore the app considers your personal preferences, such as your choice between hormonal vs non-hormonal options. This is a major step forward in the relationship between women and their doctors regarding menopause. Related Articles 34 menopause...
Page Last Updated on February 6, 2017