Benefits and Risk of HRT

I believe management of menopausal symptoms should be a choice based on evidence.

Some women cant or choose to not take HRT. Seeing a someone close suffer from breast cancer may be enough disuade a woman they want NO increased risk at all. That is perfectly justfied.

I wanted to summarise what we currently know in terms of the the benefits and small risks with modern HRT.

Starting HRT in the peri-menopause or soon after the menopause offers many health advantages. These include protection from osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, stroke and metabolic conditions. It also cures the distressing menopausal symptoms.

HRT has also been shown to reduce overall death.

Breast cancer is what is often the biggest concern for women.


At the moment we think there is a very small increased risk of breast cancer when taking combined oestrogen and progesterone.

The increased risk is the same as the increased risk from drinking a glass of wine a night.

It is similar to taking the combined oral contraceptive pill.

The risk increase is equivalent to the risk decrease if you exercise for two and a half hours a week.

Obesity is the biggest risk factor and increases the risk 6 fold.


Also, there is no increased risk of dying from breast cancer when taking HRT.

I hope this goes a little way to explain the safety and benefits of HRT as we understand it today.

Dr Naomi Potter

GP & Specialist Doctor

in Menopause Care

The Groves Medical Centre


171 Clarence Avenue,

New Malden,



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The content of this website is intended for information only and should not replace the advice of your own doctor.


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