WHAT’S HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY?
Dr Choo Wan Ling, consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at Choo Wan Ling Clinic for Women, pointed out that menopause is a “normal phase of life, nothing unusual”.
As such, it’s not a disease that needs to be treated or fixed. Medication then, is seen as an attractive option, though not a necessary one, in order to maintain a woman’s quality of life over a longer lifespan.
When it comes to medication, hormone replacement therapy (HRT), which has been used for several decades, remains the gold standard. And with continued research, HRT has become more patient-friendly, delivering good results and with the least side effects, Dr Agarwal said.
Most women would be given a combination of two hormones – oestrogen and progesterone.
The latter serves to “protect the uterus from endometrial cancer,” she explained, even though it’s often responsible for many HRT side effects, such as acne and depression, that women experience.
Women who have had a hysterectomy – surgery to remove the uterus – are prescribed oestrogen-only HRT, said Dr Randhawa, and it’s a safe option for women under 50.