Saturday, January 24, 2009

MDs give OK to hormone therapy

With unprecedented numbers of Canadian women about to enter menopause, Canadian doctors are telling women it's safe to go back on hormones.

An expert panel convened by the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada has concluded that no treatment is as effective as hormone therapy for hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause.

The group says an "extensive" review of new data -- along with a re-analysis of a massive study that led women to abandon hormones in droves seven years ago -- shows hormones are a safe option for moderate to severe symptoms, if started early and used over the short term.

A woman holds her HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) patches. Canadian doctors are telling women it's safe to go back on hormones.

The group is recommending using the lowest effective dose. And while there is no fixed timeline, they suggest taking it for "four to five years is a good starting point," said Dr. Robert Reid, lead author of the updated guidelines and chairman of the division of reproductive endocrinology and infertility at Queen's University.

"A lot of women were told point-blank, 'Stop your hormones. Suck it up.' And they're in my office with terrible hot flashes and irritability and depression and other mood things, and they're saying, 'My doctor won't prescribe (hormones) for me,' " Dr. Reid said. "What we're trying to do is ensure people who have symptoms that may benefit aren't afraid to put (hormones) on the list of options." ...more

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