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A column in a popular UK tabloid today, states that according to a new survey 'HRT could cut the risk of heart disease and an early death' - 'as long as they start in their 50s' according to researchers. Well, that's good news for us all isn't it. It's about time those of us on HRT or thinking of taking it, heard some positive news on this subject. 'Data from 40,000 patients found that those taking the drugs from this age were less likely to die prematurely from any cause and the threat of heart attack was halved'.
I began taking HRT around 20yrs ago when I was fifty and despite all the various scare stories that have been published over the years, I always refused to accept doctors nagging me to stop. My one time head of practice GP, many years ago said to me 'It's all about now!' 'If HRT makes you feel better, takes away all those horrible symptoms, and you have no side effects from the drug, then I'm happy to prescribe it for you'. 'You know the risks and you accept the risks'. Those were my sentiments at that time and still are now. So, here I am at the age of 70 and various GPs later, still taking HRT (Livial) and feeling fantastic. I am still having an active sex life, with a new husband 8 years my junior - my first husband having sadly died - so things can't be so bad, aye? We all have to die of something so if I get cancer eventually (although I hope not) or something else which turns out to be fatal say, in ten years time - well at least I can look back and say what a blooming good life I've had. I still have all the regular health checks so if anything shows up, it gets picked up quickly. This report gives out figures for the risk of blood clots etc as usual, but this is only a slight increase. Yes there are risks of course. We know all about them; we are intelligent women and we are aware of those. However, we are also capable of weighing up the positive advantages with the ones not so advantageous. Most of these women the report says, took HRT for between three to 10 years - but why did they have to stop??
I won't go through the whole of this new survey here; I'm sure you can find it online, but the way I see the whole subject of HRT is all to do with our 'quality of life' as well as that of our families and our partners. If we are happy - then they are happy. It is all to do with how we feel NOW and not what 'might' or might not happen to us in the future. If more women were allowed to take HRT or were allowed by their GPs to take HRT longer, then I'm sure they would see less of us taking up seats in their waiting rooms. I know before I took HRT I had terrible aches and pains, depression, thrush, cystitis etc the usual things but the thought of going back to sweats and absent mindedness, lack of confidence, the weeping etc which all filled me with doom and gloom - no thank you! I did by the way try to come off my tablets - twice - but within a short time the menopausal symptoms came flooding back with avengance.
I hope more of you ladies demand to stay on HRT longer if you want to, it is your choice - not your GPs - and as long as you are aware of the risks, there is no reason why they should refuse to prescribe or bully you into stopping.
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