For many women, the menopause represents a watershed moment. As the biggest change that the reproductive system goes through since the start of regular monthly menstruation, it can be seen as the beginning of a journey towards a new phase of life, and one in which periods become a thing of the past.
The lead-up to the menopause, otherwise known as the perimenopause, and the menopause itself can, however, leave many women at the mercy of a long list of distressing and uncomfortable symptoms, including hot flushes, rapid mood changes, sleep problems and issues with memory and concentration. This is due to falling levels of oestrogen and progesterone – the two hormones responsible for the maintenance of the menstrual cycle. And it’s for this reason that many women benefit from the effects of hormone replacement therapy, or HRT.
What is HRT?
HRT is a treatment designed to help the body cope with the loss of oestrogen that comes with the menopause. As every woman is different, the form of treatment can vary and feature oestrogen or a combination of oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone. The general consensus is that this type of therapy can be highly effective in bringing these often tiring and demoralising symptoms under control, allowing women going through the menopause to return to a more normal and less stressful way of living.
The downsides of HRT
As with many treatments, there are a number of possible downsides to HRT. These unfortunate side effects include things such as nausea, cramping, headaches, acne and depression. It is also not uncommon for patients taking HRT to experience vaginal bleeding on occasion or on a more regular basis. This depends on the form of HRT being used, with light bleeding an often anticipated side effect of this form of treatment. Unless you have been advised otherwise, regular or heavy bleeding on HRT could be a sign that you need to stop taking this or an indication of something else entirely. For certainly, it’s advisable to seek out the services of an advanced gynaecologist.
An experienced gynaecologist
Mr Francis Gardner is a gynaecology specialist with over 25 years of experience in his field. As a sensitive and celebrated professional, he has an unparalleled knowledge of a wide range of gynaecological issues. If you’re on HRT and have been experiencing unexpected and heavy periods of bleeding, you can put your mind at ease by books a consultation or One Stop See and Treat with Mr Gardner by getting in touch today.
Although largely used by women in the midst of the menopause, doctors can also prescribe HRT as a birth control mechanism.
No. This is dependent on the form of HRT you are on, and there is evidence to suggest that HRT that contains progesterone is more likely to result in vaginal bleeding whilst going through the menopause. In these cases, patients should be told to expect light bleeding. Heavy bleeding may be an indication of a further problem, so it’s important to get this checked out as soon as you can.
Yes. In some cases, HRT is not responsible for vaginal bleeding that takes place during the menopause. This could be due to infection, the presence of non-cancerous growths known as polyps in the cervix and womb lining or a more serious condition such as endometrial cancer.
Following a careful consultation, it may be suggested that your dosage of HRT is reduced. It may necessary to substitute your current form of HRT for an alternative one.