The global increase in life expectancy to 74 years for women, while the median age of the menopause remains at 51 years, means that an increasing number of women will live a significant portion of their adult lives in the menopause. The WHI publications in 2003/4 reported on the dangers of hormone replacement therapy, in particular with respect to breast cancer and dementia risk. This resulted in a dramatic reduction in hormone replacement therapy prescription and use. However, the findings from the WHI studies have been re-appraised, and the new perspective is reflected in the guidance published by NICE in 2015 in which they recommended that more women be offered hormone replacement therapy as the benefits are now perceived to outweigh the risks for most women. However, controversy continues to surround hormone replacement therapy, and there are probably few areas in medicine where the misuse of terminology causes quite as much confusion as in hormone replacement therapy. Commonly used terms such as ‘menopausal hormone therapy’ and ‘hormone replacement therapy’ lack specificity and there is an urgent need for correct terminology to accurately describe the hormones replaced.

References

PubMed