The risks of taking HRT

Venous Thrombo-embolism (VTE) – The risk is greater when taking oral HRT than transdermal preparations.

If a woman is on transdermal HRT the risk of VTE is only the same as the baseline risk for those not on HRT.

The risk of Coronary Heart Disease and Stroke depends on the existence of CHD already.

HRT with oestrogen alone is associated with no or reduced risk of CHD.

HRT with oestrogen and progesterone is associated with little or no risk of CHD.

The baseline risk of stroke in women younger than 60 years is very low. Oral oestrogen is associated with a small increase in this risk.

HRT does not increase CVD risk when started in women younger than 60 years old.

HRT is not associated with an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. It may have been a coincidence that she developed diabetes whilst on HRT – it is likely that she would have developed diabetes whether on HRT or not.

Breast Cancer – the facts

  • The baseline risk of breast cancer for women around menopausal age in the UK varies from one woman to another
  • HRT with oestrogen alone is associated with little or no increase of the risk of breast cancer
  • HRT with oestrogen and progesterone can be associated with an increase in the risk of breast cancer
  • Any increase in risk of breast cancer reduces after stopping HRT
  • HRT does not affect the risk of dying from breast cancer