The Lancet analysis on using HRT to treat menopause symptoms shows the risk of ovarian cancer disappears soon after therapy ceases. Women who use HRT for five years or more do have an increased ovarian cancer risk. However, most women only need to use HRT for 2-3 years and escape the cancer risk.
Women on HRT should try and come off it every year. The main message is to consider treatment options based on the person's needs, desires, potential risks and benefits. Women need to be active participants in the discussion and decision-making.
About 70% of women are free of their symptoms in two years and about 80% escape the hot flushes, night sweats and difficulties sleeping in five years. For the remaining 20% the symptoms hang around, sometimes for up to 10 years or even longer.
The average age of onset of menopause is 51 years. Most western women will first complain about hot flushes but in Asian communities, women report muscle aches and pains. These symptoms develop due to the decline in oestrogen levels. Menopause is the time to review your general health.