The statement focuses on considerations for hormone replacement therapy, with evidence and recommendations on the benefit/risk profile of different options

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The British Menopause Society (BMS), Royal College of Gynaecologists (RCOG), and Society for Endocrinology (SfE) have published a joint position statement on best practice recommendations for the care of women experiencing the menopause. Their aim in producing the statement is to ‘provide evidence-based recommendations on best practice in line with current national and international guidelines and recommendations’.

The primary focus of the statement is hormone replacement therapy (HRT), particularly the benefits and risks associated with different treatments. Included are recommendations relating to the relative benefits and risks of oestrogen-only HRT, combined HRT, systemic HRT, progestogen, vaginal oestrogen, testosterone supplementation, and transdermal versus oral administrations of oestradiol. 

The BMS, RCOG, and SfE’s statement emphasises: ‘The decision whether to take HRT, the dose, and the duration of its use, should be made on an individualised basis after discussing the benefits and risks with each patient. This should be considered in the context of the overall benefits obtained from using HRT, including symptom control and improving quality of life, as well as considering the bone and cardiovascular benefits associated with HRT use.’

This new statement comes in light of a recent study in The Lancet highlighting that there may be a greater risk of breast cancer associated with HRT than was previously thought. The evidence has prompted NICE to consider updating its menopause guidance.

Also included in the statement are recommendations relating to giving advice to women, helping women to maintain a healthy lifestyle, and offering alternative therapies (including cognitive behavioural therapy).

The statement concludes: ‘Women experience the menopause in different ways. While some women experience minimal or no symptoms going through the menopause, many women experience menopausal symptoms that can significantly impact their quality of life. There should be an individualised approach in assessing women going through the menopause, with particular reference to lifestyle advice [and] diet modification as well as discussing the role of interventions including HRT. Women should be aware that help and support is available to them and should consult their GP for advice.’

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