You can also view these videos on the BMS YouTube Channel.

Menopause

Heather Currie, Associate Gynaecologist, NHS Dumfries & Galloway, and Trustee of the British Menopause Society answers these FAQs: What is the menopause? At what age does a woman usually go into the menopause? How is the menopause diagnosed? What are the symptoms of the menopause? How can the symptoms of the menopause be managed?

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)

Kathy Abernethy, Co-lead Menopause Services, Harrow NHS, and Trustee of the British Menopause Society answers these FAQs: What is HRT? What are the types of HRT? Which preparation should I take? Is there a difference? How long could I take it for? If a patient had a hysterectomy would her HRT intake be different? What are the side effects? What are benefits of HRT? What are the risks of HRT?

Premature ovarian insufficiency (POI)

Mike Savvas, Consultant Gynaecologist, King’s College Hospital, and Member of the British Menopause Society medical advisory council answers these FAQs: What is POI? How is POI diagnosed? What are the health implications of POI? How do patients with POI present? How is POI treated? Should I take HRT? Can I still get pregnant if I have POI? What are my fertility chances if I have POI? Is HRT contraceptive?

Bioidentical hormones

Haitham Hamoda, Consultant Gynaecologist, King’s College Hospital, and Chairman of the British Menopause Society answers these FAQs: What are bioidentical hormones? What is the difference between compounded bioidentical hormones and conventionally prescribed HRT? Are there benefits with regulated bioidentical hormones? Can I get bioidentical / body similar hormone preparations on the NHS?

Coronary heart disease (CHD)

John Stevenson, Consultant Metabolic Physician, Royal Brompton Hospital, Trustee of the British Menopause Society, and Chairman of Women’s Health Concern answers these FAQs: What is CHD? How can I reduce my risk for CHD? Does HRT affect CHD? I am at high risk for CHD, is it safe for me to take HRT? What type of HRT should I take? I have a history of high blood pressure, is it safe for me to take HRT?

Osteoporosis

John Stevenson, Consultant Metabolic Physician, Royal Brompton Hospital, Trustee of the British Menopause Society, and Chairman of Women’s Health Concern answers these FAQs: What is osteoporosis? Does the menopause effect osteoporosis / bone health? Do I need to have my bone density checked? How would that be assessed? How is osteoporosis treated? Does HRT help treat osteoporosis? What other measures can I take to improve my bone health?

Headaches, migraines and the menopause

Anne MacGregor, Specialist in Headaches & Women’s Health, Barts Health NHS Trust, and Member of the British Menopause Society medical advisory council answers these FAQs: What are migraines? What is migraine with an aura? My migraines / headaches have worsened since the menopause – is this common? Is it safe to take HRT if I have migraines / migraine with aura? What type of HRT should I take?

Practical prescribing

Lynne Robinson, Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, Birmingham Women’s Hospital, and Member of the BMS medical advisory council, answers these FAQs: What are the hormones included in HRT? What is oestrogen used for in HRT? How can oestrogen be taken? Should I take oestrogen by tablet, gel or patch? What is the difference? Do I need to take progestogen with HRT? How should I take it? Is there an advantage in taking natural (micronised) progesterone? Could the Mirena IUS be used as part of HRT?

Testosterone

Mr Nick Panay, Consultant Gynaecologist Imperial College an Chelsea and Westminster Hospitals London, and Past Chairman and Trustee, BMS, answers these FAQs: What is testosterone and what is its role in women? Is testosterone replacement effective in managing menopausal symptoms? What symptoms does it help with? Is testosterone replacement safe? How long could it be taken for? Are there side effects with testosterone replacement? How is testosterone replacement given? What are the currently available options in the UK?

Complementary and alternative therapies

Miss Joan Pitkin, Reader, Imperial College, Past Chairman, BMS, and Trustee, the Daisy Network, answers these FAQs: What are complementary & alternative therapies? Should I take these instead of HRT? Are they as effective as HRT? Are complementary & alternative therapies safe? Are complementary & alternative therapies safe to take if I have a history of breast cancer? What complementary and alternative treatments could I use for treating vaginal dryness? What is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)? Is CBT effective? What other measures could I consider (lifestyle factors / diet / exercise)?

Urogenital atrophy

Mr Tim Hillard, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Poole Hospital, and Past Chairman and Member of the BMS medical advisory council, answers these FAQs: What is urogenital atrophy? And what causes it? What are the symptoms of urogenital atrophy? How can urogenital atrophy be treated? What doses of vaginal oestrogen are usually given? How long can vaginal oestrogen treatment be continued for? Does treatment need to be monitored / is there a need for endometrial protection? Is there an increased risk of breast cancer with vaginal oestrogens? Can alternative / non hormonal options be used to treat urogenital atrophy (with / instead of vaginal oestrogen?

HRT and bleeding

Paula Briggs, Consultant in Sexual & Reproductive Health, Southport District General Hospital , and Member of the BMS medical advisory council, answers these FAQs: What are the bleeding patterns that could be expected with HRT? I am taking a cyclical HRT preparation that is giving me a monthly bleed. Can I change to a non-bleed preparation? Is bleeding in the first few months of starting HRT a cause for concern? When does this need to be investigated? What are the causes of irregular bleeding in women on HRT? What investigations need to be carried out if I have ongoing irregular bleeding on HRT? Do I need to stop HRT or change how I take it if I have irregular bleeding on HRT?

HRT and the risk of breast cancer

Jo Marsden, Consultant Breast Surgeon, and Member of the BMS medical advisory council, answers these FAQs: What is the risk of breast cancer with HRT? Is there a difference in the risk of breast cancer with oestrogen only HRT (in women who had a hysterectomy) compared to that with combined oestrogen progestogen HRT? How does the risk of breast with HRT compare to the risk of breast cancer with other lifestyle factors such as alcohol intake and obesity? Should I reduce the dose of my HRT intake to lower my risk of breast cancer with HRT? I went into the menopause in my early 40s. My doctor recommended I take HRT but I concerned about the risks. Will HRT increase my risk of breast cancer? Does vaginal oestrogen intake increase the risk of breast cancer?

HRT and breast cancer: overall risks and benefits

Michael Baum, Professor Emeritus of Surgery and visiting Professor of Medical Humanities, University College London, answers these FAQs: What percentage of women get breast cancer? I went through the menopause last year and have been troubled with ongoing menopausal symptoms since. Would it be safe for me to take HRT? I have a family history of breast cancer, is it safe for me to take HRT? I have been taking HRT for 5 years and it’s controlling my symptoms well. Could I continue taking it? Should I stop because of the risk of breast cancer with HRT? I went into premature menopause in my 30s and have been on HRT for the last 5 years. Should I stop HRT now because of the risk of breast cancer? I have a family history of genetic cancer and my mother had breast cancer. I carry the (BRCA) gene mutation and went into an early menopause after my ovaries were removed. Is it safe for me to take HRT?