Stopping hormone replacement therapy: Were women ill advised?

Grant P. Cumming, Heather D. Currie*, Nick Panay, Rik Moncur, Amanda J. Lee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Objective. To survey women who stopped hormone replacement therapy (HRT) after 2002, including those who later restarted. Study design. A questionnaire on the UK-based menopause website evaluating how women are influenced by HRT advice. Main outcome measures. Answers to questions regarding stopping/restarting HRT in response to the advice in the early 2000s and advice given today. Results. A total of 1100 responses were obtained. Of those who made the decision to stop HRT themselves, 56.4% (n = 425/754) said that they were influenced by the media. In those who would potentially most benefit from HRT, 72.8% (n = 220/302) stopped without medical advice. Overall, women aged under 50 years were significantly more likely to stop HRT themselves than women over 50 (P < 0.001). In women in whom symptoms returned, 37.5% (n = 362/966) said these affected their ability to work, 45.1% (n = 436) had problems with decision-making, 53.6% (n = 518) admitted to relationships being negatively affected and 29.2% (n = 286) said that symptoms affected their social relationships. Overall 46.5% of women (n = 485/1044) would not have stopped HRT given the current understanding of risk. Compared with women over 50, significantly more women under the age of 50 said that they would not have previously stopped their HRT based on their current understanding of risk (P < 0.001). Conclusions. The negative impact of published research and its reporting from the early 2000s are being mitigated by current press coverage. Media reports appear to influence the younger woman more than the older woman. Health professionals and media must learn the lessons from the past.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)82-87
Number of pages6
JournalMenopause International
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2011


  • Advice
  • HRT
  • Internet
  • Menopause
  • Survey


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