Women may experience various symptoms around the menopause (the perimenopause or climacteric) and later, or after hysterectomy particularly if the ovaries have also been removed. The gradual cessation of ovarian function is accompanied by a rise in gonadotrophic and a fall in ovarian hormones. The commonest symptom, hot flushes, occurs in about 75% of such women.1 Most symptoms are mild and relatively short-lived but some are severe and incapacitating. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) aims to replace the deficiency in endogenous hormones with exogenous oestrogen. This article looks at its role in preventing or alleviating menopausal symptoms.
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