August 25, 2008

Libido Boost From HRT


Post-menopausal women can get a libido boost by taking hormone replacement therapy (HRT), new research has found.

Researchers involved in one the world's largest and longest running trials of HRT found post-menopausal women had higher sex drives, less joint pain and less sleeplessness.

The research, published yesterday in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), involved more than 2000 women in Britain, Australia and New Zealand, including women from Canterbury.

HRT is a controversial drug with studies, including two published in The Lancet magazine last year, linking it to an increased risk of ovarian cancer.

One of the authors of the latest HRT research, Dr Beverley Lawton, director of the University of Otago's Women's Health Research Centre, said her study showed the benefits of taking HRT outweighed the drawbacks.

"Quality of life measures improved. Even when women did not have hot flushes and were well past menopause, there was a small but measurable improvement in quality of life and a noted improvement in sleep, sexuality and joint pains. HRT users also had more breast tenderness and discharge compared to those on a placebo," she said.

"For most women with significant menopause symptoms, the benefits outweigh the risks. The latest analyses of the main, long-term, randomised control trial of HRT show breast cancer is not increased by oestrogen-only HRT and is only increased in women using combined oestrogen and progestogen HRT after seven years of use. This risk is less than 0.1 per cent per year of use."

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