This activity aims to provide a practical guideline for initiating hormone replacement therapy (HRT) / menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) in menopausal women. It covers the following points:
• Contraindications to HRT/MHT
• Factors to consider prior to prescribing HRT/MHT
• Suitability of treatment options, including oestrogen only vs oestrogen and progestogen, systemic HRT/MRT vs vaginal oestrogen, continuous combined HRT/MHT vs sequential HRT/MHT and oral vs transdermal
• Dosages of HRT/MHT
• Potential side effects of HRT/MHT
This activity aims to assist GPs and health professionals to care for menopausal women effectively and confidently.
Relevance to General Practice
Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) or menopausal hormone therapy (MHT), is a medical treatment commonly prescribed to menopausal women. HRT/MHT can provide highly effective relief for symptoms such as hot flushes, mood swings, insomnia, joint aches and vaginal dryness . HRT/MHT has also been proven to reduce the risk of various chronic conditions that may affect postmenopausal women, including diabetes, osteoporosis and bowel cancer.
Despite the benefits of HRT/MHT treatment, there remains some reluctance to prescribe HRT in general practice. The prescription and usage of HRT/MHT declined significantly from 2002 to 2006, following the release of the US-based study ‘Women’s Health Initiative (WHI)’. There remains a critical need to assist general practitioners and health professionals in navigating HRT/MHT prescription. There is great potential for HRT to positively impact upon the health, wellbeing and quality of life of menopausal women in Australia.
- Identify contraindications to HRT/MHT, with particular attention to breast cancer risk and venous thrombo-embolic event (VTE) risk
- Discuss treatment options for HRT/MHT
- Outline correct dosages and potential side effects of HRT/MHT
- Discuss the cessation of HRT/MHT and non-hormonal treatment options
- Domains of General Practice
D1. Communication skills and the patient-doctor relationship
D2. Applied professional knowledge and skills
Diagnosis and management is evidence-based and relevant to the needs of the patient
D3. Population health and the context of general practice
D4. Professional and ethical role
Duty of care is maintained
D5. Organisational and legal dimensionsCurriculum Contextual Units
- Women's health