All women should have free access to hormone replacement therapy (HRT), argues Dr Zoe Williams
The Government recently agreed to cut the costs for HRT for women going through the menopause in England, but Dr Zoe argues we still have a long way to go. Women struggle with serious and debilitating side effects as a result of their hormones fluctuating and changing, and HRT can help.
Dr Zoe states that as the contraceptive pill is free for younger users, HRT should also be paid for on the NHS. Even with the new Government subsidies, the additional fees for life-changing treatment can be extremely costly. Anyone who isn’t financially secure likely can’t afford these expensive medications, often going without their prescribed treatment.
According to Dr Zoe, it’s simply not fair that women with treatable symptoms are being short-changed out of a proven treatment that could vastly improve their quality of life.
HRT helps replace a woman’s natural hormones as she moves through perimenopause and reaches the menopause
While some women don’t experience many symptoms during this change, they’re in the minority. Many others experience a wide array of disruptive symptoms, including hot flushes, mood swings, depression, anxiety, vaginal dryness, dry hair and skin, and brittle bones.
While Dr Zoe lauds the government for making HRT meds cheaper for patients, she calls on them to make the pills complement free. She argues, “we women spend around ten years of our lives on our periods, and that’s expensive. The oral contraceptive Pill is at least free on the NHS, and it should absolutely be the same for HRT.”
“Every woman faces the menopause whether she likes it or not. So why should we have to pay for it? It’s a huge step to make it cheaper for women, but the Government should go further and make it totally free.”
While HRT used to be correlated with higher risks of cancer, the treatments are far safer today
Although many doctors are still reluctant to prescribe the treatment. Dr Zoe encourages all women to feel more empowered when it comes to their care.
“It is a woman’s decision, so if you want to take HRT, then you have every right to ask your GP for it. First and foremost, don’t suffer in silence. If you feel like your GP isn’t listening or isn’t being helpful, get a second opinion.”
You can start by booking an appointment with your a nurse at your doctor’s surgery
They are often very knowledgeable about HRT, and they can have the GP prescribe what you need (some can prescribe it themselves).
You don’t need to suffer in silence! HRT can help you feel like yourself again. Every woman should have access to this treatment.
Are you dealing with menopause symptoms? Have you tried HRT, or would you like to? Tell us about your personal experiences dealing with doctors and costs, and if this treatment helped you feel better.