Objective: To quantify compliance with using estrogen-only hormone replacement therapy (HRT) up until the time of mean age of natural menopause in women undergoing either bilateral oophorectomy or removal of one remaining ovary at the time of hysterectomy for benign disease.
Design: Prospective study. Annual questionnaire follow-up for ten years of women undergoing hysterectomy and bilateral oophorectomy for benign disease aged 46 or less at the time of surgery.
Setting: Gloucestershire Royal Hospital.
Participants: Five hundred and twenty-one women recruited over a four-year period from 1994 to 1997.
Main outcome measures: Compliance with HRT use, changes in HRT preparations and reasons for discontinuation.
Results: The median age of women at the time of hysterectomy was 42 (range 22-46) years; 4.9% (n = 24) stopped HRT within the first two years and 16.5% (n = 86) by the end of the study. The majority of women were prescribed HRT tablets (253, 48%) and the next most common being patches. In total, there were 1271 episodes of changing HRT, with the range between 0 and 18 changes per woman over the ten-year period. In all, 32% of changes were to a different route of HRT, 19% were to a different preparation of the same route, 18% were to an increased dose of the same preparation and 7% were to a decreased dose of the same preparation.
Conclusions: Compliance with HRT use was high throughout the study, although responses decreased after five years. Change to HRT preparations was consistently high across all preparations. Women requiring HRT after surgical menopause need to be supported in finding the right preparation for them.