Blood clots, known as Deep Vein Thrombosis, (DVT) are jelly-like lumps that form in veins from components of blood. They travel through the bloodstream causing blockages and pieces of the clot can break away, (embolus) which can travel to other parts of the body and lead to serious, sometimes life-threatening conditions.
DVTs are rare in younger people but the risk increases with age. Other causes are inactivity, especially after surgery or extended bed rest, being overweight/obese, smoking, previous history of clots, pregnancy, hormonal contraception, certain inflammatory conditions like inflammatory bowel disease.
What's the risk of blood clots in menopause?
In menopause, the concern of many individuals is if there is an increased risk of developing a DVT if they take hormone replacement therapy, (HRT). It is believed the general risk of DVT in healthy, menopausal-age individuals is approximately 6 in 10,000 individuals, if the individual takes oral HRT the risk increases to 12 in 10,000. The National Institute for Clinical Excellence, (NICE) guidelines state this may be increased if the individual is taking additional Progesterone for endometrial protection.
However, The British Menopause Society and NICE agree there appears to be no increased risk with transdermal HRT like patches, gels and sprays. Therefore, individuals at higher risk of DVT should be prescribed transdermal HRT.
If the individual must take Progesterone the most effective form is micronised Progesterone, which is derived from yams and is more closely related to natural Progesterone than the older, chemical version. This reduces the risk of DVT which was indicated with the previous form.
It is essential every individual is given a holistic, individualised assessment to ensure the correct treatment is prescribed and the risk of additional issues are reduced especially if there is an underlying risk factor for DVTs. The most appropriate medication combined with lifestyle changes can help the individual through the menopause transition improving quality of life and reducing possible problems before they arise.
If you want to discuss this or any other menopause issue, book a 1-1 with a menopause expert at myTamarin via your company-specific link or on the app.
NHS, (2021) Blood Clots. www.nhs.uk
The Menopause Charity, (2023) Menopause and Clots. www.themenopausecharity.org
Australasian Menopause Society, (2018) Venous Thrombosis/Thromboembolism Risk and Menopausal Treatment. www.menopause.org.au
National Institute Clinical Excellence, (2015) Menopause: Diagnosis and Management. www.nice.org.uk
British Menopause Society, (2020) HRT – Guide. www.thebms.org.uk
Understanding what your female colleagues could be going through during menopause is a simple, yet impactful first step in supporting them through it.Read post