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Dr Potter has had great success with her new book on the menopause called ‘Menopausing’ which she co-wrote with one of Britain’s best loved TV presenters, Davina McCall. The book has only been out for a couple of weeks and has already reached no. 1 on the Sunday Times Best Sellers list.

Dr Potter is helping women through menopause with education on HRT

You can find more about her private practice in Kingston upon Thames in her earlier post written just for Darling readers.

Choosing how to manage menopausal symptoms is a very personal decision and the management options available will depend on a woman’s personal preference, past medical history and family history.  Whether or not she opts for the hormonal route should be an informed choice.

Menopausing – Davina McCall with Dr Naomi Potter talks about the benefits of HRT

HRT has had much bad press over the past two decades, and I aim to clarify the true risks according to the latest evidence.  The studies that spawned the HRT backlash some years ago were flawed in their choice of subjects and interpretation of results so should not be used now as a guide to risk. More recent studies have shown HRT to be far safer and actually beneficial in many users.

HRT when started in the perimenopause and menopause has been shown to offer a number of health advantages.  It protects against osteoporosis, a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in post-menopausal women. It lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease  and stroke and there is emerging evidence it may be protective of brain health. It can helps maintain muscle mass and improves metabolic disorders such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol. It has also been shown to reduce the risk of some other cancers including bowel cancer.

The risk of breast cancer is a concern for most women. At the moment we understand there to be a small increased risk of breast cancer when oestrogen is taken in combination with progesterone. This increased risk is the equivalent to drinking a glass of wine every evening and similar to the increased risk by taking the combined oral contraceptive pill.

The risk increase is equivalent to the risk decrease if a woman exercised for 2 and a half hours per week.

Being obese increases the risk of breast cancer by six fold.

Another important message is that there is no increased risk of dying from breast cancer if you take HRT. 


As well as HRT, there are a number of lifestyle factors that influence menopause symptoms.

Increasing exercise is the number one positive lifestyle change we can make. It has so many proven benefits. Menopause can cause weight gain and in turn a worsening of symptoms. Exercise can reduce that by resulting in weight loss, fat reduction and improving muscle bulk and strength. The endorphin ‘feel good’ hormone is released after exercise which helps improve mood, decrease stress and anxiety and improve sleep quality and quantity, all of which are worsened at the menopause.

Exercise reduces cancer of risk. It reduces breast cancer and can negate the small increased risk that taking HRT causes, but also reduces the risk of many other cancers. It is excellent for metabolic health it lowers blood pressure, cholesterol and improves sugar control. 

Menopause causes bone thinning and impact exercise has been shown to reduce this by strengthening bones, muscles and joint stability.

Alcohol can feel like a good idea when the symptoms of menopause include anxiety and insomnia. However, relying on alcohol to treat these symptoms can actually make them worse and should be reduced or avoided.


It is very important that women have access to their HRT as a necessary medication if they take it. Please do ask your GP for repeat prescriptions and you should be granted them. At Menopause Care, we use a pharmacy that arranges for next day delivery of HRT. We have used video consultations very successfully since Covid but I’m delighted to say that we have recently opened two local face to face clinics. As well as one in Sheffield, we have one in Wimbledon Town Centre near Ely’s and the other in Barnes on White Hart Lane. Prescriptions and blood tests can be arranged for women across the UK you can continue to benefit from the menopause care they need.

Dr Naomi Potter Founder of Menopause Care, the UK’s largest clinic of British Menopause Society Accredited Doctors. They see women from around the UK via online consultation and also in face to face appointments in Wimbledon, Barnes and Sheffield.

Facebook: @menopausecare

Office:              Info@menopausecare.co.uk

Instagram:       @drmenopausecare


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