Press Release

World Menopause Day – comment from Prof Maureen Baker

18 October 2022

Women in perimenopause are missing out on HRT

  • NHS figures show an extra 450,000 women were prescribed HRT in 2021 but demand continues to outweigh supply

  • Many women dealing with symptoms may be misdiagnosed with depression, arthritis or, heart disease when their symptoms are those of perimenopause and there’s confusion over when HRT should be prescribed

  • The Smart Symptom Checker and tracking app from Healthily could help women by providing information before they go to their doctor

  • Today Healthily have launched the menopause guide with over 50 pieces of medically-verified content including symptoms, lifesytle and real-life stories

“The rise in demand for HRT in the past year has shown there was lots of unmet need amongst perimenopausal and menopausal women. Around 13 million women in the UK – almost one-third of UK adult women – are currently estimated to be either perimenopausal or menopausal, so there are potentially many more women who could benefit from HRT if they have symptoms,” says Professor Maureen Baker, Chief Medical Officer at Healthily.

“Many of them might not realise their symptoms are connected to menopause – either because they think they are too young for it or they don’t realise that the less well-known symptoms such as joint pain and heart palpitations are linked to menopause.

“The average age of menopause (when a woman runs out of eggs) is 51 – it can be younger and premature menopause happens to women under 40 for one in 100 women. However, women can experience symptoms up to eight years before their last period as hormone levels decline. And there continues to be confusion over menopause, and perimenopause symptoms – and when HRT should be prescribed,” she adds.

HRT prescriptions rose by 35% last year in England, following high-profile awareness campaigns, to 7.80 million prescriptions a year. 1.36 million women were prescribed at least 1 female sex hormone in 2021/22, a 38% increase from the previous year.

A female hormone deficiency

This week The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Menopause called for a menopause check-up for women when they turn 45. Dr, Louise Newson, a menopause specialist has suggested that we rebrand menopause as a female hormone deficiency. Prof Baker goes on to say:

“As hormones – oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone – decline there can be increased risk of conditions such as heart disease, osteoporosis and dementia.

“As with most medications, there are risks as well as benefits with HRT – as we explain in our article on HRT. For many women, the benefits do outweigh any risks.

Menopause symptoms

“Brain fog, irregular periods, mood swings, anxiety, hot flushes, and vaginal dryness are common in perimenopause and menopause. And there are lots of surprising symptoms, including joint pain, heart palpitations, formication (sensation of bugs crawling under the skin), and rage.

“Symptoms can last for decades and are often confused by both the doctor and the patient as something else like depression, long COVID, or arthritis. HRT should be recommended routinely to those perimenopausal and menopausal women who have symptoms,” says Prof Baker.

Take control of your symptoms: check and track

“Add your symptoms to our Smart Symptom Checker and you can start to build a clearer picture of where you are and whether the deficiency of hormones is affecting you,” says Prof Baker. “You will get a report that you can share with your GP – as well as recommended next steps for self-care,” she adds.

As well as the Smart Symptom Checker, women can use the Healthily app to track their symptoms and identify any patterns, which again will help when it comes to that precious time with your GP.


  • If you would like to interview Prof Baker to discuss any area of women’s health please contact our press team:
  • Healthily™, the world's first medically verified self-care website and the app is brimming with articles and guides reviewed by an internal panel of doctors, with an award-winning and user-friendly Smart Symptom Checker. Read more about our Smart Symptom Checker.
  • We have 50+ medically approved articles on menopause and real-life stories too.
  • The Healthily App is designed by doctors and used by millions, not just for our medically-verified health content, but also for our health trackers and plans, to help you be at your best.
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