Browser does not support script.
Skip to main content
Find out how we produce our information|
Pelvic radiotherapy stops the ovaries from working and from producing the hormones oestrogen and progesterone. Your periods will stop and you’ll start the menopause.
Doctors often say early menopause is before 45.
Some symptoms of menopause are:
You may be able to have HRT to replace the hormones your ovaries are no longer producing. It can improve some menopausal symptoms and protect your bones and heart. Early menopause can increase the risk of bone thinning (osteoporosis).
If you’ve had cervical or rectal cancer, there’s normally no reason why you shouldn’t take HRT. But some cancers, for example womb cancer, are dependent on hormones to grow, so your specialist may not advise HRT for you. If you have had early menopause because of pelvic radiotherapy, ask your cancer specialist if HRT is suitable for you.
If HRT isn’t advised or if you don’t want to take it, there are different ways in which symptoms can be managed. If your symptoms are affecting your day-to-day life, ask your doctor about other medicines that may help with symptoms of the menopause.
Low doses of antidepressant drugs or a drug called clonidine (Catapres®, Dixarit®), used to control blood pressure, can reduce hot flushes and sweats. Some women find that using a slow, controlled breathing technique, yoga or acupuncture may help with flushes. Different lubricants or creams can be used to help reduce discomfort from vaginal dryness during sex|.
The Daisy Network| is a support organisation for women who have early menopause.
Diane tells her story of the early menopause after treatment for breast cancer.
Content last reviewed: 1 July 2012
Next planned review: 2014
For answers, support or just a chat, call the Macmillan Support Line free (Monday to Friday, 9am-8pm)
If you have any questions about cancer, need support or just want someone to talk to, ask Macmillan.
If you have any questions about Macmillan we would love to hear from you| .
You can also follow us| on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr or YouTube.
© Macmillan Cancer Support 2013
what are these?|