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Female gynaecologist joins the team at Benenden Hospital

Miss Anahit Zakaryan

Miss Anahit Zakaryan, an experienced Consultant Gynaecologist has joined the team at our CQC Outstanding rated hospital.

Miss Zakaryan's expertise and achievements

After graduating from Yerevan State Medical University, Yerevan, Armenia in 1996, she continued her studies at the Maternity Hospital Educational Centre in London, she obtained her Diploma in Obstetrics and Diploma in Obstetrics and Gynaecology in the year 2000. In 2013, she completed her MRCOG which is internationally respected as the gold standard qualification for career progression in obstetrics and gynaecology (O&G).

In 2019, Miss Zakaryan won the Outstanding Teacher Award and more recently, she was nominated for ‘Most Supportive Consultant Award 2020-2021’.

Miss Zakaryan is an accomplished doctor in general obstetrics and gynaecology. She enjoys both branches of the specialty. She has excellent all-round skills and is experienced across a broad range of areas.

She specialises in general gynaecology which includes bleeding problems, vulval problems, contraception, hormone replacement therapy (HRT), fibroids and vaginal prolapse.

Miss Zakaryan said: “I’m very excited to have joined the team here at Benenden Hospital, it has an excellent reputation. It’s an exciting opportunity to be able to offer a new range of operations and treatments to our local patients.”

Specialising in Menopause and Hormone Replacement Therapy 

As an expert in the field of Menopause and Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), Miss Zakaryan has provided an overview on the misinformation and myths that are still around on these two very important issues that affect thousands of women every day.

Miss Zakaryan said: “Over the last couple of years there has been a positive boom in documentaries on the menopause aimed at raising awareness of women’s experiences. Nevertheless, the menopause is still an area of taboos, myths, mis-information and confusion.

Women going through menopause need to feel heard

“For a woman to feel that the management of her menopause has been the best, she needs to feel that she can access all the information she wants in a way that she can apply it to her own case, as not all womens’ menopause journey is identical.

“It is, therefore, paramount for a woman to be listened to for the correct treatment to be applied for her needs. There are an increasing number of women who are prescribed Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) medication online or via telephone consultations without any proper assessment and explanations. Often women are reluctant to start the treatment,  requiring further reassurance of a clear understanding of what they are going through, the problems they are experiencing, the treatment they are being provided with and a clear explanation of the risks and implications of HRT medication.”

Understanding the menopause

Menopause transition is associated with profound hormonal changes. These changes are associated with a variety of symptoms which include hot flushes, difficulty to sleeping, loss of libido and many more. Although the evidence is such that these are related to the hormonal changes of menopause it is always important to exclude other causes in women.

One of the first things to look at in trying to manage the menopause should be lifestyle changes: physical activity, dietary interventions, stress management, and stopping smoking.

Non-hormonal Pharmacological approaches for treatment of the menopause include: Antidepressants: SSRIs, SNRIs, GABAergics and Clonidine.

Before prescribing any menopausal hormone therapy it is important to understand what the benefits of the therapy are but it also important to understand the risks.

Menopause Hormone Therapy is primarily prescribed for the relief of symptoms and prevention of a range of chronic conditions. Benefits of MHT include the alleviation of symptoms and a positive impact on mood. MHT prevents postmenopausal bone loss, osteoporosis and fracture, may prevent central abdominal fat gain and may reduce cardiometabolic disease risk.

Risks associated with HRT

Medications may have side effects so it is important to be aware of them and check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist if you are worried.

Venous thromboembolism (VTE)

VTE includes deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. There is a higher chance of developing this in the first year of oral oestrogen therapy.

Breast cancer

First time HRT users are no more likely to develop breast cancer during the first five to seven years of follow-up, but estrogen and progesterone containing HRT can increase breast density which can complicate screening and increase the frequency of mammograms. The association between HRT use and ovarian cancer remains unclear.  

Use of HRT

The prescribing of HRT should be tailored to individual needs and personal preference, following a full assessment. The factors that should be considered will be age, type and timing of menopause i.e. perimenopause, post menopause, effects on quality of life, family history, medical history, and the individual choice.

For women who are experiencing premature ovarian insufficiency (also known as premature menopause), HRT will be considered as essential until they reach the average age of menopause, after which the risk-benefit balance should be re-assessed.

In women with menopausal symptoms in their 40s and 50s, the overall benefit of HRT usually exceeds the risks. For older women, especially those more than 10 years past their menopause, the risk-benefit ratio for HRT is less favourable.

Miss Zakaryan said: “It is extremely important that when patients are having a conversation with their GPs about HRT treatment, that they are making an informed choice and that all their concerns are addressed to ensure the patient is confident with the decision they make.”

Gynaecology services in Kent

In support of women’s health, we offer a range of private gynaecology surgeries and services in a comfortable, discreet and reassuring environment in the heart of the Wealden countryside. Patients can be assured by the support they will receive by our experienced team of Consultant Gynaecologists.

Book a consultation today by completing our online booking form or by contacting our Private Patient Team via Livechat or on 01580 363158.

Published on 12 May 2022