A consultant gynaecologist has accused the press of peddling scare stories about hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
David Sturdee, consultant gynaecologist at Solihull hospital and secretary general of the International Menopause Society, said attention-grabbing headlines had been substituted for proper debate.
He said that the media "must accept some responsibility" for HRT's plummeting popularity.
Dr Sturdee also criticised a flawed study carried out by the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) in 2002, which tested the wrong demographic.
"It's also the responsibility of the people behind the WHI report who claimed that the [effects of HRT were] the same right across the board at whatever age. Now they realise that's wrong but at the time they said: 'No it doesn't matter what age, the risks are the same.'
"[The WHI study] has done so much harm and been a real disservice to women who have stopped taking HRT in their thousands."
There has been a 50 per cent reduction in the number of women using HRT since the WHI study was halted.