What do i need to know/should i ask before commencing menopause injections?

I had my first lap a week and half ago and due to start fake menopause injections for 3 months I don't know which one?

I have to have them with my GP who seems very laid back about the whole thing.

I don't know what information I read is correct and keep coming across all these scary side effects.

My main concerns are, it feels unatural to have a menopause before I have had children- will this make it harder to conceive in future?

I want to have children, but am not ready yet, but wondering if this is a big mistake?

I have read horror stories abt night sweats etc, I'm not looking forward to them but biggest worry to me is loss of bone density and that some women put on 3 stone - is this true? Ive already got a stone too lose which I'm hoping to do with the endo diet, it would wreck me if 8 put on that weight, I don't think my body could cope.

Im nearly 30, will I automatically be put on hrt?

How do you survive the symptoms??? Any top tips?

I keep telling myself it's only three months of my life and may help for so many more but I can't help but worry.

I worry about not having a period each month, I feel I will forever be doing pregnancy tests!

Is it true you are not allowed on contraceptive pill at same time (i am on progesterone only) as it makes it less effective?

Is it true you have to start injections on certain day of your cycle?

Any advice would be great, thanks ladies xx

5 Replies

oldestnewest
  • No you do not have to start injections on a specific day of your cycle.

    Yes all the reports of side effects are true, but they are individual people's experiences and no two women or men (as they can have these drugs too) report the same exact experience.

    Yes there are hot flushes and cold chills and loads of other side effects that you might or might not have, it is something you and only you, can decide is something you and your work, family and lifestyle can cope with.

    You do not need to be on the pill, because the drugs shut down your ovaries from producing eggs.

    Most women report weight loss, though many do report weight gain.

    Yes it can help you to tackle endo, but it is not a cure and endo does start up again when the drug is finished in most cases.

    Yes it can in rare cases stop your ovaries ever working again, but it can also hold back the endo from doing more damage for few months which might help TTC.

    The lengthy list of side effects is something you are wise to consider, especially if you have little or no support at home, or work, or if you have other responsibilities like kids or pets or parents to look after or other medical conditions which could be made worse by the drugs.

    Some women take HRT to lessen the menopause side effects, but that may or may not suit you either.

    It is a huge gamble, the only thing for 100% certainty, is that if you do not take these drugs and you can cope with pain killers (and possibly the endo diet,) then you will avoid all these side effects and also have to put up with having your endo grow a little bit more during the 3 months.

    Personally I wouldn't touch these drugs again with a 10 foot barge pole, but other women have reported being able to cope quite well. Not one person says it's a marvellous miraculous experience without side effects.

    It's your body, and your life. Ask yourself worst case and best case scenario could you put up with it 24 hrs a day?

    Or even would you put up with it?

    If not or you are really unsure then don't take it now. It's always an option for the future.

    In hind sight, I'd say the side effects and long term consequences of me being on these drugs was far worse than endo, which I knew how to control with pain killers. I am now well over a year since being on the drugs, and my short term memory is only slightly improved from being wiped out completely. It is still so poor that I am sometimes a danger to myself and others. Forgetting I've left the cooker on, the iron on, forgetting to pick up kids from school, or where i am driving too, once I get in the car. This is not absent mindedness, but completely forgetting. Will it ever get better, I hope so, but no one can do anything about it.

    That is far too high a price to pay for a few months delay in the growth of endo.

    It's your call.

    And i congratulate you for realising how serious these drugs can be, and for really thinking in advance of taking them, and whether you can risk it.

  • Hi Lillil

    Everything Impatient said, but I wanted to add something else - although it is highly unlikey that you would fall pregnant on these injections, it is possible, and that scenario is not desirable because of the health risks for the baby. For that reason, you should take every precaution to ensure that you don't fall pregnant until the drugs are well and truly out of your system.

    You are wise to familiarise yourself with the side effects before you start, but remember that they have to put every side effect that's ever been noted on those information leaflets for legal reasons. You'd have to be very unlucky to end up with everything on there. And you might get away with hardly anything at all; on my very first course, apart from the hot flushes, I felt better than I had for years. It's not such a walk in the park these days, but millions of women wouldn't keep going back to it if it was utterly horrendous for everybody.

    Good luck, whatever you decide :)

    C x

  • Hello hope u are well. I am on my 2nd week of decapeptyl and also hrt livial. Must admit if i had been told all the info i maybe would have said no, I was sent away from my gynae app with no info other than this was for a few months, and my doctor had heard of it but hasnt given it before or knows anything about it :( Not much luck there. I have had side effects from day 1 but unsure whether its the injection or hrt. I have had stomach pain and back ain like the pain you get before ur period starts and it sometimes gets quite strong, had a rash on my arms and neck for first week but has calmed down, had disorientation, mood changes, feeling like im on edge and want to cry, joint pain, craving for food, discharge but not too bad, tiredness, and generally feeling a bit fed up. Cant say this would happen to you and i have also been reading lots of others stories and still dreading what will happen. Had no flushes yet but people say it doesnt happen till after a couple of weeks on injection so i feel im just waiting on this happening. Got my injection few days after my cycle so dont think that is an issue, I'd normally be due my period in 4days and have read from most people that they bleed one more time after starting injection but again waiting to see if this will happen. If u want to do this i would get all the info you need and ask all questions. I the fact it isnt a cure is a put down but if this helps me a little it might be worht it but it might not, trial and error i suppose. hope u can decide though and if u do get on well with it. I will keep updated on here with how i get on. xx

  • Hi there

    It's understandable that you're concerned - unfortunately many women are not given enough info before they start this treatment. I suggest you look up the patient information leaflets for zoladex and prostrap so you can inform yourself. You can find them easily through google.

    I was on zoladex from 25 to 27 - I was only supposed to have it for 6 months but it helped me so much more than anything else had so my specialist kept me on it. I has not has any children (I'm now 30 and still haven't had kids) and many women have it before they've had kids.

    The side effects aren't exactly pleasant but I found them bearable, especially when I felt so much better, not just in terms of pain but also fatigue. Unfortunately for me, although I was prescribed HRT, I didn't continue it as when I started it I felt some of my symptoms were returning. I now believe I stayed on it too long and should have taken the HRT - it stopped being effective for me about 18 months in but I kept at it for a further six months hoping it would improve. I now have ongoing issues as a result - I still get some hot flushes and I still have no libido whatsoever.

    However, you are only having a three month course which is relatively short - most people have 6 months but RCOG guidelines suggest three months can be just as effective as six.

    In terms of weight, you will not necessarily put on weight - I lost several stone, going from a size 10 to a size 6. This weight loss occurred from around month 2-4 and stayed throughout the treatment. As you're only on it for three months, your weight may go up or down but I suspect it won't get much of a chance to change and will go back to normal once you stop so with a three month course any weight change should be temporary. You may find that you start to lose breast tissue and they get smaller - this can stay after treatment, but in two years I only went down two cup sizes but that may have been the weight loss. They're still slightly smaller in terms of proportion than they used to be but not by much - it's hard to explain, but on the zoladex they seemed deflated and a bit emptier if that makes sense, but that has improved.

    The main side effects I experienced were hot flushes, mood swings, weight loss and loss of libido. Honestly, the physical side effects were unpleasant but not unbearable for me at least. For a three month course, given that the side effects usually take a few weeks to kick in, you'll only have to put up with them for about 10 weeks, which will go last very quickly. Some women find the side effects very hard to cope with and HRT is prescribed - for such a short course, you hopefully won't need it as it can make the treatment less effective.

    In terms of bone density, it's highly unlikely that you will experience much or any loss on a three month course - studies show that much of the loss that may occur will improve when treatment ends, especially if you take the combined pill directly after treatment. You can find more info in the RCOG green top guidelines for endo treatment which I linked to in a previous post or you can find through google. I am still trying to get a dexa bone scan as I should have had one at the time and I'm having some joint pain, but I've had several falls during the treatment and since and I haven't broken a bone so I suspect it's fine.

    It should not affect your ability to have children - there's no evidence to show that these treatments improve the chances of conceiving for women with known fertility problems and are given the treatment to improve fertility. However, if it shrinks your endo it can't hurt. The only potential issue is if you're currently trying to conceive and are older, it can be seen as a bad idea because it stops you being able to try for several months. There are also some rare cases where ovulation doesn't return after treatment - however, in ten years of using these forums, I've never spoken to anyone who this has happened to, and with just a three month treatment I strongly believe this is not something you need to be concerned with.

    We all react differently to these treatments - I've tried everything medical and surgical and zoladex was by far the most effective. I was happy to put up with the side effects at the time - I'm quite distressed that my hormones still don't seem right and I'm struggling to get someone to take me seriously, but that is because I was on it so long without HRT.

    I suggest you go for it, and make sure you get the monthly version if you're zoladex as the 3 month treatment doesn't consistently regulate ovulation and isn't as effective. I'm sure you'll be fine :)

    x

  • Thank you ladies so, so much for sharing your experiences in such depth it has really helped.

    I went to my GP yday and I am grateful that he was truthful with me in that he said although he uses the injection a lot, he doesn't have experience using it in endo so he wants more specific treatment guidelines from my gynae consultant and was outraged that I had been discharged.

    He did say I was mad starting endo diet at same time as injections as a lot to manage at once???

    Now seeing gynae on 13th so I have lots of questions to ask!

    I am still undecided, it's such a big decision! Yesterday some of my old pain started coming back and I thought I can't do this and was for it, yet today not as bad and I think it's not worth it.

    Anyone know why I wouldn't be able to do the fake pregnancy route instead?

    Also do you take menopausal vitamin tablets whilst on the injections? Do they help? Felt very sad whilst looking at these today :(

    Xxx

You may also like...