grateful for advice on HRT

I hope it's ok to ask this question here, although it's not strictly thyroid-related. My question is about HRT and peri-menopause.

When I went to see my first Hertoghe doctor in Belgium, in late 2011, I was 42 years old and was put on both progesterone (Utrogestan) and Estrogel; the former to be taken from day 15-25 of cycle, and the latter from day 5-25 of cycle.

I have done much better on those supplements and, when I don't take them, I feel considerably worse. So it's obvious that I need them. I guess I have been messed up ever since I was diagnosed with mononucleosis in 1995 and then, five years later, with Hashimoto's and hypothyroidism...looking back, it seems I never fully recovered from that, although most people who have no idea would probably say I have looked fine all along...

However, I have read over and over again that you should not take HRT for more than five years, or the risk of breast cancer increases; it's said to increase even more if you take E + P, although the Hertoghe doctors claim you should never take just E, always the two together...so now I'm feeling pretty confused. I'm 47, and it's obvious that I'm now peri-menopausal. After being absent for almost two years, my bleedings are back, regular, but much more sparse than before. I have no problems with that. It's just that...there is so much conflicting information about HRT, and what the Hertoghe doctors say is not necessarily in line with other information out there...which is why I'd be very grateful to hear from others who have used HRT...did it help you and, if so, how long did you stay on it, if you weaned off it, why, how have you been doing since, etc?

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  • Hi anna69, I was on HRT for 20 years, I had a hysterectomy at 42, I was given implants in my stomach every 6 months, estrogen ,progesterone and testosterone. I didnt realise at the time but I became Hypothyroid after the hysterectomy. The HRT helped for many years, but I had to travel to London every six months and the implant was eventually wearing off before my 6 monthly appointment. I decided to stop the implants and started using estrogel, as i was missing the other hormones progesterone and testosterone I started using Bio identical HRT, I used this until my menopause stopped when I turned 60.

    My mother died at 59 from breast cancer, I was always aware of this while taking HRT, but i took the chance as I suffered so many years with pms. Recently two of my sisters have had breast cancer, both ok now, but they never took HRT. It is a hard decision to make, I took the gamble and was ok. Hope this has helped and good luck. Bev.

  • Thank you! It definitely does not seem to be an easy choice...I hope you'll be OK, as well as your sisters, and I'm very sorry about your mother/Anna

  • I forgot to mention, I saw Dr Marion Gluck for bioidentical HRT and she did point out that estrogel is bio identical, my GP was prescribing it.

  • The cancer risk applies to fake progesterone (aka progestin) and horse pee oestrogen, which you are not taking. Ustrogestan is a bioidentical (although not tailored specifically to you) and research show s that bioidentical hormones are, if anything, protective against many cancers. It is advised to have a pelvic scan every year after menonpause to see what's happening to the womb lining. My local Mothercare branch does them.

  • That is what I have read and heard as well, and I seriously hope no Hertoghe doctor would ever put his or her patient at risk...I feel much better since going on Estrogel and Utrogestan, and I hope I will be able to continue taking them for some time...as that has really improved my quality of life.

  • I started HRT last year at the age of 38, and I'm planning on staying on it long term. I'm perimenopausal.

    P.s. Is your utrogestan taken orally? Just interested

  • Yes, Utrogestan is a pill.

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