Thyroid UK
85,960 members100,863 posts

Would appreciate advice on peri menopause

I was wondering if anyone has gone through (peri) menopause without any relief whatsoever, no matter what you tried?

For the past few months, my symptoms have been getting worse and worse. I will turn 49 in December and periods have gone from being regular to erratic (anything from 21 to 36 days between them). I mainly suffer from night sweats and hot flushes, and they are driving my crazy. I can deal with the night sweats, no matter how unpleasant, as I have my own washing machine and dryer, but the hot flushes...all of a sudden, I feel sweat pouring down my face, breasts, and spine, and I need to be very careful about what I wear, only wearing clothes on which the stains won't be visible.

I have been on bio-identical progesterone and estrogen for the past six years (originally for adrenal fatigue), prescribed by my Hertoghe doctor, but they don't seem to help with menopause. Synthetic HRT may be more helpful (that's what my gynecologist prescribes), but I'd hesitate to take that because of all the risks associated with it.

I have tried various supplements (sage, red clover, black cohosh) but to no avail.

I also have great trouble going to sleep at night, and the only thing that allows me to fall asleep and don't wake up countless times during the night is melatonin. However, I have read that continuous use of this hormone will shut your own melatonin production down, so it should only be used for occasional sleeplessness...

I have read conflicting information about these symptoms; while it's often said that peri and menopausal symptoms will generally all but disappear a year after a woman's last period, it seems others can continue to suffer from them for five or ten years or even longer...well into their 60s.

I have been wondering how the common the latter scenario is; that is, that you continue to suffer from hot flushes and night sweats years after your last period...?

I realise it's highly individual, but would still appreciate some input from members having gone through this stage in life.

40 Replies
oldestnewest

Surely the bio-identical progesterone and estrogen that you take should be helping? Maybe it's too low a dose? You shouldn't need 'HRT' on top of what you are taking.

Reply

No, that's what I've been thinking as well...my current symptoms are those you'd expect to find in a woman not taking anything. I am, after all, on prescription hormones which contain standardised amounts of hormones (it's often said that OTC products don't).

I have been wondering if oral progesterone (I take Utrogestan 200 mg ten nights a month) is not as effective as transdermal progesterone, but could it really make that much of a difference...?

My hormone doctor told me to use Estrogel every day instead of day 5-25 of cycle, but to use only half the prescribed amount between day 26 and day 4.

It's a mystery...I have been considering drug-induced hyperthyroidism and lowering my current dose of NDT (I take Thyroid-S), but I always thought that hyperthyroidism would cause constant feelings of being too hot, not just hot flushes...?

Reply

I started the menopause just as I started with acute Graves symptoms, not a nice thing at all. My menopause flushes were different from my Graves 'flushes'. I didnt feel hot all the time with Graves either.

Reply

Not much help I'm afraid but I went through menopause over 11 years ago and at 61 the hot flushes and sweats are as bad as ever. I tried Serenity cream, bioidentical hormone and for over a year sweats reduced by maybe 90% ... but past few months been getting worse again. I've tried increasing cream, decreasing cream and now stopping cream, 12 days so far, and no discernible difference. I guess sex hormones need testing but GP just sys it Fibromyalgia and won't test them and can't afford the tests I want at the moment. I hope you figure it out as it really is awful.

Hugs linda x

1 like
Reply

That sounds really awful...I was kind of hoping it was just a myth that some women continue to suffer for years, but apparently it isn't...:-( The best to you, too!

Reply

12 years and counting for the hot flushes and perspiration...

Reply

Yep. Nothing worked for me. Anything you can find find out about that doesn't need a prescription I tried. Spent 7 years feeling appalling. Then got biohrt (but that was post menopause). That worked.

Reply

Can I ask which brand(s) you use?

Reply

no brand - made up to my prescription by compounding pharmacy.

Reply

Do you go over to Belgium?

A Naturopath once said to me that if women are struggling with horrendous menopausal symptoms then to look at the liver. Sorry I cannot offer any more words but how is your liver performing?

Reply

Yes, I see a so called Hertoghe doctor in Belgium and that is where I get all my meds.

I have not had my liver labs tested in a while; thanks for the tip! That is even something I can ask my GP to order for me.

1 like
Reply

I'm way past menopause now but transdermal progesterone cream helped massively. All the women I recommended it to loved it as well and said it helped massively. I never had a hot flush whilst using it.

wellsprings-health.com/ They are based in Jersey as their product is completely natural and they can't patent it; something to do with health products having to be patented by UK government. I had to research progesterone and oestrogen (like I've had to research thyroid) and discovered that the Pill is full of natural oestrogen and progesterone which has been altered by one molecule. This is because natural products can't be patented. So the men (!) who concocted the Pill decided to change progesterone and not oestrogen. Therefore women became oestrogen dominant. Progesterone is the 'female' hormone, which increases massively whilst pregnant.

Progesterone is a precursor to oestrogen, so if your body needs oestrogen it will convert the progesterone into oestrogen. I personally wouldn't go near HRT.

Reply

OK, what you say makes a lot of sense! I was also put on HRT years before I was anywhere near menopause, for the simple reason that I was diagnosed with adrenal fatigue...the more I think about it, the more I regret that now. But, back then, I didn't know nearly as much as I do now...mainly because of this great forum and its wonderfully knowledgeable and helpful members!

Also, when I was first put on HRT, in late 2011, all I could think about was that those drugs were "natural" (bio-identical); I had been reading horror stories about pregnant mares urine and its horrible side effects, and was just happy and relieved I would be taking something identical to what my own body would be making...it never even occurred to me to question whether I needed it in the first place.

I think I will try progesterone only for a while and see how I feel; in any case, I cannot feel much worse than I do right now...!

Reply

That's what I was using, their 'serenity cream' as I said worked great for just over a year but now as bad as ever. Even tried their 20-1 cream but that made the sweats even worse

Reply

Without being an expert, it would seem to me that if taking a cream with both E and P made you sweat even more, then you did not need the estrogen to begin with...has your doctor/gynecologist been able to do anything for you?

Reply

I found this article very interesting, especially what it says at the end about it being a bad idea to treat hot flushes in peri-menopause with estrogen:

cemcor.ubc.ca/resources/pro...

1 like
Reply

The more I read about estrogen, the more confused I get...I even read that the body considers estrogen a poison that should be eliminated asap; hence the importance of having a healthy liver as mentioned in a previous post to this thread.

I have a friend who became a patient of Dr. Hertoghe's Brussels clinic when she was 35. At that point, she was told: "You don't need estrogen yet, only progesterone. When you turn 40, however, you'll need to add estrogen to your progesterone".

So it seems the Hertoghe doctors (and maybe most hormone doctors) consider both hormones necessary after a certain age...the only dissenting opinions I've found have been in articles written by US and Canadian doctors. All European hormone doctors that I know of favour the use of both hormones in women over 40.

Reply

Hi there i had a full hystrectomy when i was in my early 40s so my menopause started pretty quick.i didnt take anything again because of the long term affects. I started to write down when they happened & learned out what triggered my flushes which was chocolate and some other dairy things & even now after 12 yrs they can stil trigger them not all the time but now & again So i try & avoid them unless at home. The night sweats i still get now & again i make sure i wear a tshirt in bed so at least the sheets dont get so wet with sweat my hubby loves the fact i warm the bed so quickly .

Hope this helps

1 like
Reply

Yes, it's a relief to read that it does get better for some...!

1 like
Reply

hi i have had all these symptoms and the only stuff that has stopped the hot sweats and generally made me feel better in nutrition-fx - you can take between 1 and 3 tablets dependent on the stage of peri or full menopause. i get good night sleeps and that makes a he difference. it's a natural supplement and doctors are slowly being made aware of it doing some good. go to their website nutrition-fx.com and see the hundreds of women reviews on how its helped them

1 like
Reply

Thanks, I welcome all advice on how to make this condition more tolerable!

Reply

Have you come across Macapause? It was recommended to me by a midwife practitioner and it has been totally amazing. I was having hot flashes with an aura and a heart palpitations every fifteen minutes - literally around the clock for months at a time, on and off for about five years. I am not kidding.

Macapause put an end to that, and whatever leftover symptoms that I had have basically been dealt with by treating my adrenal fatigue and hypothyroidism. It does not contain hormones and is a natural source of energy and vitamin B.

I don't think any one treatment provides a solution for everyone, but this was a freaking miracle for me and I would highly recommend it.

Good luck, I hope that you are able to get your symptoms under control quickly.

2 likes
Reply

No, I have never heard about it, but will definitely look into it! Thanks a lot for the tip:-)

Reply

Have been using a natural herbal shake that includes maca for a month and feel fantastic! Haven't had a period in 3 months, no flushes, great sleep, no emotional ups and downs. I'm 48 and so far I've lost 4kg too! Feeling positive about going through menopause again.

1 like
Reply

Hi green mug

May I ask what you used to sort adrenal fatigue, lose to heart

Jeppy

Reply

I went to a specialist and took his recommendations. It's a good idea to check in w/someone about your specific symptoms . Good luck it's a very frustrating health problem.

Reply

Thanks greenmug

Do you mean endo when you say specialist?

Yes I can imagine it is, unsure if meno causes it but have had long term stress (both)

Had the blood test saliva, strange as ok first one, then spikes high late morning, drops again then spikes at bedtime

Probably this right now causes the spike haha

Reply

You're welcome. I also meant to mention doxylamine for sleep. It's an antihistamine like Benadryl but is a different formulation that has really helped me sleep. It's probably also worthwhile seeing if you have sleep apnea too. You can order tests online.

1 like
Reply

Once again, thanks a lot!

1 like
Reply

Looking back, from the time I experienced my first symptoms (massively heavy periods, shorter gaps in between), until my final hot flush was probably five years, although it did get much better over this time, and I was really thankful to see the end of periods ! (Graves Disease brought back hot flushes and weepiness for a couple of months - before I knew what it was, I just couldn't believe they'd returned). I never had HRT - was so busy, I just never took time out to see the doc - and in fairness, probably had a relatively easy experience.

The thing is, from the sounds of it, you've already got disturbed hormones. I wonder whether it's worth going back to your adrenal specialist, and requesting new tests and a complete overhaul of your treatment in the light of the menopause ?

1 like
Reply

Yes, that is probably a good idea...last time I had labs, a few months ago, my FSH and LH levels were out of range for the first time, and that shows that I am now officially peri-menopausal.

What you say about symptoms lasting about five years but getting less intense over time makes sense. It's nice to read about someone having had a relatively painless experience!

1 like
Reply

The more I read about progesterone, the more it seems that oral progesterone may not be the best solution as very little of it is apparently absorbed by the body...so I will try Wellsprings as recommended here and see if it makes a difference compared to oral Utrogestan.

From what I understand, some women have had success switching from 200 mg of Utrogestan ten days a month (usually from day 15-25 of cycle) to 100 mg taken every day at bedtime, but that is not how the body normally produces progesterone so not sure that would be a good idea...

I have just had a rough night, waking up almost every hour drenched in sweat and feeling exhausted today. For a moment, I said to myself: "I will make an appointment with my gynecologist and ask for synthetic progesterone as that seems much more potent". But after reading about it, I got second thoughts...it seems it increases the risk not only of cancer, but also of cardiovascular disease...one article I read even suggested synthetic progesterone be banned altogether. So I would be afraid to go down that road...especially if it worked. Then I would live in constant fear of ending up with cancer or getting a heart attack...

Reply

I have an appointment with my OB-Gyn next week. My yearly checkup was coming up anyway. I intend to ask her about HRT; for some reason, the hormones I'm currently taking - Oestrogel 0.6 mg/g by Besins from day 5-25 of cycle and Utrogestan 200 mg from day 15-25 - no longer seem to be working optimally. I found an interesting article yesterday talking about a book called The Estrogen Errors, the idea being that women have been prescribed estrogen when what they really need is progesterone only given the imbalance between the two hormones...this article also talks about taking 300 mg of natural progesterone at bedtime. So it's possible that I should never have been put on estrogen in the first place, and that I am not taking enough progesterone...anyway, it could be interesting to get another doctor's perspective on things.

Reply

Hi again, I suggested Wellsprings Serenity progesterone cream. Try trawling their website for info. They send a very comprehensive booklet when you make an order. Here are some of their answers to common questions -

wellsprings-health.com/page...

wellsprings-health.com/page...

wellsprings-health.com/page...

1 like
Reply

Again, thanks a million!!! I really appreciate your help:-)

1 like
Reply

I have been reading a lot about Wellspring's products and they really seem to be of the highest quality!

I saw that their 20-1 cream contains the same amount of progesterone as the Serenity cream plus estriol and estradiol.

I was wondering if the combination of estriol and estradiol offers any advantage compared to taking estradiol alone? My doctor has me on estradiol only (in fact, she has never even mentioned estriol). I saw that Biovea also makes an estriol cream, and this made me wonder if estriol is as important as estradiol, and if better results would be achieved if using both?

Reply

Hi...at 50yrs I haven't had a period for a couple of years now but my gp ran some hormones couple of weeks ago as my hairloss as been really bad recently ...of course they were way off the scale being post menopause but he was practically throwing hrt at me saying how much he thinks it would help me now (I tried it during peri and it did nothingfor my symptoms but hot flushes were not a big issue).He told me that they had recently changed their thinking on the cancer risk and said it was perfectly safe and I could have it indefinitely if I wanted if it helps!..I didn't look into what he was claiming as I'm not ready to try hrt again as I think my symptoms are all thyroid related, and my "hot flushes" come with overmedication and I was only taking an extra half grain (2.5) for a month.They've stopped since I lowered the dose but they were like hot flushes in the fact they came and went and weren't with me all day as suggested with overmedication ..in fact even my temperatures were still not optimal so didnt suggest overmedication. I hope you find a solution soon to your symptoms but perhaps look at your ndt/adrenal support doses again?Also this woman on YouTube is very imformative and may have some good advice

youtube.com/channel/UCSJItw...

1 like
Reply

Yes, thanks, I will have a look at my NDT dose again as I have been losing quite a lot of hair lately, and usually that's thyroid-related...

Thanks also for the link, very interesting!

1 like
Reply

Hi , i am in peri menopause an for last 18 months felt rubbish, tired, itchy skin, dry hair , hair loss , sweats at night etc - i tried loads of tablets mainly herbal to help and nothing until a friend recommended i take 5000mg of green tea daily and after 2 weeks i felt flu like symptoms for 1 day then next day it was like all my energy i had 5 years ago came back and all my other symptoms have gone - no more sweats etc , hair miles better - the green tea helps your body detox so now i always have a tablet after breakfast and it has also helped me shift some extra stubborn weight i had put on and now when i go to gym i am not exhausted and work harder as more energy. I feel fab!!! i also take 1 tablet of nutrition fx which is soya based for perimenopause and having both each day has got rid of all my peri menopause symptoms and i feel 100 % better. Neither tablet is expensive, if you go to nutrition fx website and just buy starter pack each time its cheaper and i use Natures Best website for my green tea. by the way i also suffer from under active thyroid and take 50mg of levothyroxine daily and the green tea has also helped with my metabolic rate as well and my doctor is very pleased with results.

1 like
Reply

Sounds great, thanks for the advice! I prefer supplements to HRT and am always looking for something that actually works, so it's great to hear about other people's experiences in this area:-)

Reply

You may also like...