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I am new to this forum, and am desperate to speak to anybody about my experience with the menopause. I don't have any close relatives to discuss this with, and my husband is pretty much of the ilk that if it isn't happening to him then he won't take any interest/notice.

I went to my GP approximately two years ago as my periods were winding down. I had been a regular 28 day cycle until a few months before I saw the GP. I had got to the point where my cycle had gone to every six weeks, I was having mood swings, and sweats. When I related this to my GP, he said yes it definitely sounded like I was peri menopausal. Then went on to say that they no longer offer blood tests to check fsh levels, and I wouldn't be getting any HRT. So I left the office with a bunch of print outs that I could have got myself off the internet, and nothing else. He didn't suggest any follow up appointments, nothing at all.

My symptoms are now much worse, the mood swings are frightening to the point that I think I could hurt someone, the sweats are unbearable, the tearfulness, not to mention vaginal dryness. My problem is that I just don't think it is worth going to the doctor again, as they really don't seem to want to help.

I welcome any advice, tips etc and also your experiences might help me put mine into perspective.

Many thanks

22 Replies

You poor thing, I understand your frustration, there seems to be no road map or common understanding of the menopause and perimenopause is used as a catch-all phrase. It would seem like when you first went to the doctor you were having typical symptoms and not a lot of problems with what is a natural process and not an illness so he couldn't offer a 'treatment'. Now you are having negative effects it would be worth gong back, even if you are not a candidate for hrt your visit will still be on your record and you/they can monitor progression. Remember hrt can have negative side effects also, I think doctors want to get rid of the assumption that every woman should take it as a 'cure' for the menopause so maybe that's why he was dismissive before. Try seeing a female doctor? Also I have taken the Boots brand of herbal and vitamin combination for menopause and find it helps with low moods. It also caused some light bleeding when I took it everyday so I only take it if I'm feeling weepy for no reason cause I don't want to be confused about when I had an actual period overall I haven't had a lot of difficulties so my advice is probably not the most relevant. Except it is always important to get proper medical advice so hassle the nhs until they take you seriously!

Yes like your other contributor here I feel your pain. I read an amazing book which I'm actually rereading because there's so much in it which I think would bless any lady going through the menopause as it covers such a diverse range of symptoms and you know you're not on your own and gives practical advice. It's by Gillian Ford and it's called listening to your hormones.

The other thing I wanted to recommend because its natural not like HRT although I also sometimes use that as well in the form of oestrogen patches but I use a natural bioidentical progesterone cream called menogest. I get from America it's about £4 a tub. It's very good and i hear lots of other ladies saying they get on well with it. The stuff that you get thru the doctors is either synthetic or comes from horse urine.

I also take a number of different vitamins which help dramatically. I have found personally that it has been better with a combination of different therapies. For example, I have unexplainable depression which seem to come from inside and not an external cause which I now understand more thankfully to that book.

I also take amitriptyline which I find helpful it also comes up in the book.

I found I got on much better with lots of prayer and perseverance than I ever did through medical staff who wouldn't even acknowledge I was in the Menopause until I had missed periods and internal scans showed a thinner womb lining. The blood tests aren't even very accurate until you're literally on or after the menopause so the perimenopause symptoms that you get beforehand they can say must be something else and I went through 15 or 16 specialists to date with the severity of the symptoms that I had.

Anyway I hope that some of this will be helpful to you because like the other lady said menopause is very different for different ladies but the main thing is you're not alone and there is help out there, God bless x

PS - I started Meno at age 31.

The HRT I get on prescription is bio-identical, Im in the UK

Thanks for sharing that as funnily enough I was going to be having an appointment soon to discuss that with my GP I've had really poor care here in the UK. What do you use?

Ive tried a couple of different oestrogens but now settled with Estradot patches and Utrogestan 100mg (the only progesterone on script I think) both bio. I also use Ovestin1mg cream.

I had to do my own research before seeing my (female) GP as the other GP (male) was wary (no reason given) of prescribing HRT. My GP is very nice and open to suggestions (thank goodness as I also have thyroid problems)

Some people seem to think that bio/compounded hormones are an American invention, but they have been used in Europe for the last twenty years at least!

Lol thanks for sharing. Good to hear. Sounds good. Do you mind me asking where abouts in the UK you are as I'm wondering if there might be a bit of a postcode lottery? I have a good GP now but I've been through some horrific experiences over the years with medical professionals. I also see Neurology and they are very good with me as well.

I live in Somerset, near Bath :)

Cool thanks again for sharing. Helps a lot xx

I did a bit more research after your reply and discovered that is only Premarin or prempro? that uses horse urine. The other ones of these synthetic estrogens which are bioidentical in-design I think. Makes more sense so I think actually they put me on one that is a bioidentical synthetic if that isn't contradictory. Evorel 50.

I just wanted to clear that up because I didn't want to confuse anyone on here in what I said earlier. It's an ongoing learning journey. I still seem to have a much better response to the Natural progesterone cream than the synthetic progesterone if that helps anyone too... Onward :)

Thanks again x

Just one thing, it is said that progesterone cream is often not strong enough to balance out any oestrogen taken, depending on the strength of the oestrogen.

You're right. I only use a patch when my symptoms are really bad usually insomnia for days when nothing else works else I just use menogest. I tried the combi patches with progesterone but they made me worse. So I would say I might use 1 or 2 combi 50 patches a month if that. I try to be wise with it. I've had my womb ultrasound internally and all is well :)

Hi Rachh8, I have read through your replies & a couple of your posts & would be interested to get your opinion on what's going on with my body at the moment. I've been unwell for the last 5 months with these particular problems - nausea, stomach pain from under breasts to beginning of pubic hair (more intense across my ribs at the moment), indigestion problems, burping, weight loss (over 20 kilos), lack of appetite - coming back a little now but can't eat a lot at one time, & at the moment constipation. You're probably wondering what this has to do with Menapause? Well I was on the pill for a couple of years & came off it around October 2015 & haven't had a period since. I was also diagnosed with Endometriosis 20 years ago & had treatment for 6 months which shut down my reproductive system putting me in a menopausal state. This treatment was successful & I haven't been bothered by it since. I'm wondering if this onset of Perimenapause could be the cause or reason for my symptoms? I saw the book you recommended about hormones & will definitely have a look for it. If you have any ideas or thoughts I would love to hear them. By the way I have had an ultrasound, CT scan, chest & stomach X-Ray, MRI, colonoscopy, gastroscopy, blood work, & urine sample. We found gallstones & a fatty liver - this was found a couple months ago & since then I've had my gallbladder removed & reversed my fatty liver & still have the symptoms. Also I'm interested in treating my Menapause naturally. I was initially having some hot flushes but not anymore. I have noticed that my body temperature has increased & I'm a lot warmer than I used to be. Any advice would be appreciated. Many thanks, Cath 😊

Hi there thanks for your message. Sounds like you've really been through it. I haven't seen anything like that in the book I recommended but it might still be something that is interesting for you to read. From the things you've mentioned I'm not sure. I had fundoplication done on my stomach as I had a hiatus hernia and bad reflux quite a few years ago but it doesn't sound relative to that. I realise it might be disappointing but I think just keep sticking with it. It might not be to do with Menopause.... what's your specialists current view? :(

Have you had your thyroid checked? What about your white blood count? Infection? The only other thing that I can think of as the body is so inexplicably connected is the bowel is very closely interwoven with the immune and the neuro system. In fact the neuro system and bowel are a mirror one of the other so if you have a head injury and feel sick that's when they know that there's more going on in the brain end. I think you can have functional bowel problems as well because I have functional neurological disorder and IBS. However, I always found the connection with the brain and the bowel extremely interesting and I wonder if anybody's looked at the neurological end for you. I looked at some of your other posts and replies and you seem to have had some good suggestions it does seem very complicated. I'm hoping and praying you find some answers soon pls keep us posted.

I am sorry for your trouble, but please in future can you consider starting your own thread, and not hijacking someone else's? Thanks.

What a horrible experience to be dismissed by your doctor. I have experienced that too....it is devastating when you've drummed up the courage to go and ask for help.

It really sounds like you do need help now to cope with the mood swings if nothing else. It would be great if you could see another Dr at the practice. Failing that many pharmacists are well qualified to give advice on products you can buy over the counter....have a read around and see what supplements are recommended. I haven't personally gone down the HRT route...have been lucky (so far 4 years in) that hot flushes are my only palpable symptom and I have managed those on and off with supplements.

Looking at what my colleagues recommend here are some ideas,

Black Cohosh for hot flushes

There is an essential oil blend called Women's Balance that they recommend for mood stabilising. My daughter uses this for PMT and highly rates it. (PM me for more info on that).


Evening Primrose

Reducing sugar intake. (I have noticed more recently that I get a flush quite soon after chocolate intake (and that's dark chocolate).

Vitamin B complex will help with mood swings, fatigue and sleep.

That's just a few of their suggestions.

I take evening primrose combined with starflower oil, vitamin B complex and use Replens MD for internal dryness.

Much love and sympathy. It's so much harder coping with events such as menopause when the people you automatically turn to for support are dismissive.

Is there any kind of women's health support group near you? Quite a few local authorities are setting them up as part of their public health responsibilities. They may run specific support groups for menopause or offer the opportunity to speak to a therapist for free or very cheaply.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy has been found to be useful for many women in managing their menopause symptoms. I've also had friends report getting a lot of help by seeing a nutritionist privately. As others have mentioned, diet and exercise interventions can have surprisingly good results, often for a relatively small change.

Some other reading: the Cochrane Collaboration is an organisation which reviews research evidence and they also run a read-friendly blog, Evidently Cochrane, which did a menopause series last year. This is the first post: evidentlycochrane.net/menop... . You can do further searches on the site to find more.

A.Vogel website offers free trial supplements and great advice on the menopause x

I am 46 and although at one point I had signs of perimenopause, my periods decided to straighten out and regulate again so I have no actual experience to help you with but wanted to say Please get a new doctor for sure!! You should not have been treated this way. As you've seen there are plenty of things he could have offered that could help you even if he does not "do" HRT. You deserve to be treated with more courtesy. Best of luck to you!

Did you ever have a full period then it go off and come back on

Hi Dawn932, I hope you have found help in the last month. I have been unwell for the past 5 months & the Doctors can't find what is wrong with me. I've found you have to be pro-active, research things yourself, make appointments with specialists & go to your local doctor for referrals. I haven't had a period for 10 months since coming off the pill & I'm going to see a Gynaecologist to see what needs to be looked at - if I need to see someone that specialises in hormones. Hormones can affect many aspects of our body & I'm wondering now if a hormonal imbalance has anything to do with any of my symptoms. I'm sorry you're having such a hard time & hope things are getting better for you. 😊

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