Women's Health
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Menopause

Hi All, I have posted before but not for some time. I am in the depths of the menopause and don't see any ending to it any time soon. I have never felt so awful. Been to GP who gave me HRT but panicked at the thought of breast cancer so stopped taking it. Life is miserable and I am suffering silently. I have tired many herbal things but none have helped. Any help would be appreciated.

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For heavens sake take the HRT. Its a life saver. There is no reason for putting up with feeling so rubbish.. I am on patches and feel fantastic. I had thyroid cancer a year ago which triggered menopause, now I feel great. X

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Totally agree with you lindsaydawson603! HRT has made me feel like a human being again!! Silly not to take it, in my humble opinion.

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I have to say I resisted going on HRT too for a long time, however I spoke to a number of people Inc GPs and friends and researched online. My mind was made up by a Gyny Doc who was so encouraging (she was also on it!!) and reassured me that my personal medical history proved favourable for using HRT. I had been using a healthy diet, exercise and various herbal /alternative therapies to control the symptoms that I was experiencing but to be honest her advice left me in no doubt. No the HRT does not stop the menopause and yes you still have to go through it but here I (potentially) could have a few years of life virtually symptom free, she said it was 'brilliant'. So I started on it last December and within days the hot sweats disappeared and sleep returned (yay!!) I feel that I am still adjusting to it and there have been days when I feel amazing and days where I feel menopausal, but I think overall it definitely is worth trying if your medical assessment is favourable. I have a busy life, young daughter and a job and this helps me to cope right now, maybe in a few years I will come off and be happy to go through it then, but for now I'm sticking with it.

Hope this helps, feel free to ask any questions. There are a number of different options and you and your Dr would decide which is best for you depend ant upon your symptoms and priorities.

Good luck hope you get some help.

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Totally agree with you, Scooby17! I'm 70 and my doctor put me on it 5 months ago..I feel like a human being again!

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Hi sweetsusie

Would you mind telling me why your Dr prescribed it? I'm nearly 60 and have had night sweats, joint pains, tiredness, mood swings and depression since menopause (55) but Drs say they wouldn't prescribe it for someone my age. I have been prescribed anti depressants but do not like the side effects and keep thinking that hrt might be a better solution but not sure how to get it as Drs don't seem to want to prescribe it at my age.

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No..I don't mind at all, Corrine1. I have been asking doctors for YEARS to prescribe HRT for me, but like you, none of them would go there. Then I found this doctor, who I finally convinced to let me go on it. I'm not sure why he let me, though. I'm 70. What I believe is that the big study that scared most all women off of HRT was very skewed in the end, and was found out. So, I think SOME, but very few doctors, have now come to their senses about it. It's not right or women to have to go on antidepressants (which I've used plenty of them!), just because they are going through menopause, when there is a perfectly reasonable treatment. I don't know how you can convince your doctor that you should be allowed to get some relief, other than just bugging him about it every time you see him...that's what i did. Maybe I finally just wore him down. I hope you can convince your doctor, or perhaps shop around for a doctor who is more openminded about HRT. Good luck and keep me posted! I can totally relate!

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Thanks Susie. Its great to hear your story. Did you have any bad effects to start with from the hrt or did you start to feel better straight away and what differences did you notice? Is your doctor keeping an eye on you?. If it's been a struggle to get the hrt I suppose it must be harder to complain about it as the dr will just say come off it.

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Before I started on the HRT is was exhausted and could barely get off my couch. Also, had brain fog and some other symptoms. Now...I am fine...have more energy and actually can vacuum my house again! I have no complaints at all.

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Hi Jay, try and do something different in your life, I’ve started the couch to 5k, trying to eat better and drink more water. Had a bit of a low last week and understand how you feel. I don’t take hrt only the vagifem pessaries for atrophy which I’ve got to say is my worst problem. Take care not to spend too much on herbal things but the menopause lady at a Vogel is brilliant, watch her vids on fb. X

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Thank you all for your thoughts. I have mad an appointment to see the doctor to discuss HRT again, and anything else they may be able to offer. I was hoping at 60 I would be through it.

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Good for you! No need to suffer. The doctors tell you you're too old, but try to convince them otherwise. I'm 70 and my doctor put me on HRT 5 months ago. It has changed my life. Don't be scared off by those "skewed" studies.

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Hi Jay1x

Just seen you are similar age to me and having similar problems. I would like to try hrt to see if it makes a difference but when I've mentioned it to my doctor just been told 'we don't normally prescribe it for women your age' so I feel a bit stuck about where to go with this. I've even thought about seeing a doctor privately but would be expensive. I've read a lot of the research on menopause matters and t seems that guidelines from NICE to doctors are only to prescribe to women just starting with symptoms, within 10 years of their last period or under 60. Apparently the bad side effects of hrt are more likely after the age of 60.

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Just want to encourage you, again, Corrine1, that you need to be insistent with your doctor about you're wanting to try HRT. You can convince him! I just know you can!

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Thanks. Trying to get an appointments the first hurdle and then working out the best way to approach the dr!!

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Hi Corrine,

I had last period at 57, but other symptoms started earlier. I suffered terrible itchy skin, headaches, feeling high as a kite and then down in the dumps. I suffer with chronic facial hair as in like a man. Not just the bit of peach fuzz that women get. So I visited the doc and having told him that I have all these symptoms and having to shower in the night due to the sweats he agreed to give me 3mths. It is the risks that they are reluctant to prescribe them for over 60. A coil was not an option. I told him I could not go on and mentioned I would like to see a endocrinologist. I have private health care which I would have been stuck if I had not. He did endless of test, blood and urine and concluded that I have mild hersutism - I would not call it mild and I have a higher level of testosterone, which explains the facial hair. I stopped taking the HRT as I started to worry about the side effects. I have since been back to my GP and have discussed the HRT. He was not impressed I had just stopped the HRT, but when I told him I was still being treated for my shoulder privately, (another issue) and was taking medication for that he became a bit more approachable. Once I have had my procedure done on my shoulder, in 2.5 weeks, we have agreed I can have another 3 mths to see how things go. They monitor the first script to see how you go and how your blood pressure is. Although there are mixed views on the risk of HRT it is down to the individual how they feel. I still have all the symptoms and I am paying to have electrolysis as laser is not an option as I am fair. I was scripted a combination HRT and that should help with the level of testosterone. You mentioned about going private. A self pay person you are looking at about 200 pounds for initial consultation. A private script is the cost of an NHS script per item. A follow up consultation is £160. These are prices at a BMI hospital for a consultant. Some have private GP's but I have no idea of costs you could try ringing to find out. Obviously an NHS script at 60 is free. I got so desperate with all the other things going on I used my private cover, to try and get answers. There are also these online GP's but I am not sure being scripted with not seeing a GP in a surgery is right for me. That may be an option if your GP is reluctant to prescribe you. Sometimes you have to be force full with your GP as we know they are working within tight budgets, but we are all entitled to feel good health wise. I am sorry it is long winded but I hope it helps.

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Thanks for providing all that advice, really helpful and not long winded! I haven't decided what to do yet as I hate going to the doctors and tend to avoid them unless essential but would have to get through that to move forward with this. I'm sorry you're having such a difficult time and hope that you start to feel better soon. I know the breast cancer risk is meant to be higher if take hrt after 60 but still think the risk is very low and comparable to the risk of being obese (which is a factor for me as quite overweight). I think there's a greater risk of cardiovascular disease as well.

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Hi Corrine1,

I have heart disease in my family. My mum died of a heart attack and my two bothers have had heart attacks. I am a high risk person due to the family history. I am not overweight but the risk factor is there. I was still prescribed the HRT, albeit for 3mths initially.

You mention your weight. I am sure like many women going through the menopause we are experiencing the middle age spread. People have weight issues for all sorts of reasons. Please do not let this put you off going to your GP. Try and get into one you have a preference too. My GP has a 21 day wait for a routine appointment so I know how frustrating it is.

Whatever you decide there are people on here that can give you support if you need it.

Best Wishes.

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Hi Jay, I went to the doctors recently to ask about menopause symptom relief. Apparently my Mirena IUD will keep the symptoms at a minimum and when I asked about hrt he said that would help with the hot flushes! I said I can handle the hot flushes, it's the mood swings that are the problem. Apparently hrt won't help with mood swings :(

Hope this helps in some way 🌼

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Well..that's not true in my case, LisaE70. I don't have mood swings anymore.

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Does HRT cause weight gain? Or can it prevent it x

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I'm not sure, reikimaster. You'd have to Google it...research that. I've been on it now for 4-5 months...no weight gain so far, at least.

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I know itay sound harsh but you have to ride it out. It wont last forever

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It will get better x

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I'm in exactly the same position. Always been emotional but this is ridiculous. Crying at the least little thing. The hot flushes are driving me mad. I've had 3 baths today to warm up from the coldness of the hot flush / walking rounding wet clothes afterwards. Hair glued to my head. Awful. I also don't want to take HRT because of the cancer link. Tried Sage - doesn't work. Tried Menopausal Mood tablets from Holland & Barrett; they may have helped, but I was also taking Tramadol for chronic back pain, which gives you a mental 'lift' in any event. Almost teetering to try HRT as I type....

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