Back to square one?

Posted , 4 users are following.

Hello ladies,

I've been dipping in and out of this site for some time now and have found it most reassuring to find I am not alone. I thought the menopause was all hot flushes and mood swings. They don't tell you about everything else, do they?

I started with the flushes in 2011. I was helping a friend build a garden around her new home and her builders kept asking about 'the strange woman in the T shirt' - it was March and they were in thermals!

It was all downhill from there. I tried sage leaves, black cohosh etc but got no relief. Finally I went to my GP, who knew what was going on, and said I've tried the 'remedies' now I want HRT - Industrial Strength. He prescribed Kliofem 2mg/1mg.

It took a couple of weeks for them to start working. Then I felt great! No hot flushes, a full night's sleep, even-tempered (well, for me), far fewer aches and pains, no migraines and I stopped gaining weight (didn't lose any) Terrific! 

Then after about 3 months I started getting some breakthrough bleeding. It wasn't much and it wasn't often, but a bit annoying when I thought I had left all that behind. It was then I started getting 'period pains'. My friend (with the garden) is a pharmacist. She said had the doctors mentioned 3 months on and 1 month off with these tablets. I said no But I would try it. I stopped the tablets and the bleeding stopped. I also lost 1/2 Stone in weight!

I was just starting to get the odd flush when I started back on the HRT. Within two weeks, the flushing has stopped but the bleeding is back,as is the joint pain, headaches, weight gain, dry skin and a permanent, low-level irritability with EVERYTHING.

I feel like I'm back to square one. I should go to see my GP but I have an appointment with the Gynae. Dept. on Thursday. I had Endometriosis for 20 years and found out, more recently, that I have cysts AND fibroids. They have been shrinking on their own. But with my track record I'm glad my GP referred me a while back and I have 6 monthly reviews.

I don't want to go down the road of having a hysterectomy . I'm a full-time Carer for my mum and increasingly so for my husband (who has health problems of his own). Also, a very close friend had the operation go horribly wrong and she now wears a colostmy bag.

In your collective experience do you think the bleeding is connected to the cysts/fibroids? Would another HRT be better for me (oh please say yes)? Is there anything I should be asking this chap on Thursday?

My GP is great, but he is 'only' a GENERAL Practitoner, not a specialist, and the Gynae. (men) give me the impression that as my child bearing days are over, I am no longer of any use to the world. Does the NHS do menopause clinics? Could I ask to be referred?

There is life in the old girl yet - and I want it back! Please HELP

 

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14 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi bobbysgirl,

    You would be better off finding a Gynae to help you decide what is your next step. As in the natural order of things, our hormones dip and do all kinds of crazy stuff. So what may have worked for you prior, no longer applies. You simply may need to change the compostion of HRT for this particular time.

    I don't know about the NHS, I'm in the US, but I sure would hope they do Peri/Menopause clinics or at the very least have someone you can see that specializes in this area.

    Good Luck and hope you find a specialist to help you feel better soon.

    Annie

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    • Posted

      Sorry, forgot to add,  I also have fibroids that were staying active and recently was put on a pill form of progesterone to see if it will help offset the increase of estrogen (for my age-I don't take any estrogen, they are going on blood work and symptoms and fibroids can be a good indicator of increased estrogen) and hopefully level off my system off a bit. Had started with the cream but the most recent visit was told time to try the oral method of progesterone. The current Gynae is the most knowledgable that I have dealt with lately. It's very frustrating to be misguided by docs with no clue, isn't it?

       

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    • Posted

      That's great Annie, thank you so much. It's good to know I'm not the only one with 'active' fibroids. Though I do wonder, at 56, for how much longer they will BE active. I wish they'd go away and leave me alone.

      Perhaps I need less oestrogen and more progesterone?

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    • Posted

      My doctor put me on progesterone only as estrogen will cause the fibroids to continue thriving if not get larger. I already have more than enough estrogen in my system (also have continual ovarian cysts) the progesterone is supposed to oppose the higher than normal for age estrogen.

      I know for some people progesterone or any form of HRT is a bit concerning, but I guess when you are told you need it and you see the gradual improvements, it's worth it. Prior to agreeing to try this route, much like you, I tried a variety of supplements and herbs meant to assist during this time, without success. God Bless the people it really works for. Much like everything else, what works for one, may not another and that's ok. I have friends who flew through menopause without so much a blink and can't understand all the commotion my time has been. lol!

      Personally for me, I don't care for the other possibility of having too much unopposed estrogen cycling through the system which increase the risk of  breast or endometrial cancer, which scares the heck out of me. 

      Work with a doctor who has knowledge in this area, as initally I was told wrong information by another doctor.

      That person will know precisely what your body needs. This is an area where guessing isn't a good option. Good luck bobbysgirl, I do hope you find the help you need and start to feel better soon!

      Annie xx

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    • Posted

      Hi Annie,

      Just thought I would update you (and the other girls) about my situation - and have a moan at the same time!

      You said I would be better off finding a Gynae to help me decide what should be my next step. I agree, but there is little chance of finding that person.

      Last week I went back to see 'my' Gynae (different guy each time) He told me the cysts/fibroids were the same size or smaller and he wasn't too worried about them. I asked him about the breakthrough bleeding on HRT. He said the oestrogen in HRT is much less than your body produces (I knew that!) and should not affect the cysts/fibroids.

      Well I'm back on Kliofem and am feeling MUCH better. No bleeding yet.

      Went to see my GP today to see if he had the results of the CA125 blood test yet. He hadn't but said he would chase it up.

      I ran everything past him and told him that the consultant said 'he didn't deal with HRT, that was upto my GP'!!

      He said all HRT's were 'about the same' and if I was OK with Kliofem I should stick with that.

      He later called to say my CA125 was up from 17 to 27. I think he would be happier if I came off HRT (but I don't think he likes it anyway).

      So I have a choice, stay on HRT where I am feeling much better and more my old self, and put up with a little bleeding, OR not take ANY HRT and go back to hot flushes, night sweats, no sleep, joint pains and 'snake lady' dry skin.

      Who'd be a woman?rolleyes

      Talking this over with my OH (who has enough health problems of his own) just raised my blood pressure even more (that's up as well). He is very sympathetic but talking to him made me realise - we girls make up 50% of the worlds population. Menopause happens to ALL of us (who live long enough). We live much longer than we use to. If this happened to men THEY'D DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!!!!!! AAAAAGGGGHHH!

      It's SO cruel to say 'this works - but you can't use it'.

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    • Posted

      Hi Bobbysgirl!

      Well, the good news is he did tell you that at least the cysts/fibroids aren't growing and may be smaller. Perhaps simply stay the course with current meds and see what happens with the bleeding and feel like yourself.

      While the Gynae may be correct that that particular HRT has less estrogen in it than the body normally produces, who is to say without proper labs and from the sounds of it, you may be producing enough estrogen on your own. Not sure adding more in the from of HRT is so great, but then again, I'm not a doctor. I am with you, I don't get this. I realize that not all women go through rough patches during this time but for the specialists to be on various levels of knowledge to almost no knowledge on how to handle the women who need extra care during this time, well, it's frightening really. Yikes!

      Thanks for remembering to give us an update. Hope it all works out for you.biggrin

      Annie xx

       

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  • Posted

    Hi bobby 

    i had endometriosis yeats ago, really suffered though, adhesions so bad, but i had all mine lasered off ( they wanted to do a hyster - i said no) 

    anyway it took hours but was sucessful

    i didnt have HRT for that very reason and was advises not to..

    it feeds the uterine lining and cysts and fibroids 

    see a Gyno ask your doctor to refer you.. A scan wouls be a good idea too

    good luck

    jay x

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    • Posted

      My doctor did refer me and I have had (I think it's) TVU scans. They show cysts and fibroids that were shrinking. I should find out their status on Thursday. If they have grown, I shall have to consider 'plan B' whatever that may be!
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  • Posted

    Hi

    I had HRT for about 6 month, that was ok cos still had periods.

    Then advised to stop as BP was being effected.

    Then menopause hit big time and HRT was not my answer as I kept bleeding and periods had stopped for over 12 month.

    So had to quit trying all the different ones , non suiting .

    3 and half yr later getting better but still on sertraline

    And propanalol

    . Not sure when it all ends but it's Been mighty grim at times but slowly improving x

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  • Posted

    Hi Bobby, It looks like you need some progesterone, the bioidentical  one.  And lower dose of transdermal (patch or gel) estradiol. If you're bleeding, maybe it's because he uterus is shedding so there’s some oestrogen build up. Maybe a milder combination of milder bioidentical HRT like estradiol gel/patch + utrogestan (progesterone).  X
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