Going to ask for HRT, is there anything I should be aware of

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Hi all, I posted last year about night sweats.  Well enough is enough, I am 56 and started the menopause at around 48.  I have not stopped having flushes during the day and the night sweats are becoming worse.  My GP refused last year to let me have HRT as I had a phlebitis around 30 years ago and she was worried about breast cancer.  I am sure many of you have seen recently that they now think the benefits outweight the worries. I spoke to my sister yesterday who has been on HRT for 3 years and highly recommends it and lo and behold I found out she had had a DVT 26 years ago (not much of a sister am I not knowing that) so that is my stance when I go next week.  My night sweats are horrendous, I wake every couple of hours because of being soaked and them end up going to to loo LOL so sleep is broken nightly.  Yesterday walking home at lunchtime I bumped into my neighbour and whilst talking a flush came over me and my glassed steamed up, she looked at me a bit strangely, which was rather embarrasing, So now what happens, do I need blood test, do I start on a low dose and increase and will it stop these rotten aches and pains that I have had since all this started.  Any advise greatly received. 

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  • Posted

    Hi youngatheart,

    I have posted a rather long explanation (as much as I have learnt from research over the last year).

    There are several types of HRT

    Ones that are made from pregnant horse urine which is well known that these type are really not well tolerated by humans. Yet still here in the UK they seem to be the doctors first "go to" prescription. I have read elsewhere it is because they are the cheapest.

    Then you have synthetic hormones there are quite a few if these.

    The best thing you could do as you have had a problem in the past that makes the doctor think twice about giving it to you. Is to ask for a bioidentical one.

    I have problems and also a cervical cancer scare so my GP was not wanting to prescribe it for me at first.

    She then prescribed premarin horse urine one and when I googled it and found out what it was and how they obtained it, I decided it was unethical and threw it straight in the bin.

    More research found the synthetic ones and I decided to try livial as it also has testosterone in and I was suffering b badly from zero libido.

    It really didn't agree with me and I had some worrying breathing problems (also odd dreams with a sexual theme)

    I had to stop taking it and the breathing thing was so bad and continued for 4 months that I was really put off trying again.

    Then I began to look at seeing a private specialist. But this was going to be way more than I could afford. I looked at lots of private gynocologists as I was interested in also using testosterone which my GP said she would be unwilling to prescribe as there is no licenced product available for women.

    I then came upon professor John Studd and read some of what he was saying (although I still wouldn't be able to afford private.

    He recommends Oestrogel and Utrogestan along with testosterone.

    The first two are bio identical and available on the NHS from your GP.

    I buy a woman's testosterone cream online. Australia has a licenced female one.

    I was a bit nervous to be using something not actually prescribed but as I had filled in a questionnaire on the site which suggested I was low in it I decided to have a go.

    So I'm using oestrogel 2 pumps you put it on your skin so avoiding the liver and digestive system. The Utrogestan I take for days 1 to 12 each calendar month and the testosterone is a cream absorbed through the skin also.

    I haven't been on it that long about 7 weeks (9 weeks for testosterone) and the change has been amazing.

    I feel a lot like I did pre peri.

    Libido back to where it was in my early 40s depression which I've had for 10 years is lifting also the strange on edge all the time anxiety has gone.

    I still have minor aches and pains that so far haven't gone and others that have.

    I have another 4 weeks to go until full benefit is reached and I do have high hopes that these will get better.

    The only thing I wish was that I had known about it when I was so depressed and nothing was making me feel normal again.

    For me now I have to say it has to be about quality of life. As I feel like me again it has to be worth any risks.

    On the subject of risks the WHI study that worries everyone was using horse urine hormones ( as I said known to not be well tolerated) and what I am using is derived from plants.

    Hope this helps.

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    • Posted

      HI, thank you so much for taking the time to send such a great reply. I too find the idea of horse urine a bit odd, I remember years ago they used to use this as a slimming fix and inject you with it. I am also UK based so will write down the names of what you are using and will talk to my GP about it. I would prefer one that does not upset my stomach as I have reflux and cannot tolerate a lot of the casings on pills as they burn my insides.

      I must admit my libido has gone completely and not that I am a sex maniac it would be nice to feel something again LOL. I also have that strange on edge anxiety which I just put down to getting older and realising life is running out fast, so hopefully if I can get started on HRT that may also go. I really appreciate all this information and am due to see my GP on 15th so will post back what happens. Have a good day.

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    • Posted

      Glad to help.

      As you are not able to tolerate the casings on pills etc. You may be interested to know that quite a few women use the Utrogestan vaginally (this is because they are progesterone intolerant. It can make you

      slept apparently (as I suffer from insomnia I am taking it orally).

      I also had some real nasty reflux issues. I was prescribed lansoprazol but it didn't help anywhere near as much as taking ginger capsules before eating and drinking ginger tea made with fresh ginger.

      I'm not sure if it was the ginger that sorted it out or if it went on its own but it became a lot better after around 6 weeks on the ginger and then became a rare occurrence rather than all day every day.

      The fact that it has gone is nothing to do with HRT as this was a while before I started it.

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    • Posted

      Hi, will write all your suggestions down and speak to GP, I also suffer insomnia but always have so hot flushes just make it worse. I have suffered with reflux since really young so nothing to do with menopause just another thing to cope with. I hate getting older, NOT OLD, as I am constantly told by my sisters just more rickety. Have a good day
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    • Posted

      Hi, I got the tablets and took my first one today.  GP went into a long talk about side effect etc, but was happy to prescribe me with some to try. When I mentioned about the horse ones, she did not know what I was talking about, which was a bit scary, so she prescribed me one that she said did not have it, googled when I got home before purchase and it did have horse urine, so back I went and eventually got Elleste Duet Conti which is 1 pill containing everyting, apparently this is best for my age, length of time without periods etc.  Have googled this and some people have side effects that mean they have to change to another one, but I will wait and see.  Not looking forward to a period though which it can sometimes do as I have not one for nearly 12 years due to coil I was on.  Thanks for your advise, especially about the horse urine, I would have been a bit freaked about that as you do not know what is in it.
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    • Posted

      If you do have trouble on the elleste you could ask to try a plant based HRT such as Oestrogel with micronised progesterone.

      The estrogen part is a gel rubbed into your arms or inner thighs. The estrogen part at least is then taken avoiding the liver and digestive system. You take the progesterone separately for 12 days a month.

      Yeah it is a pain having a period again (the only positive thing about menopause).

      This regime gives me a 7 to 8 day bleed.

      Hope this helps.

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    • Posted

      Thanks, no side effects so far, but only taken one, but no headaches yet. Will ask to try the gel if I do have problems. Just waiting for this period to start, oh joy. Thanks
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    • Posted

      Hi, just wondered how long before I start noticing a change, I am expecting too much I know having only taken 4 tablets,  GP I saw was lovely but only young and got a bit flustered as I am not sure she knows that much.  The leaflet doesn't say anything either.  I am not having side effects which is good so will keep taking and see what happens. 
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    • Posted

      Hi youngatheart,

      The first 8 days on it I had some of the best sleeps I've had for years. I don't think it was a coincidence as although I have a good night here and there I can't remember the last time I had such a good run.

      Unfortunately that didn't last sad and now sleep is the same as it was before. But it's a joy not to have to keep throwing the covers off every ten minutes.

      That said I still get hot sometimes but it seems more bearable.

      By two weeks in I was sold on it if only for the fact that I can lay in bed and feel normalish and snuggle my radiator of a husband.

      By just before the first bleed I was feeling more normal in my lady parts and sex no longer felt like we were using a sand based lubricant.

      During this time without realising it I was becoming less depressed and this odd on edge feeling anxiety was happening less often.

      I'm at week 9 now and I just keep noticing things still. What it seems is that like when you first go into peri there is a symptom here and there and as you go through they get worse and more often in the same way they are reverting back so at the moment I feel like early peri again. I get the symptoms still but not so often.

      I have this empty head can't think of the right word and trail off trying to think of what I'm trying to say but that's got better (more like early peri) where if I take a deep breath and not stress the word does pop into my head after a couple of um um. Instead of really not being able to find the right word and after what seems like ages asking lol I usually for some reason say the white thing or the green thing.

      I've only really noticed that in the last few days.

      Also a few times over the last week or so instead of saying to myself in my head "oh I feel so yuk/sick/tired/dizzy" I've had "golly I felt so normal then"

      So yes it does take a week or two before you start noticing things and the change seems quite subtle.

      The week after my first bleed there were loads of little things I kept noticing and as I have said elsewhere I had the best Christmas with regards the depression that I have had for 10 years.

      Hope yours starts working soon.

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  • Posted

    Hi, I am 53, had same problem. tried every thing didn t help. the magic is dried sage leaves. just boil it with water and drink it as your normal daily tea. because of its best result, this year when I went to Jordan the only thing i bought a big bag of dried sage leaves. try it and you will be fine. good luck
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