I’ve been in menopause now for about 4-5 years and have suffered setbacks during this time

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I have now been on Evorel Sequi patches now for over a year and in the last 3 months seems to have stopped working. I’ve been off work 3 months as I’m crying, anxious, low, so tired, can’t think properly. I’m at my wits end. Before the patches I was on tablet HRT but was making my stomach bad! I also take citalopram alongside HRT patches. Has anyone experienced similar? Maybe I need higher dose of HRT? 

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  • Posted

    I am experiencing the same exact symptoms. I can t work. This is debilitating. My estrogen level is 24. I've been on estradiol patch 1.5 years and can t seem to get my level to go past 44.

  • Posted

    Hi Lou,

    Sorry your having a rough time. Im right at the beginning of starting treatment so not sure what to expect right now. I do really get your symptoms as I have been of work for around 6 weeks fatigue, apathy tearfulness and joint pain it has been exhausting. I started Femonston tablets but worried about side effects. What tablets were you using before the patches?

    Are you able to go back to your GP or menopause clinic to review things for you. Hopefully they can suggest another treatment pathway but please do go and get help.

    May I ask how old you are, and are you in the UK ?

    Best wishes X

  • Posted

    Hi Lou yes I was also on citalopram just 10mg do think they help when you are feeling low, but I really don’t want to take both as hrt and citalopram are a weight gainer ? I have only been on hrt for 5 months but not really that impressed so gonna try vitamins again hope this helps.
    • Posted

      May I ask what hrt  you have been using please and whether patches or tablets I'm just starting following a prescription by my GP and due to menopause consultant hopefully soon.

      I also using MenoSerene multivitiams

  • Posted

    Are your patches full strength?  I was on Estraderm MX 100 which releases 100 ug/day.  I found that two patches per week only lasted me 6 days, so on seventh I used the transdermal gel (Sandrina).

    I am now back on implant pellets, the strength of which, e.g. 100mg, only governs the effective time before it runs out.  Your body does not absorb any more than it needs, and our need changes during the day.

    I hope you are able to get an increase to be effective for you.


    • Posted

      Glad to read experiences on this forum. Sheryl are you finding now being back on the implan more effective ? I was thinking of asking for patches instead. Do you also take other supplements?


    • Posted

      The patches were effective as long as I remembered to change them and use the gel on the 7th day.  If I forgot to put a new one on, the symptoms became obvious by at least 11.00am with a wave of depression or anxiety sweeping over me.

      Now with the implants I don't have to deal with itchy patches and remembering to change them.  A tip - I used to take turns on putting them on my belly and my backside.  However the belly ones used to loosen up easily and but not so on the backside.  I realised it was because when sitting there would be a roll of fat which loosened the patch.

      I feel much more comfortable with the implants and don't have to worry about them for a while.  They don't last a long as they used to when before the company stopped making them.  I do wonder if the compound chemist ones are not as good, although they insist that it is the same 'recipe', or if because my oestrogen intake has been messed around by first a tumour on my pituitary gland, then my dr insisting I take Provera as well which made my oestrogen totally ineffective.  When I discovered it was causing the problem, I told the dr about it and refused to take anymore.  So back on board now and so far so good.  I just have to get used to the fact that a 100mg which used to last me 9 months (meant to last 12 months) but now might only last me 4-6 months.

      I also use Vagifem pessaries every 2nd night (since they reduced the strength) and just rub Estriol vaginal cream on the outside (because inside is so messy).  This keeps everything supple so I don't get splits in the skin.

      I have found Vit D3 forte drops by a practitioners brand is very important to me (I was deficient) and while I am not deficient in Vit b12, an injection every 3 months is giving me a lift (just started that last 12 months).  Apart from those, I take another practitioners brand multi, calcium, magnesium, Vit E, Omega 3 and I treat myself with the occasional bottle of CoQ10 (because a good one is expensive).  I have found it is no use wasting money on cheap brands of the important stuff.

      Now, I also have an aggressive genetic haemochromatosis which was not diagnosed for 9 years and my hips broke up, so that is why I take most supplements.

      A blood test for Vit D and B12 is important to have because deficiencies in these cause a lot of health issues and you may be solving a number of health problems if you find you need them.

      Calcium and magnesium is important for us in menopause.  CoQ10 is good for heart health, now also been discovered is good for diabetes, and in the case of my haemochromatosis is good for repairing the mitochondria that has been damaged by iron deposits in the cells.

      Every 8 days, I sort all my tablets into small bottles for those 8 days.  Then I am not opening up the big bottles and packets everytime I need to take them.  I try to spread them over the day with meals, with calcium best taken at night after dinner.  I chose 8 days because I often alternate some of them every 2nd day and 7 days is an uneven number and hard to work with.

      I hope my personal experiences are of help to you.


    • Posted

      Thanks for sharing Sheryl. Sorry to hear about your other health condition too.  I've had a number of blood panels back in November to February 18. Interesting I only out at the beginning of February that my oestrogen was low at 43 and only started hrt tablet form over the last 4 days. I don't know how quickly hrt (Femonston) works but I slept through from around 9.30 pm to 6am today ?

      How long did it take for your patches to take effect and would you say all your symptoms have been stablised ?

      I have felt an increase in nausea, breast tenderness and mild headches also anixety seemed to pick up during the late evening yesterday wondering if could be side effects?

      Im starting to experience warm flashes along with upset at the same time?

      Ideally I would prefer to try the patches as I just dont like taking tablets. Its still early days but seems to be taking for ever to feel back to my old self again its really hindering my home and work life I dont know if I'll ever feel back to myself again !

      Menopause definately does make you evaluate the overall health and to keep on top it. Good tips about vitamins and I shall look into Co Q10.

      Thank you.

      P.s are you uk based ?


    • Posted

      If you still have your ovaries, you might find hrt tricky to get right.  I was "lucky" - I had to have a hysterectomy and oophorectomy and my gyne surgeon implanted a 100mg pellet at the same time.  So there was no stop/wait/start.

      Same with patches, I went directly to patches after pellets became unavailable.  Although sometimes it was a while before i realised my implants had worn out, and move on to patches, but I must say the patches worked immediately for me.  Same when I would forget, and have those waves of depression or anxiety come over me, as soon as I put on the new patch they would go.

      I think because they are transdermal oestrogen is absorbed almost straight away - you don't have to wait for a tablet to go through liver and depend on your digestion.  From everything I have read transdermal is safer and for me it must be estradiol.  So I don't know Femonston.

      While I was waiting for my new start on pellet implants to start working, I looked forward to feeling a surge (some might think call it tenderness) in the breasts.  That way I know it has kicked in and I stop using the patches.  This takes up to 3 weeks.  The length of time may have something to do with the scar tissue that occurs from the insertion.  But the breast tenderness can occur as the oestrogen is used up and leaves the body depleted too.

      From what I have read, our bodies requires more oestrogen in the morning, tapers down around middle of day, and the need increases in the evening.  (I think - it has been a long time since I read it).  If you are getting hot flashes as well, it does sound like you are not getting enough oestrogen.

      I must say that when it is slightly hot, the back of my neck (the hollow part in the hairline) starts sweating which is most annoying - my hair gets wet.  When my oestrogen was not working, my whole head and face was sweating - and whole body sweats at night even in winter (we holidayed in France where it was a lot colder than I am used to and I was waking up saturated - I never used the doona).  So it is better now, and maybe it is the summer heat.  I never used to sweat like that before - I think the tap was turned on when I had the pituitary gland tumour and still drips.  I am thinking about asking about botox on the back of my neck to stop the sweating.

      BTW, I am from Australia and live in the tropics!

      You have some magic stuff in the UK - not available in Australia anymore.  It is called Magicool - a can of spray that cools down wherever you apply it.  So you can try it on your hot flashes while waiting.


    • Posted

      Also, I rarely have oestrogen levels tested.  Any time before they read "normal".  However, that level was not enough to allay my symptoms.  I googled what is optimal level of oestrogen to use for menopause.

      A research gyne professor from the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust states that whatever it takes to relieve menopausal symptoms.  Levels of up to 1200pmol/l are sometimes required to maintain symptom free state.

      My gp does not bother to do blood tests anymore because, in a way, they are meaningless post menopause.


    • Posted

      Hi Sheryl

      Yes still have my ovaries and regular periods. I just now got my community GYNo appointmtent through for next week Sunday and would have been taking Femstone tablets for 2 weeks by then I guess they still might not have really taken effect by then and hope I can discuss switching over to patches too.

      I haven't yet experienced a full hot flash but feel from time to time my body temperature feels noticeably warm prehaps this may steadily increase as part of my symptoms, hope not! Funny the last few gp appointments I felt like I was having a hot flashes or maybe my anixety was getting the better of me (menopause is just mad!). Glad you have relief and I know some women are completely dibilitated by these having 20/30 a day is unimaginable.

      Sorry to hear about your tumor. May I ask what symptoms did you have before being diagnosed with this?

      Its not what you need particularly living in the tropics.

      Waves of symptoms come and go throughout the day so I would imagine this is the oestrogen as you say differing and different times. I am finding the last few days my breast are feeling tender maybe a sign of the hrt working ???

      The UK  is quite cold at the moment so I 've been going for brisk cold walks when I can.

      It sounds that you've got your treatment working for you well. Really hope I have some success too. I woke up at 5.30 am this morning and had an episode of tearfullness it so up and down at the moment but I now realise that I've been dealing with PeriM for maybe the last 6 months.

      Thanks Sheryl.

    • Posted

      The symptoms I had with the tumour were a sudden onset of sweating of the face.  Like it was spurting out, in winter, at lunch meeting at work, with female and male colleagues noticing.  I was dabbing my face with a navy blue paper serviette.  Sheryl, are you ok?  Yeah, yeah.  I was thinking maybe the dye was turning my face blue!  They probably assumed it was that time of life for me, when I had been in surgical menopause for 13 years.

      Dr checked thyroid which was ok.  The other answer was menopause symptoms but I was using oestrogen - so that was discounted, and never had a blood test for oestrogen.  The sweating of face and head never stopped.  My hair was alway stinking of sweat.  I sometimes got up in the middle of the night and stuck my head under the shower because I could not stand the smell, and the heat in my head was unbearable.

      After 6 years, I got to the stage where I was going to jump off the cliff or see if botox would help.  The botox dr sent me to the endocrinologist.  Something my gp did not do.  The excess prolactin was causing my oestrogen to be ineffective.

      Now it is not a usual symptom of a prolactinoma.  The symptoms for that are recorded as breast milk suddenly occurring, and loss of periods.  Well, I was passed that.  Hence it was such a mystery - to my gp anyway.

      Other women may have different menopausal symptoms as a result of a prolactinoma.  They might become the most hardest woman to live with ever.

      So I have often recommended that women (and men) with unusual symptoms which cannot be resolved, or those that sweat a lot, to ask for their pituitary gland hormones to be tested.  It seems that drs generally don't think of doing them.

      I wish you well with your hrt treatment, and highly recommend going transdermal with estradiol products.  As you still have your uterus, you will need to use a progesterone too.  There is now a bio-identical progesterone available too.


    • Posted

      I do agree that not every symptom should not just be put down to the Menopause and extended testing should not be ruled out. I think I will discuss further with my GP next seeing endocrinologist. Yes I really do want my treatments through the skin route and will hopefully get to discuss this next Sunday with the GYNo Consultant.

      Did you experience getting waves of nausea, tummy upsets and headches. Also some shortness of breath...


    • Posted

      Re your other symptoms - no nausea, tummy pain can be put down to my haemochromatosis, as well as shortness of breath - like I am not getting enough oxygen.

      Headaches - no, except that I fell off my bike in France last year and landed on my head (they don't wear helmets over there).  I have had a slight headache ever since, particularly noticeable at night.  Nothing to do with oestrogen.

      Delve into the side effects of progestogen/progestin.  The usual progestogen prescribed is a drug pretending to be a hormone.  It seems to be the most problematic.  You cannot avoid it, still having your uterus, but you may be able to push for the bio-identical version (can't think of what name it goes under).  It does require a script.

      There is a dr (MD?) with a website saying we should not use oestrogen - it is toxic - but we should all use progestogen instead.  I think we should shove it down his throat and see how he likes it.



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