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Aching joints after stopping HRT

(87 Posts)
jardy Wed 25-Aug-10 21:12:37

I am 55 years old.For 12 months,(starting February 2009) I took Elleste Duet 1mg-this was a Lifestyle choice,no menopausal symptoms except for occasional night sweats which were not too bad,I could cope with them.I have never stopped having regular and very painful periods.I was checked for underlying cause of the pain but nothing was found.While on HRT I developed blinding headaches,and severe PMT,however I found getting up in the mornings easier.I got so fed up of the dreadful painful periods that I went back to my GP and she prescibed Elleste Duet Conti Tablets to knock my periods on the head.I stopped Elleste Duet 1mg-BINGO!my periods stopped and so did the blinding headaches.
That was three months ago.I haven`t started the Elleste Duet because I felt so much better without the anticipation of the awful painful period and PMT.I became a bit evangelical about NOT been on HRT because I had NO headaches,and did not notice any noticable loss of energy.Also I kept worring about the increased risk of stroke/breast cancer althought my bp is fine and there is no history of cancer in my family,although my cousin developed a breast cyst while on HRT.However for the last week two weeks I have had vaginal dryness,loss of libido,but worse of all ACHING JOINTS in the morning.I feel like a 90 year old woman getting out of bed each morning.They ache up until at least lunch time.It`s really debilitating.I have an appointment next week to see the Doctor about taking oestrogen cream to help the dry vagina and sex Life.My friend said she was like me but she had had a hysterectomy and her ovaries removed,she took HRT to keep going in her job from 55 to 60.She has just stopped and has had no problems with vaginal dryness or reduction in energy.She thinks it would be a good idea to start the Elleste Duet Conti to see if I feel better,then I can make a decision based on both experiences.What do you think?I thought I was doing well without the HRT until these awful aching joints kicked in.I do need my energy because I have a busy physical job and I have to get up my severely physically and mentally disabled son of 22,and it feels a real chore because I am so stiff!Please give me your experiences and/or opinion.Thank you.

chelseamorning Thu 26-Aug-10 15:14:37

I feel for you, Jardy.

I've found sea buckthorn oil capsules really work for my vaginal dryness. They're supposed to help with your skin and dry mouth etc. I started on the recommended dose and now only take 2 per day and could possibly go down to 1. They started working after about a week.

Can't help with the loss of libido or the aching joints as I'm still working on those.

Generally, I found woman essence good at boosting my natural hormone levels so that my symptoms were greatly reduced. However recently my hot flushes have come back and so I'm increased my dose a little which seems to be helping. Might be worth a go? Some people I know take She Oak or Agnus Castus but I've no experience of these.

purplepeony Thu 26-Aug-10 18:11:25

jardy- does it help to know that there are dozens of different kinds of HRT? My gynae who I see privately says it's like finding the right pair of shoes- you sometimes need to try several pairs to find the right fit.

Given that you have only tried one kind.

However, there seem to be two issues running through your post here- PMT/periods and menopausal symptoms such as aching joints.
I am unclear about why you took HRT to be honest- you said to was lifestyle reasons, but do you mean it was for heavy and painful periods?

You are quite old to be still having painful periods. Period pain usually only comes after ovualtion and it is not usual for women of 55 to be ovulating. Having said that, the menopause can be as late as 56 in some women.

Have you had blood tests for your hormone levels? Have you had your thyroid checked?

I am not a dr, but I have been on HRT for 2 years under the care of a very emninent gynae who has also written a good book on the menopause.

If I were you I would ask for a referral either to a gynae with expertise in menopause(GPs often don't know much) or take yourself off to a menpoasue clinic.

IMO you need to separate out all the issues:
heavy periods
painful joints
finding the right HRT to help.

HRT might not be what you need- your joints might not e remotely connected to your hormones.

BTW I have had NO side effects with my HRT. I use oestrogen gel daily and then progesterone pills for 10 days every 3 months, which gives me a withdrawal bleed once every 3 months. I am same age as you.

jardy Thu 26-Aug-10 20:32:17

Thank you very much for the helpful and thoughtful replies.Yes I felt it was unusual to have regular and painful periods upto the age of 55 and the GP gave me the Elleste Duet CONTI because she said that it would stop my periods.However as soon as I stopped the Elleste Duet 1mg they stopped.I haven`t started the Elleste Duet Conti because I thought I would give myself a trial,HRT free.That was 3 months ago and it is bliss not to have the awful PMT.
Purple,my daughter had half her thyroid removed due to a cyst last year,other people have mentioned I might be having trouble with my thyroid.I started HRT because I thought it might make my periods lighter and less painful,instead it made them much worse and gave me splitting headaches.
The last couple of days I have rested more and got more sleep.My joints are feeling better and I feel more centred.Today I think I might try a more holistic approach.Chelsea you have encouraged me to think along those lines now.
I am seeing the Doctor next tuesday and let you know how I get on.I am feeling better for knowing I got two very different but very caring replies,thank you!

purplepeony Thu 26-Aug-10 20:46:46

Jardy- hope you get on oaky. I googled Elleste Duet Conti for you and it says it is only for women who have not had a period for 1 year.

HRT will not make your periods lighter. The progesterone part is what i s giving you PMT.
You can take a 3-monthly HRT which means you only take progesterone for 10 days every 3 months, and have 1 period every 3 months.

Seriously consider going to a meno clinic or ask to be referred to a gynae. I have chatted to ther women who have had HRT prescribed by their GPs and honestly, some of them don't know what they are doing. They don't know all the ins and outs of the different types and how they effect people differently.

purplepeony Thu 26-Aug-10 21:00:40

oh I just thought of something- when you said you had heavy periods on HRT was that bleeding not a monthly withdrawal bleed rather than a real period? You do get "periods" with HRT unless you take a no-bleed sort- the CONTI is short for continuous, which means that the hormones are balanced in each pill so that you don't have any bleeding. This is why they are only given to women whose periods have stopped for good. ( 1 year post meno)

Was this not explained to you?

I doubt very much if the bleeding you had on Elleste Duet was a real period.

You can easily sort out the vaginal probs with either Vagifem or Ovestin creams.

chelseamorning Fri 27-Aug-10 09:00:01

Jardy, have you looked at menopause matters website? The founder is a menopause specialist. The site gives you info about both medical and alternative remedies to help with the menopause. There is also a forum and an interesting magazine.

jardy Fri 27-Aug-10 15:42:17

Hello purple and Chelsea,thank you for your replies.Purple I had a hunch that it was only the HRT that was giving me the heavy and painful periods.It was never explained to me,when I went back to say I couldn`t stand it any longer she gave me the Elleste Duet Conti and told me to take them straight away,when I said wouldn`t it be better to wait until my periods stopped altogether she said it was as broad as long,as 99% of women has stopped their periods by 55.I saw a gynae 6 months ago because I had a particularly bad flooding episode and she found nothing wrong and told me to continue to take elleste duet 1mg until my periods stopped.Do you think they would ever have stopped on elleste duet 1mg?She never went into why I was taking hrt etc Now the Good News,my stiffness has improved.I went to a Zumba class this morning,I was more like a clumsy elephant but I couldn`t help but feel that I would never have attempted it last week.Overall I am feeling better than expected not been on HRT,not a single headache,NO PERIODS OR PMT (wow that`s such a wonderful feeling)the only problem is the dryness thing,and the aching joints and stiffness in the morning,even that seems a bit better.Wonder if there is some other cause like a virus other than not been on HRT.Thanks again,I am really so interested in your knowledge and experiences.

jardy Fri 27-Aug-10 15:56:24

Menopause Matters,thank you Chelsea,really helpful.BTW,just rushed out to grab the washing in as it`s pouring down,and OUCH!Joints again!

jardy Fri 27-Aug-10 16:03:31

Purple,very kind of you to let me know about vagifem or ovestin.I didn`t know that there are risks involved and also I might get headaches coming back,so might have to rethink that one.
I am interested in Oil of Primrose,a friend swears by them.She is post menopause and really active and positive.Also I went to a highly regarded herbalist who at first gave me all sorts of pills to buy and then said try more oily fish in your diet first,like sardines (yuk) but might try that.

chelseamorning Fri 27-Aug-10 16:50:17

The sea buckthorn oil capsules have omegas 3, 6, 7 and 9. I'm veggie so I've found them useful in my diet anyway but they have certainly cleared up my vaginal dryness. I wouldn't be without them! smile

I also have the joint problems. sad My hands and feet ache. Recently my knee is twinging too. Feel like a very old woman but I'm only 43. Early meno unfortunately runs in my family.

My DS was born 3 years ago and I've pretty much had aches and pains since then. My GP and a private rheumatoid consultant were very dismissive and told me it was probably because I was breast feeding. Anyway, 3 years later I still have the stiffness and soreness but realise it's because of the menopause.

I'm determined to sort out my problems with alternative remedies but appreciate that the vast majority are untested. However I'm also going to be realistic and give myself a year to find a suitable combination of treatments. My mum has breast cancer and her sister has osteoporosis so I'm going to tread carefully with my approach.

My current thought is to find a good menopause clinic - hopefully my GP can refer me. Once my DS starts back at preschool in September I'll have a bit of time to focus on my health issues!

chelseamorning Fri 27-Aug-10 16:56:05

Oh, forgot to say, with joints it's certainly a case of 'use them or lose them' so I'm endeavouring to take up the recommended types of exercise to ward off osteoporosis. We're buying our DS a 10/12ft trampoline for Christmas which we're going to use when he's in bed or at preschool. wink

Check out the National Osteoporosis Society's website which has some fab tips on nutrition and exercise for our problems.

And another website which might be useful is the National Women's Health Concern's site.

purplepeony Fri 27-Aug-10 17:49:34

Jardy- which risks are you referring to with Ovestin and Vagifem? Not everyone gets headaches using it- I don't!

I have used Ovestin and my gynae says any risk in minute- very little is absorbed into the blood stream, so I wouldn't worry if they help. They give it to 70 yr olds to use.

The other thing is- are you missing the point a little with your HRT and periods? HRT doesn't restore your fertility or give you periods back Is that what you mean by would your periods have continued on Elleste Duet?

The answer is yes, but as i said they are not true "periods" they are withdrawal bleeds to stop the lining of the womb growing too much. The bleed is brought about when you stop the progestin part of the pack which you take inthe 2nd half of the month.

The CONTI brand gives you progestin every day which means that you never ever have any bleeding.

I really do think that if you have bad symptoms you should go to a meno clinic and talk to some experts.

jardy Fri 27-Aug-10 18:40:55

Thanks again girls.I googled ovestin and vagifem and there are some increased risks,so they say,to do with womb cancer and headaches.
I am inspired by it helping 70 year olds!
Thanks Chelsea,for your websites.I will get some sea buckthorn to trial if they are so good.
Really appreciate the support.Didn`t want to continue having periods or ovulation.It`s just that when I stopped the Elleste Duet so did my periods.I would have stopped taking it if I knew that they would stop.I wish the GP had said just stop taking it,and your periods would stop.It was me pushing it really and it has been a pleasant surprise that I am not as bad as I thought I would be on it,apart from those two symptoms of stiff joints and dryness.

purplepeony Fri 27-Aug-10 20:47:31

Jardy what you have to remember is that all drugs and even alternative medicines can/do have side effects. Even some of the herbs for menopause have been linked to breast cancer- such as black cohosh.

The risks with Ovestin etc are minute. The hormone levels are very low and a tiny amount is absorbed into your system. Far, far less than with taking oral HRT. My gynae suggests that if anyone uses it long term then they should have a pelvic scan to check the womb lining after say 2 years.

He is a fellow the Royal College of Gynaes and also treats the royal family so I assume he knows what he is talking about.

A friend who saw her GP was told she could only use Ovestin for 3 months due to risks which is simply not the case.

www.amazon.co.uk/Your-Change-Choice-Integrated-Men opause/dp/0340828862/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qi d=1282938392&sr=8-2

I really recommend you read this book which gives all the treatments available, conventional and complementary.

chelseamorning Sat 28-Aug-10 14:28:24

I've just bought that book, purple! Just waiting for my DS to go back to preschool to have time to read it! Incidentally, do you have any experiences with meno clinics?

purplepeony Sat 28-Aug-10 18:02:41

Hi Chelsea- no, but my dr is the one who wrote the book smile

chelseamorning Mon 30-Aug-10 08:59:56

Fab book, purple. "jardy*, the book contains some useful tips for the old aches and pains!!!

Sad person that I am and completely obsessed with the menopause now, I started to read it last night - with a cup of horlicks made with soya milk. (A few weeks ago, it would have been a few glasses of red wine but I've realised that alcohol disturbs my sleep and increases the risk of hot flushes during the night. sad)

jardy Tue 31-Aug-10 10:10:50

Update:I visited the Doctor this morning.She was very young and different to the one I had been seeing.She feels that it is best not to go back on HRT if my main symptom,vaginal dryness can be treated locally.She has given me Gynest Cream to try for 3 months.She thinks this should be used with a lubricant but NOT ky jelly as this dries up during sex.She thinks the new lubricants especially meant for sex is better.I will go in Boots to investigate the types.Also regarding the aching joints - I am actually better for the last couple of days which I put down to NOT going to the Gym but she said continue going to the Gym as this will actually help my joints.Also to try paracetomal for the pain.She is reluctant to put me on more medicines for this due to possible other side effects.I asked about the pelvic scan and she said it will not be necessary.The cream is localised and will not have the side effects of HRT.Overall I am happy with the service I got this morning although we covered a lot of ground in less than 15 minutes!I will get the book on the menopause.Thanks for the all the support purple and Chelsea,much appreciated!

purplepeony Tue 31-Aug-10 17:22:34

Phew- one sorted lady! Good luck and do read the book- I'm not on commission but it's a great book and he's a great dr.

jardy Wed 01-Sep-10 18:57:20

Thanks so much purple and chelsea,you really clarified things for me and were such a support

jardy Tue 07-Sep-10 13:03:36

I used Gynest Cream for 3 nights but didn`t take it for two nights as I was going away.I filled the applicator right upto the top,when I used it.
Monday-didn`t feel myself,felt quite PMT.At 7:30pm I started a period.This was 3 months after taking the last HRT tablet and have had no period since.I am going to the GP on Friday but I feel back to square one really,and disappointed.Lots of women tell me that they have never suffered vaginal dryness after menopause hmm,and and that their sex department is just as it was before.On Gynest,do you gradually decrease the amount of cream,and also can anyone give me any advice.I don`t feel concerned it could be serious because I had a thorough scan and biopsy 12 months ago (clear)and also I have only had sex with my dh,so my GP thinks that if my last smear was clear I don`t ever need another one,which I must admit would be fantastic!

jardy Tue 07-Sep-10 13:08:14

I forgot to mention that my aching joints are much better.Not sure what actually helped.I have been exercising more,rested more,and taken cod liver oil and primrose oil,but can`t help but think they have just got better.It started to improve before I started using Gynol Cream.

jardy Tue 07-Sep-10 13:08:49

Gynest Cream!

purplepeony Thu 09-Sep-10 18:30:58

why are you disappointed? I have had what appear to be 2 periods some time after what I thought was my last. My gynae did a biopsy and will do more tests if any more bleeding, but I do think that periods can dribble on for some time even after a big gap.

jardy Fri 10-Sep-10 12:14:34

Thanks purple,that is reassuring.I am disappointed that I have had a set back,as I did notice a good difference down there after only using the cream for two days.I am going to the Gynae department next friday for investigations.Meanwhile this has scared me so she has given me replens on perscription,to try,rather than go back on the cream.She said 50% of women do not experience vaginal dryness after menopause.I find this a bit surprising,but talking to friends of my age it seems to be evenly split between those that did and those that didn`t.
Most however said it sounds like I need more lubrication,relaxation,couple of glasses of wine,more in the mood etc etc.One friend who is into natural remedies in a big way said it could be a phase,just been a bit run down or something.I definatly need to read that book purple!

purplepeony Fri 10-Sep-10 13:56:29

Jardy- I still don't understand....

what are you disappointed about? Is it that you have had a bleed whilst using the cream? Has this worried you in some way?

Why do youthink this is due (if you do) to the cream and not in fact another "normal" period?

jardy Fri 10-Sep-10 19:34:27

I had a bleed that lasted 5 days and it was just like a period,with cramps,clots etc.
The GP said that to have a period in a woman who is post-menopausal should be investigated.
I thought it was due directly to the cream but she said it is absolutely NOT due to the cream.
My disappointment is due to feeling that I thought I had seen the last of my periods and that the cream would give my sex life a boost.Now I am not only very worried but too scared to take anything with hormones in it.
The GP did say that the cream is a big help to many women and much safer for women for whom this condition is the only symptom of the menopause than HRT.However now I have a big bag of replens so I may try that.Thanks purple.

purplepeony Fri 10-Sep-10 19:58:59

Hi Jardy- maybe you are worrying too much? Your GP is right that your bleeding needs investigating, but at the same time she has reassured you that using the hormone cream for 2-3 days is not the cause of the bleeding, which is true.

I don't know whay you are so scared, to be honest. If you are having such problems with your dryness, is it not worth using the cream which was helping?

Dryness can be a big problem and mit is also common.

I don't know about the comments that your friends made- is there any truth in their suggestions that maybe you need more foreplay and to be more relaxed? Are you under pressure in your relationship to have sex, or is it something that is bothering you for yourself?

jardy Sat 11-Sep-10 13:37:27

I suppose a bit of pressure in that my dh is younger and obviously he isn`t happy that it hurts cos of the sandpaper effect.He doesn`t put me under pressure.It`s me that wants things better.I will let you know how I get on.What does mit mean?Thanks for your support.

purplepeony Sat 11-Sep-10 18:12:55

smile mit is a typo and I can't for the life of me think what I meant to write!

jardy Sat 11-Sep-10 21:29:50

smilewell it made me laugh for the first time in days!I am really fed up because I have had symptoms of IBS for the last few days and will be so pleased to get the investigations over with.Fingers crossed!Thanks again purple.

purplepeony Sat 11-Sep-10 23:24:26

do you know what tests they are going to do?

jardy Mon 13-Sep-10 09:33:18

Scan and possibly a biopsy sad

purplepeony Mon 13-Sep-10 15:31:51

Don't worry- both painless and no problem. Biopsy was no worse than a smear- had a cuppa at my friend's house near by then got train home. I have had both and am now booked for a hysteroscopy as I have had 3-4 light periods.

jardy Mon 13-Sep-10 17:19:12

Thanks purple!Good Luck to you too,I wish I had your positive attitude!A friend has said that tests are positive as it is better than sending you away with a pat on the head as she put it.I will let you know how I get on.

jardy Fri 17-Sep-10 14:34:12

Hi there,had an internal scan,and a smear.Gynie thinks I have just had a period and that I haven`t started the menopause - you can only say you are menopausal ONE YEAR after completely finishing periods.Chances are I am about to become perimenopausal.My dry vagina and aching joints have vanished and they both feel normal again as does libido,she thinks this is an indication that I have oestrogen still.If I don`t want HRT she recommends I do impact exercise such as running (swimming not as good for bones) and take calcium and 0il of Primrose.The Gynie Nurse said that in her opinion HRT is great.I have to go back if I have unusual symptoms but verdict is (pending smear result ) everything is normal.Thank you again purple for the guidance and support,which I am sure has been very helpful to lots of other mumsnetters.Your last post certainly lessened my anxiety,I liked the bit about the cuppa and the train!

purplepeony Fri 17-Sep-10 18:13:24

Hi glad all went okay. I have had 3-4 episodes of bleeding over 2 years which I think were periods. Gynae did scan which was having anyway for ovarian cyst, biopsy and now wants to do hysteroscopy just to be sure all is okay. No date yet but in 2-4 weeks.

jardy Sat 18-Sep-10 18:37:10

Your Gynae sounds superb!Thank you again.

jardy Sat 18-Sep-10 18:38:52

And Good Luck with your hystercopy,you seem to have a very calm and positive towards all your investigations.

jardy Sat 18-Sep-10 18:40:42

BTW,I did have a hystercopy in feb 2009,what happens when you have a biopsy?What is the difference purple?

diddl Sun 19-Sep-10 12:34:18

jardy

Can I just ask-are you considering not taking HRT?

I haven´t had a period since October last year & tbh it hasn´t even occurred to me to see anyone about it!

purplepeony Sun 19-Sep-10 14:16:52

Jardy- you can answer this for me- how was yoru hysteroscopy? I have chosen to have it "cold"- no general anaes. and hopefully no local either. I am hoping it will go okay!
The biopsy is done with a pipelle which is like a long straw. Basically you lie there as for a smear and they pop this thing in, then they twiddle it to sucks out samples. I was warned it might hurt or I might get cramping afterwards, but all was fine.

I don't know if I am that calm really. i know that worst case it could be cancer, but having had a clear biopsy 6 months back, I hope not. if it is, then as he says it is easily "curable" as it would be caught early. I am just not thinking about that really. I suppose I have faith in my dr and the good thing is that it is a partnership- we talk things through and usually agree a compromise of some kind. I almost see him as a friend, who happens to be a good gynae if that makes sense! He listens and lets you choose what you want, most of the time, whilst giving you his opinion.

purplepeony Sun 19-Sep-10 14:17:58

diddl- if you have no symptoms then you don't need see anyone! Menopause is not an illness!

diddl Sun 19-Sep-10 14:45:23

No, I know that, but some people seem to go on HRT regardless & I wonder why.

Am having hot flushes, although they aren´t as bad as they were, and nothing unbearable.

purplepeony Sun 19-Sep-10 15:22:25

diddl I doubt if anyone goes on HRT regardless- it is on prescription only and most drs would not prescribe it unless you were having symptoms that wrecked your quality of life.

I was lucky in that I had very few if any symptoms right up to over 53, which my gyane put down to my lifestyle and diet. When I told him that I wanted to consider HRT as I was not sleeping he agreed wholeheartedly as he knew that the lifestyle measures he would normally suggest as first route, were already in place- I was exercising for an hour 4-5 times a week, not having tea, coffee, alcohol ( due to another medical condition not from choice)and eating a very good wholefood diet.

I was always very "I won't use HRT" and thought I didn't need to, but a couple of months after what seemed then like my last period, the flushes were coming hourly and at bedtime I was wide awake and hot all night.

If you can cope with your symptoms now, then you have no need for it.

diddl Sun 19-Sep-10 15:34:26

I thought a lot of people started it due to bone density?

Or maybe I´m getting confused.

Oh yes, I´m not against it, but don´t like to take things if I don´t have to.

I´m not a martyr either though-I had a couple of nights when I woke up drenched in sweat-was horrible-slept on a towelblush for a couple of nights & I thought then that if that continued would def see Dr about it.

purplepeony Sun 19-Sep-10 19:36:10

diddl- you are just a tiny bit confused smile.

Sorry if I am coming over a know it all with this, but it's just that I have/am been through it.

HRT is no longer 1st line treatment for low bone density unless you have an early meno- before 45- or or post meno, and have low b d anyway and cannot for some reason take other drugs for that.

I fall in between the 2- I have low B D which was picked up by a scan i had privately as a precautionary measure. I made lots of lifestyle changes which seemed to help- it was improving at last scan.

I am on HRT for menopausal symptoms but my dr acknowledges that it will have a positive effect on my bones, but that is not the primary reason for taking it.

diddl Mon 20-Sep-10 08:36:29

Me, confused?
That´s a firstgrin

Yes I´m sure there was a time that it seemed to be prescribed quite readily and was "raved" about.

I suppose I´m perhaps concerned that not taking it might be harmfulblushhmmsmile

jardy Mon 20-Sep-10 17:59:58

Hi Purple,thank you for explaining about the biopsy.Regarding the hystercopy,I didn`t have a ny kind of anaesthetic and found it much easier than having a smear.Apparently they pump you with water or something.The lady Gynae was so accurate at everything,it was totally painless and not even uncomfortable,more interesting.I think this is the thing,Gynaes do this kind of thing all day long and have the benefit of experience,they are experts.Unlike when I have had a smear at the GPs by the practice nurse,ow that really hurts.I have had a smear done by an elderly male Gynae and it was a dream,no pain whatsoever.Must be experience I think, he could probably put a speculum painlessly up a u-bend type of vagina.grin
Anyway,diddl,I went on HRT for Lifestyle reasons only.I was having a bit of night sweats.I was 54.Colleagues said HRT had transformed their lives,given them masses of extra energy.I then went on it and I regret it now as all it did was give me splitting headaches.I then tried hormone cream and stopped that after a few days.I am now going to try natural methods.EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT.
The Gynae Nurse said evolution is not used to 55 year old women naturally having periods as in the past we were all dead by now.Or always pregnant.Or on the pill.So diddl I am not going to take HRT or any hormone anything for now,thats how I am feeling at the moment,but I might feel differently in 12 months time!

jardy Thu 30-Sep-10 17:30:31

Borderline results from my tests,meaning I need further investigations pending a blood test result.Purplepeony,how are you?Have you had your tests yet?I am quite worried about my situation,fingers crossed everything will be ok.My GP thinks been on HRT has confused the picture.I didn`t even realise that the bleeding was HRT induced.Hopefully I will be feeling less anxious soon!

purplepeony Thu 30-Sep-10 20:37:04

Jardy- my investigation is next week.
I am confused about you again- what do you mean your bleeding is HRT induced?

jardy Fri 01-Oct-10 12:30:05

Good Luck for your investigations next week.
I was having monthly regular periods when I started HRT.They were debilitating and also at one point I had a flood.I went on the HRT dec 2009.Feb 2009 I had a hysterscope,it was fine.The first time I realised my regular periods were HRT induced and not normal periods was when you mentioned it.My new GP has arranged a blood test,because she says that the thickened womb lining may be caused by the fact that I am not menopausal.However she thinks I am menopausal and therefore the thickened womb lining needs further investigations.

purplepeony Fri 01-Oct-10 14:32:43

oh I see!
Yes, if you are on HRT you will have a monthly bleed that is not a period. However, if you are off HRT and bleeding again, it needs looking into.

Thanks for the good wishes- will let you know how I get on.

jardy Fri 01-Oct-10 21:19:16

I will look out for you and be thinking of yousmile

jardy Wed 06-Oct-10 10:57:10

hi purple,how did you get on? also did you hear the article this morning on vaginal dryness on womans hour.The gynae was lovely and i thought it was very good when he said its a subject that needs to be talked about. Still haven`t heard re my test results etc I went for a blood test last thursday and i am waiting to hear.I hope everything is well for you.

purplepeony Wed 06-Oct-10 18:27:11

Hi Jardy- well he thinks everything looks okay but he did another biopsy so waiting for that result. he has asked to seee me in 4-5 weeks, so unless the biopsy is a problem, I will see him then.

The expereince was not great. It took him 25 minutes and for 20 + minutes he was trying to get the scope in. My cervix was tight and he had to use dilators. It did hurt but not unbearable.

However, afterwards i sort of collapsed- I lost all feeling in my legs, felt terrible, sick etc and had to be wheel chaired out of the waiting area back to recovery. I was wired up and they said I had very low blood pressure and slow pulse- I think I had gone into some kind of shock. I was in there for 2 hours until I felt well enough to be picked up by a friend.

Not a pleasant experience.

No I didn't hear Woman's hour- will listen again.

Hope your result is okay.

jardy Wed 06-Oct-10 18:48:14

purple you poor poor thing,what an ordeal.
I think I read on mumsnet somewhere that this can happen,that the cervix can completely close up and be inpenetrable almost.I am so sorry to hear this but for anyone reading it i am a real scardy cat and it didn`t hurt me,I found it really easy.However the nurse kept asking me later whether i was ok and could i walk properly so obviously it does affect some women.Take care and I will be thinking of you.
I had a bad car collision yesterday,my car is a write off and i have whip lash.The funny thing is i haven`t been thinking about my results i have been too preoccupied with my accident.
A surgeon ran into the back of me while rushing to hospital.His merc was hardly scratched!My tow bow was scrunched completely up!

purplepeony Wed 06-Oct-10 20:22:24

I hope you get over your car crash- that sounds an ordeal too!

For what it's worth the nurse told me that the biopsy tool is larger than the scope and I had the biopsy in Feb this year and didn't feel a thing.

jardy Thu 07-Oct-10 17:17:05

Aw purple you are so brave!smile
I got the result of my smear,normal but to have another in 5 years.I will be 60 then!Considering I have only had one partner - my dh - I am surprised this is necessary.My GP said the thinking is that it is caused by a virus and that she didn`t feel it was necessary if my last smears have been normal.The Nurse who did the smear said I was low risk but that nuns died of cervical cancer,but she said it was upto me to weigh it up.I think I will have it done for peace of mind and hopefully in 5 years time the test will be less intrusive!

purplepeony Thu 07-Oct-10 21:19:46

You do need to keep up your smears. Unless your DH has just had one partner ( you) then you are at risk. The virus can also be spread by fingers, not just actual sex.

Actually, I didn't think that nuns did get cervical cacner- must check that out!

Is that all your results back now?

jardy Fri 08-Oct-10 09:36:28

Thanks for the information.I agree with you I didn`t think that nuns got cc,infact I recall a doctor telling me 30 years ago that there hadn`t been a single recorded case of a nun dying of cc.Whether that is true I don`t know.I don`t know how many sexual partners my dh has had and don`t feel it is my business.I don`t want to ask!I don`t think just me.Thank you purple,I will keep having the smears and hopefully they will be easier in 5 years!

jardy Fri 08-Oct-10 09:38:00

No I haven`t had any other results btw.I have been too preoccupied with the car accident and the worry of not having a car which I vitally need.Thank you for asking and I will keep you informed.Let me know how you get on.

purplepeony Fri 08-Oct-10 12:09:45

Jardy- if your DH has had other partners then you are at risk. keep having smears.

jardy Tue 26-Oct-10 12:01:50

Hi purplepeony-how are you?I have to see the Gynae Consultant for bleeding after the menopause.As I presume the ultra sound scan could have thrown up a fibroid but instead only showed up a thickened womb I am feeling rather scared!

purplepeony Tue 26-Oct-10 12:25:19

Hi Jardy

I posted a few posts down just for you!

I suspect that you will have to have a biopsy or hysteroscopy like me.

How long to your appt?

I am okay thanks- my tests came back as normal, so the plan is to carry on with the HRT for a while longer. I am trying to cut down my dose by half to see if it makes any difference to how i am.

what's the plan with you now?

jardy Tue 26-Oct-10 16:11:24

See the Consultant ASAP sad.GP feels that I should have seen the Consultant the first time but I only saw the Nurse who assumed I was still on HRT which would cause the breakthrough bleeding.Now it is ascertained that I have not been taking HRT for 5 months and infact my hormonal levels indicate I am postmenopausal I will be seeing the Consultant as soon as it will be arranged.I am so pleased for you that your results are normal!smile

jardy Tue 26-Oct-10 16:19:04

Purplepeony-thank you for posting and asking about me,previously.You are lovely-so kind and supportive to anyone concerned as I am on these posts.

purplepeony Tue 26-Oct-10 18:40:55

Jardy- try not to worry too much.
Thanks for your kind remarks.
I hope you get on okay- let us know.

jardy Wed 27-Oct-10 08:08:55

I will!Thank you

jardy Wed 10-Nov-10 08:52:41

Hi purplepeony,I hope you are well.I still haven`t got my appointment for the Consultant so I spoke to the GP this morning.It sounds as though it is possible that the Consultant will not follow up the GP`s concerns,I get the impression that he thinks that post-menopausal bleeding in someone that has recently come off HRT does not necessarily warrant further investigations,but this is only my impression.The GP said she has asked the Consultant to put his views in writing to me and then she said follow it up after a week as I only wrote last week.I feel a bit confused,sounds like she has had a chat and there is no urgency on both sides.On a positive note,if I am post menopausal,I am really pleased because I am feeling well,I always assumed I would have no energy.My joints have improved and are not aching as much in the morning,almost back to normal.I am taking Vit B and Codliver oil.The best bit out of all this though is that my GP prescribed REPLENSMD and that has had an incredibly beneficial effect and has really worked.So I am delighted about that and hope I can be reassured about the post-menopausal bleeding.

purplepeony Thu 11-Nov-10 20:59:16

Hi Jardy
I think it is a bit odd if your consultant does not follow- up- I'd ask and try to get something going.

You should only bleed post HRT if it was a periods linked to coming off the hormones, or if it was a "normal" period.

let me know how it goes.

jardy Fri 12-Nov-10 12:20:49

Hi purplepeony,
Thanks for replying.I have my appointment through for two weeks today and I will let you know how I get on.I am so scared,mainly the biopsy,the thought of that terrifies me.
At least I will know though at long last as to what is going on!

purplepeony Fri 12-Nov-10 14:22:20

Jardy- have I missed something? since when did you know you were having a biopsy- or are you predicting? and you have had one before anyway and said it was fine. no?

jardy Sat 13-Nov-10 19:36:40

Hi purple,I got a letter on thursday regarding an appointment in two weeks time to see the Consultant.Yes you are correct I have had a biopsy before and it was absolutely fine.The difference is that I have time to think about it ( no warning before )and also I have been on the internet and researched it-should never have done that.Maybe I won`t even have a biopsy and I am getting worked up for nothing,but think that it`s on the cards.Sorry,since my first post I have become a bit too focused on everything,wonders of the INTERNET!I will definatly let you know.Thanks again.

jardy Fri 26-Nov-10 14:50:23

Hi purple,well you are made of much stronger stuff than me because I had exactly the same experience as you but it was stopped before using a dilator and i am booked for a GA in 2 weeks because my cervix was covered?closed?Not sure.This upset me but the nurse said that due to been post menopausal the opening to the cervix can be sealed.I will let you know how I get on,what a palavar!

purplepeony Fri 26-Nov-10 20:11:05

Hi Jardy- oh that's a shame.

My agreement with my consultant that we would go for it as long as I was coping- if it got too bad he would try a local aneasthetic ( with my agreement) and if all that didn't work, abandon for a GA another time.
You just can't tell- I had a biopsy with the pipelle in his surgery in Feb and he got it in no problem at all.

Did they give you a choice about stopping today or was it their choice?

I must admit my "ordeal" was not fun- evidently I had cervical shock afterwards, but I saw my dr last week for a follow-up ( had had results already anyway) and I said I'd do the same again.

jardy Sat 27-Nov-10 11:52:21

Hi purple,thank you for replying.I did have a choice but opted for the ga,too scared.
I think if the circumstances had been right i would have been ok with a local.I dont think the doctor was very experienced or confident,and it was more kitchen table than high tech like last time.He tried with forceps but no luck.I think the lady that did it last time would have carried on.I suggested using an anaesthetic spray or something,but he looked confused.The nurse asked if he had any but he didnt answer.Also (lol) I asked him to try using his fingers before he started to see where my cervix was.He said thats a good idea (!) and lo and behold once he did that I didn`t feel a thing when the speculum went in.I am now really anxious about the future smears i might need,which if you have a closed cervix like mine how is it going to be done without it been really painful?I am sorry to stress about something so far in the future but what do you think?Have you any strategies you can think of? On a cheery note,the bloke doing it was absolutely lovely,charming and kind and I felt completely at ease with him.It was only when he couldn`t get the sample I really tensed up.I didn`t have the same experience before but I suppose due to the hrt my cervix wasn`t tightly closed.Thanks again x

purplepeony Sun 28-Nov-10 14:03:16

Hi
I don't know what advice really- but most women who are post meno have closed cervixes and they all manage to have smears so i wouldn't worry.
When they do a smear they use a little bottle brush thing so I am sure they can get enough to take a sample.

My dr gave me a thorugh internal before he inserted the speculum for the hysteroscopy- obviously checking where everything was.

Was it not a consultant who tried to do yours?

jardy Tue 30-Nov-10 08:22:10

No I think he was just learning on the job.
He wasn`t young,a mature student I would say but he did have excellent interpersonal skills so that did put me at my ease.
Thank you for replying,you have a lovely way that makes me feel better!

purplepeony Tue 30-Nov-10 17:45:21

I do hope that it all goes well when you have the investigation- come back and let us know!

jardy Wed 01-Dec-10 17:49:45

Certainly will!I am having the investigation on December 9th and I will then post how I get on.
Thank you!

jardy Fri 10-Dec-10 17:05:47

Hi purple
I have had the `surgery`but a bit disappointed to hear that because the lining of my womb was so thin she didn`t want to risk doing a biopsy.Instead I was given the reassurance that no abnomalities were found and the inside of my womb,which she had a good look around was nice and smooth.I had a glance at my notes and it looked like the word `curredge` was written down so perhaps I have had an old fashioned D&C.Certainly I have had a lot of cramps and bleeding like a period.She thinks that age is the reason for my problems and she also said that the neck of my womb was extra tight and it would have been impossible to perform the procedure without a GA.Meanwhile I will receive a letter to inform me the results in writing.I don`t feel I have the same closure as having had a biopsy done but feel reassured by all the positive things said!

purplepeony Fri 10-Dec-10 17:16:15

That all sounds good then! I would have thought that if she did a D&C she saw as much as needed and took a sample anyway?

Hopefully all is done and dusted now and you can relax and put your feet up- hope you feel okay.

jardy Fri 10-Dec-10 17:50:46

Thank you so much purple for all the fantastic advice and support over my `journey` (hate that expression but I think you know where I am coming from!) I will let you know in due course the contents of the letter.All the very best for Christmas,and yes it is lovely to put my feet up and relax!

purplepeony Fri 10-Dec-10 19:10:09

no probs- have a great Xmas too and let me know your results!

jardy Fri 24-Dec-10 14:19:19

Hi purplepeony
-and anyone watching this thread-got the results of my `sample` a few minutes ago via the postie NO ABNORMALITIES
Whereever you are,and whoever you are,hope you have a Happy Christmas and A Happy and Healthy NEW Year!smile

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