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To HRT or not??

(29 Posts)
RafflesWay Sat 14-Jul-12 21:35:04

Hi everyone, would REALLY appreciate honest feedback please? Started peri in 2005 and things have got worse and worse over the years. I was diagnosed with under active thyroid 2 years ago so have to work really hard to keep weight in check and don't want to risk more weight gain as finally losing a little although not enormous - size 14 - but could be very quickly if I didn't follow a very strict diet and exercise gently daily. Hot flushes are now horrendous and extremely debilitating. Have only had 2 periods in 2 years now - 12 months between each! Didn't want to take hrt initially and GP not in favour either though not really sure why. I am 56 and have tried black cohosh, evening primrose oil capsules etc but they don't help at all. I have zero libido and now have started with itchy skin although I moisturise religiously so not really dry. Should I bite the bullet and finally ask for HRT or perservere?? Please has anyone had similar dilemna?

MissBoPeep Wed 22-Aug-12 19:38:04

I'm going to send you a private message- look in your in-box!

silvercat Thu 23-Aug-12 01:37:00

I'm on oestrogel and was also told (by private gynae) that this has less cancer risk than taking the typical GP-prescribed HRT. He also said that if you have thinning bones (as i do), HRT will not only stop them getting worse but bring about some improvement over a couple of years. I feel great on the treatment so far but that may be because I've also got testosterone gel - something I'd not even heard of until recently. This addresses what I found to be the worst menopause symptoms - less energy, poor concentration and memory and worse anxiety/ability to cope with stress. I couldn't believe the ignorance of my GP on this whole topic, she actually knew less about menopause than I do from googling stuff and came out with things that are completely untrue including telling me I had 'severe clinical depression'.

MissBoPeep Thu 23-Aug-12 09:11:23

Look, there is no evidence that gel or patches reduce breast cancer risk.
The evidence shows that women who take estrogen-only HRT if they have had a hysterectomy, have less risk from breast cancer. Putting 2 and 2 together, this might mean that it is the other hormone on HRT pills - progestins- which adds to the cancer rsik when your body goes through a typical " cycle"- with both hormones in play as it would it you were still fertile.

Gels and patches may be safer in some respects- but truly, there is no research or stats showing they lower breast cancer risk.

Bellaciao Thu 23-Aug-12 17:53:24

MissBoPeep is posting what is the current thinking re HRT and breast cancer. I have had another look at the literature and can't find anything significant yet about this.

However in any case, the latest information shows that the increased risk of breast cancer from HRT (oestrogen and progesterone) is small and probably nor greater than being overweight or drinking more than the recommended alcohol units per week.

silvercat - I would be interested to see the info from your gynae re cancer risk and transdermal HRT? I presume s/he is referring to the reduced cancer risk from oestrogen only HRT (rather than the route of delivery), compared to oestrogen + prog HRT - which is what the research seems to show? I presume therefore you have had a hysterectomy and are not taking progesterone?

For many health conditions - including coeliac disease, Crohn's disease, epilepsy, gall bladder disease, past liver disease, migraine, thrombosis - the transdermal route is preferred.

For me - it stands to reason that estradiol that has to go through the digestive system and liver, is likely to be associated with more side effects and possibly long term risks, than the same substance going straight into the blood-stream through patch or gel.

Also -much of the research into all sorts of risks has been conducted using synthetic progestins and where there have been studies comparing this to bio-identical ( micronised) progesterone, the latter is associated with fewer risks - although more research is needed here.

Yes it is sad that GP's are often ignorant and some try to prescribe ADs at the first hint of menopause.

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