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Please talk to me about HRT patches

(16 Posts)
guineapiglet Wed 06-Mar-13 11:34:54

Hi there Bellaciao thanks for getting back. I confess to being rather apprehensive at HRT because of the side effects, so it is helpful having some insight. I do tend to get migraines at what was period time, so do not want to take anything to make them worse, they are bad enough without extra cause - I was on the pill for about 5 years ago and it gave me terrible headaches as well. - It is good you have now sorted out what suits your body best - I think I am attracted to the patch method because you can stop instantly if they dont suit. I have a family history of High BP and heart disease, so have that to look forward to - my BP is usually on the borderline side, and I do get heart palpitations as well - so do not want something which makes these worse.
I guess I need to talk all the issues through with my very young GP
- she looks at me very sympathetically and addresses the issue very methodically and professionally, but it would be nice to have someone warm and empathetic!

Bellaciao Tue 05-Mar-13 20:15:32

Hi again guineapiglet - I've been using patches for about 6 years with only a stop for 3 months a couple of years ago and I'm 60 in May.

The first ones I tried were Evorel sequi - I was still having occasional periods before then. I didn't get on with these as they gave me bad headaches/migraines when I changed to the combi patches in the second half of the month, and when I stopped the combi patches and while waiting for my period. My bleed then was fairly light as my own oestrogen levels had obviously dropped considerably.

I then went onto Estradot as I mentioned above and for several years used Cyclogest pessaries as the progesterone but then started getting migraines after stopping the Cyclogest each month - again the pmt waiting for the period. After about 3 years the bleeds stopped so I wasn't building up any lining so the doc suggested Evorel conti - the no bleed type. Well this gave me a bad headache the next day so stopped that and I am now on what I said above.

I have a bit more of a bleed now because I only use the progesterone every two months so more lining builds up.

You can just stop them straight away if you decide not to use them. Do you have heart problems/high blood pressure then?

Hope this helps.

guineapiglet Tue 05-Mar-13 20:00:00

Hi there, wondered how you are getting on, you have been my inspiration over the past week, having had a vile period and three days of non stop migranies a- did your headaches disappear? I know when I started wearing glasses, the period of adjustment did result in more headaches than I used to have - how about the anxiety and heart issues?

You have inspired me to make an appointment with my doctor next week to talk things through, so thanks! smile

BastardDog Fri 01-Mar-13 23:05:42

Bloating is a listed side effect. I'd only normally bloat for a few days before my period.

I'm not a headaches kind of person, but starting HRT has coincided with me starting to wear glasses for reading. I have been having more headaches, but I don't know if its the HRT, or the adjusting to wearing glasses or the effects of an unrelated stiff neck I've been having. I suspect its the latter.

It's wonderful to be free of the anxiety and palpitations. Fingers crossed it continues.

Also already seeing an improvement in my relationships. I'm beginning to be much less grumpy with my kids.

guineapiglet Fri 01-Mar-13 11:14:22

Hi, Sounds quite positive after only a few days, I would love to be rid of the sweats and anxiety, so would love to know whether this continues for you. Did they mention bloating as a side effect and have you had it before? I'm having a horrible heavy period and migraine, so am starting to feel rather tempted to go down your route....do you get headaches?

BastardDog Thu 28-Feb-13 20:20:20

Just coming to te end of my first week on patches so very early days for me.

On the plus side my daytime hot flushes have already gone. I am still having night sweats though. I am also noticing an improvement in my mood with a decrease in feelings of anxiety.

Only side effect I am having is bloating. Either I need bigger jeans or to spend more of my day in my pjs.

guineapiglet Thu 28-Feb-13 12:31:25

Thanks you have all been so helpful - as all the threads on this subject are, it is really helpful to have you explain it so clearly.

Have just started a horrible period after nearly a 4 month absence, so feeling very low about it all - can I ask you how long you have been using the patches for and if there have been any side effects at all - and how long any bleed might be once you revert to oestrogen, also, if you do get any effects, can you literally just remove patches there and then or do they have to remain in situ for the duration( sorry to keep asking such basic questions)

- Iguess I am most worried about the effects on my BP and heart.

I am going to treat myself to a coffee and read of the website you all recommend. I am wondering if there are any local support groups, as have just moved to this area and dont know a living soul, could do with someone to chat and cry with! smile

Bellaciao Wed 27-Feb-13 18:11:12

Hi there

I use Estradot patches which are very small and stick well. Alternate bum cheeks twice a week. I use a separate (bio-identical) progesterone along with that.

You always use them continuously. If you are peri-menopausal - still having irregular periods as Miss Bo Peep says - you will go onto a cyclical patch. The first two weeks the patch is just oestrogen and the second two weeks it contains oestrogen and a synthetic progestogen. Usually the bleed comes shortly after you change back to the oestrogen only ones.

If you are post meno the patches all contain oestrogen and progesterone taken continuously - which should be a no bleed although for some women this takes a few months to settle. Some women don't get on with the synthetic progesterone though esp if continuous

I have opted to remain on a (two-monthly) cycle even though I am 59 so use the progesterone for 12 days every 2 months and then get a bleed.

Hope this helps.

Yes I agree definitely go to the Menopause matters website - so much information!

Missbopeep Wed 27-Feb-13 15:15:35

Your dr would explain about bleeds. Or look at the menopause matters website.

www.menopausematters.co.uk/progestogens.php this might answer your questions.

BastardDog Wed 27-Feb-13 14:28:17

My patches have to be stuck on the lower part of the body, but somewhere hairless, so buttocks or tops of thighs. They're as easy to apply as a sticking plaster. You have to swap the area you stick them to around so as not to cause any skin irritation. So left bum cheek, right bum cheek etc. They're clear so quite discreet.

So far showers, baths, hot tub etc have not caused them to fall off.

I checked the instructions last night and it says to use them continuously. So I'll see how that effects my periods

cocolepew Tue 26-Feb-13 20:14:41

I stick the patches on my bum cheeks grin they usually stick really well and you just carry on as normal with them on. Occassionally 1 has fallen off. I always end up with a square on fluff when I take it off hmm.

guineapiglet Tue 26-Feb-13 19:38:04

Thanks both, and thanks for the website details, will have a read through. Can I just ask

Can I have patches then and have a bleed time when I don't wear them, or do I wear them continuously. I am 51 and still having very irregular periods. I have heard many mixed reports about the Mirena coil and after going through over 7 gynae ops really dont want to get involved with that. Do you change the patch yourself - and what about showering etc ( Sorry these are probably very basic questions but its really helpful to speak to someone who is going through the same.

Let me know if they do have any effect on your blood pressure as that is what is worrying me most ( family heart history) so would be really interested in how it goes for you. Sounds like it is going well so far, its criminal women have to go through all this, if men had the menopause it would have been sorted and dealt with years ago!!!

cocolepew Tue 26-Feb-13 19:32:00

I'm on Evorel 50 patches, 2 a week as well.

I have no ovaries, so not the same as you, but I'm finding them easy to use and no side effects. At the moment they are stopping any menopausal symptons.

I gave up on hrt tablets as they made me incredibly sick.

BastardDog Tue 26-Feb-13 19:16:11

I've just started using HRT (patches) this week.

Symptom wise I am having the same problems as you. Obviously it's too early for me to judge the patches. I opted for patches as my mum used them and they suited her.

A couple of years ago I had a Mirena coil fitted for heavy periods. It didn't stop my periods as it does for many women, but it did make them lighter, shorter and less painful. As the Mirena coil has progesterone in it my patches are oestrogen only.

My patch has to be changed twice weekly. I was worried they wouldn't stick, would fall off or wash off, but so far so good.

My BP was on the high side at the Docs so he's only given me a months worth of patches and then he wants to see me to check my BP again and see how I'm getting on with the patches.

Missbopeep Tue 26-Feb-13 17:55:26

I can't give you any personal experiences of patches but they work the same as other topical HRT such as gels. They allow a small amount of the product into your system over a period of time.

You can't opt for no bleed HRT unless your periods have been over completely for 2 years or you are over 54- because otherwise you might get breakthrough bleeding or the lining might build up too much and this can be dangerous.

Have you had a look at this other site
www.menopausematters.co.uk

It's written by a dr and many of the women on the forum know a lot about meno and all kinds of HRT.

guineapiglet Tue 26-Feb-13 12:53:21

Hi all- hope you dont mind another to join the menopausal threads, have found alot of what Ive read very helpful and comforting! My periods have been behaving very randomly over the year, one probably every 3 months or so, and I have all the lovely symptoms of night sweats, lack of sleep, irritability, like being premenstrual all the time - what a cruel trick to play on women, I say.

I have a history of very heavy periods and have had several gynae ops, plus high blood pressure, so am considering the HRT patch route - is anyone out there using them and can you explain how they work and if they suit you? Don'treally want to take tablet form and ideally not have any more bleeds, so would this be the right route. Don't feel I am coping that well naturally, so need some advice from those in the know ( my GP is very young and looks at me as if I'm from another planet sometimes!). Thanks smile

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