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Scared to take Hrt

(17 Posts)
pinkieandperkie Sat 18-Jun-16 09:34:17

Hi, I was prescribed Elleste Duet 1mg last week and I am scared to take them. I've read such horror stories and some positive ones too. The thing that's playing on my mind is when the doctor handed me my prescription she looked at me and said "remember nobody ever died of the menopause but plenty have on HRThmm. I am really struggling with peri symptoms, about four years now. I get two hours sleep a night so constantly exhausted. Hot sweats all day and all night but the main issue for me is the awful aching muscles and joints to the point where it hurts just climbing the stairs. I feel 90! Any advice ladies. X

Chillywhippet Sat 18-Jun-16 09:45:27

Oooh how nice of your GP. What a bind to put you in. They should have talked through the risks and benefits and helped you make an informed decision.

Nice thread below called Trying to decide re HRT which does reflect risks of HRT and risks of low oestrogen.

I always thought I would manage it but actually cried when I saw that the self management advice was eat well, exercise and don't drink too much as was already doing that.

For now I just could not function on no sleep and terrible anxiety, palpitations and fatigue. I was having 10+ hot flushes in 24 hours with 5+ at night. Full blown sweats, wide awake so no sleep and could not function at home or in work. I think I might have managed if could stop working but have 4DC who are expensive. Even if I wasn't working I would have felt awful.

PollyPerky Sat 18-Jun-16 10:00:06

That is a disgusting comment to be made by your dr. It's completely out of order. It does nothing except show her ignorance.

Maybe - had you had the figures to hand (!) you could have said:

-more women die of hip fractures caused by loss of oestrogen than from breast cancer

-more women die of heart disease than any other illness (and HRT taken before 60 seems to reduce risk)

-more women develop breast cancer by being overweight and drinking one glass of wine a day than using HRT.

The risks of breast cancer using HRT for 5 years or less is almost non existent. The risks of stroke and heart disease for women under 60 is almost non existent too. If your dr wants you to reduce these risks then she ought to have offered you patches or gel and not pills.

Find another GP , if you can, who is more informed and supportive.

pinkieandperkie Sat 18-Jun-16 10:00:56

Thanks so much for your reply. To be honest I had previously been to the doctors about starting hrt and they printed off all the nhs information that I was required to read. I decided that I would give it a go so went back to get the prescription. It just kind of made me feel a failure to be told that nobody ever died of the menopause (female doctor of a certain agehmm).

Chillywhippet Sat 18-Jun-16 10:19:46

I just remembered that I took tablets at first. When the palpitations, anxiety and flushes almost disappeared, I went back and said,
"It's great but if I'm going to be taking it longer term I would like the gel please because of lower risk of blood clots."
GP "Why? Do you have a family history of blood clots?"
Me "No. But I want to be on the lowest risk HRT and Oprah Winphrey uses the gel."
GP laughs nearly hysterically.

Of course I meant that Oprah can presumably afford the very best medicine but GP thought I was funny. Sigh.

I sometimes get palpitations and the odd flush but I can live with that and I'm currently trying to get by on lowest dose. Curiously the GP said that younger women tended to do best on higher dose but I am ok for now. Was 48 at the time.

May be your GP had an easier time? Or tougher it out so thinks you should. My GP friend says her colleagues use gel + mirena.

pinkieandperkie Sat 18-Jun-16 10:30:37

When I went for my last smear the nurse asked if I was taking hrt and I told her that I was unsure about it. She said that she went on hrt because she couldn't work with all her aches and pains and said it was the best decision to make. I thought to myself that it must be ok if a nurse had decided to take it! Everyone is different. My sister (bitch) just stopped her periods with no symptoms at all and that was that.

Chillywhippet Sat 18-Jun-16 10:41:48

Yes I have had some colleagues who are the same age and older than me tell me they are symptom free.

Yeh, thanks for that confused
It's hard not to hope they hit a wall (or oestrogen cliff) and suddenly get what I'm on about

Ooh that's a bit nasty isn't it? I blame my menopause. I used to be nice

pinkieandperkie Sat 18-Jun-16 11:01:52

Thankfully I am way less moody and vile now that I'm not having regular monthly periods. My pmt would turn me into crazy woman every month. There is one plus side of peri, I only have to shave my kegs every couple of months now as the hairs just don't seem to grow. Also eyebrows only need sorting every couple of months and no longer have to pluck weekly. Not sure that this outweighs all the other symptoms but be grateful for very small merciessmile

OneEpisode Sat 18-Jun-16 11:05:11

Take the HRT. I absolutely needed it. Sounds like you need it.

PollyPerky Sat 18-Jun-16 11:07:49

Your GP is wrong, sadly. My consultant has said that women do die of the menopause- because the menopause means loss of oestrogen which brings along osteoporosis in 1:3 women. In old age, more women die from complications from hip fractures which is a direct result of loss of oestrogen. They also die from heart disease and HRT is now being shown to improve cardiovascular health in women under 60 at least.
Also many women end up with anxiety, depression and other illnesses linked to loss of oestrogen which means they sometimes stop work, lose income, their health suffers, they don't eat healthily or take exercise - so they end up with other problems linked to an unhealthy lifestyle- life diabetes (HRT lowers the risk) colon cancer (HRT lowers the risk) being overweight (raises risks of all diseases) and more.

Sorry to go on but ignorance like your GPs is shocking. If this was any condition other than one affecting just women, no one would put up with those type of emotive comments.

pinkieandperkie Sat 18-Jun-16 11:12:20

Thanks Polly, my first thought when my doctor said no one ever died of the menopause was "really, I have days when I could cheerfully throw myself under a bus as I feel so bloody crap". Obviously never would but I'm sure for some women it must all get too much.

alypoole Tue 23-Aug-16 20:22:13

I guess I'm going to be the "different" one on this thread as I have recently gone back on HRT after a number of years and I am 63 years of age! I generally feel better all round and I am sleeping a little better, but the main benefit is................ and I'm almost afraid to mention this.......... but my libido has returned and our sex life is almost as good as it was a long time ago. This is almost a taboo subject for couples of our age but it really makes a difference to our relationship and well being. The news on HRT today has really got me worried.

PollyPerky Wed 24-Aug-16 10:09:18

Ali- you are not alone. I am in my 60s. Sex in your 60s is certainly NOT a taboo subject!

Have a read of this thread on the MM forum re the research out yesterday.It's not saying anything new and is flawed in some ways as a trial. The hormones used were all synthetic progestogens which have been known for many years to be linked to a slightly higher risk of breast cancer. The new research shows a possible risk of 3.7% compared to 1.7% for all women (not on any HRT). The study is observational, based on women's answers on a questionnaire, not a double blind placebo trial.

www.menopausematters.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,32927.0.html if you scroll down as far as page 4-5 you will see comments from Dr Currie who is the Chairperson of the British Menopause Society. There is also a link from the BMS (press release yesterday) giving their comments.

I don't know what HRT you are on, but after 60 the safest re blood clots is transdermal (patches or gel) and micronised progesterone has more favourable stats re. breast health. If you are not on these already it might be worth thinking about changing.

alypoole Thu 25-Aug-16 07:44:06

Thank you so much.Your message was very helpful. I will certainly go back to the doctor and discuss this but the doctor I have seen knew VERY little about HRT and the chances of me actually seeing her again are extremely slim! The surgery I go to has about 12 GP's and you rarely see the same one and build a rapport.

yodachronicles Thu 25-Aug-16 07:51:15

I'm in my 30s and on hrt thanks to cancer treatment. I was terrified but thanks to my team around me, I had experienced gynaecologists and nurses sit and talk me through all the pros and cons so I felt fully informed and for me I realised I'd probably die of some related osteoporosis type injury as my bones can't last potentially another 50 yrs on their own!

Maybe try a different doctor or a menopause clinic (if they still exist!)

yodachronicles Thu 25-Aug-16 08:27:00

I'm in my 30s and on hrt thanks to cancer treatment. I was terrified but thanks to my team around me, I had experienced gynaecologists and nurses sit and talk me through all the pros and cons so I felt fully informed and for me I realised I'd probably die of some related osteoporosis type injury as my bones can't last potentially another 50 yrs on their own!

Maybe try a different doctor or a menopause clinic (if they still exist!)

PollyPerky Thu 25-Aug-16 08:45:50

sorry to hear about your cancer. Using HRT in your 30s is entirely different to using it age 50+ because under 50 you are simply replacing what would be there anyway. The risks don't apply.

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