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Help going to see doctor about HRT tomorrow

(29 Posts)
Dizzy2014 Tue 05-Jul-16 18:51:59

Hi I am looking for some advice. I am 51, have not had a period for 15 months so must be menopausal. I would like to go on HRT, I suffer from aches/pains, lack of sex drive & sleep, night sweats, etc. I tick all the boxes for Menopause and maybe lack of testosterone. I am looking for advice as I may have a major melt down tomorrow if the doctor says no and I just wnat to make sure she helps me get sorted out. Some of the symptoms are causing me problems with my relationship as you can imagine. Thank you xx

PollyPerky Tue 05-Jul-16 21:11:10

Unless you have any huge contraindications then they ought to let you have it. Maybe read the latest NICE guidelines on menopause (google) and take them with you- or digest the most relevant bits so you can discuss.
GPs aren't allowed to refuse HRT on the basis of their own 'prejudices' - there have to be real medical reasons why they might refuse and these are really few and far between! Testosterone is harder because it's no longer prescribed on the NHS except in some instances- see NICE for details.
Good luck!!

Dizzy2014 Wed 06-Jul-16 05:06:17

Thank you for replying Polly, I have printed the NICE guidlines and printed some info on Testosterone too. I will let you know how I get on

Nicky2212 Mon 25-Jul-16 22:21:01

I am like you . My periods became erratic so I went to Dr couple years ago who said I was peri- menopausel. That was fine I ticked over no hot sweats no nothing...... Bang hit 50 and from them it's all down hill. It started with my feet hurting , so much I couldn't walk. The flushes anytime of day I was like a volcano my hands started hurting next..... Dr didn't know got sent to rheumatologist. He didn't know. Since then no sleep , hands hurt and feet hurt everyday is different and the infernal itching..... Dr s are rubbish and just kinda of shrug. I have now got appt at gynacologist end of August . It's so far taken 7 months . There is just no support out there for me. I am feeling I am suffering and I get no answers , I have got to the point that I feel guilty going to the doctors because they just sit there

Pestilence13610 Mon 25-Jul-16 22:23:12

Don't get fobbed off with antidepressants, some doctors still think this is the way to go.

Hassled Mon 25-Jul-16 22:23:35

With me it was so easy - I saw the GP, said these are my symptoms and I'm feeling rubbish and I want to try HRT, and she said "fair enough". There was absolutely no issue at all. And I feel so much more myself for being on it. The best of luck - hope you get a GP like mine.

thenightsky Mon 25-Jul-16 22:29:33

I feel like me on HRT. Life was becoming a nightmare without it. I had no trouble getting in. Been on it about 8 years now.

PollyPerky Tue 26-Jul-16 07:51:22

Nicky if you know you want to try HRT, then read up about it all- Menopause Matters website is a good place to start as is the forum (though the forum tends to attract people who are having problems so don't take it as a true reflection of meno and HRT!).
If you want HRT then it's your right to ask your GP for it. Their responsibility is to mention risks and benefits ( yes- benefits!) and allow you to choose.

You shouldn't need to see a gynae for something quite routine. GPs are not up to date on HRT in the main so it's up to women to go along and ask. The new NICE menopause guidelines are a great source of information and there is alink to them on the Home page of menopause Matters.

mollie123 Tue 26-Jul-16 08:00:22

it is entirely possible to get through the menopause (think about those who hit it before HRT was available) without HRT UNLESS your symptons are really bad and making your life next to impossible.
The intention in prescribing HRT is to help with the bad effects of the menopause for a limited time - not as some would have us believe to make us look and feel younger (if only that were possible)
I for one (although I had menopausal symptons they were not unbearable and lasted only about 12 months) found by keeping myself active, fit and healthy during that time - like all things they passed.
There are herbal alternatives to HRT but I do no know how effective they are.

PollyPerky Tue 26-Jul-16 09:48:43

Does anyone use HRT unless their symptoms are affecting their quality of life? I doubt it! I think anyone who seems to downplay symptoms and say they can be sorted with exercise and lifestyle is just lucky, because that worked for them.

Use of HRT is not limited any more. This is included in the NICE guidelines. Some women are going to use HRT for life.

It's really important to understand that some meno symptoms are not as short term as was once imagined. Recent research has shown that a significant group of women have flushes, sweats, insomnia, etc for up to 20 years. (I'd include my mum in this group.) The idea that they usually last for a couple of years applies to some lucky women.

Menopause symptoms are short term and not so serious- eg flushes and sweats- but post menopause other more serious things can happen without oestrogen. These include heart disease and osteoporosis.

Before HRT was available, many women had all sorts of health issues that were never linked to loss of oestrogen- think of old ladies with hunched backs - all caused by loss of oestrogen and lack of treatment. Lots of my mum's friends developed anxiety and 'nerves' as they were then called. They also tended not to work and were stay at home wives, so could lie on the sofa and mop their brows. Nowadays, women in the 50-70 age group are looking after teens, working in professional roles (PM or president of the US perhaps!!!) and looking after elderly parents who might have dementia. You can't compare life 60 years ago for women with today.

OhTheRoses Tue 26-Jul-16 09:59:59

I agree with pollyperky. I had my last period at 49. I was having to shower twice in the night and the flushing was unbearable. It affected my concentration and enjoyment of all aspects of my life.

I also had two teenagers at different schools, a professional workaholic husband and busy social life. My GP happily checked my bo, wrote me a prescription and checked my bp every three months. My syptoms and life improved in three days.

I took it for four years and in that time only one gp was negative. She spouted the dangers of hrt and suggested that if I didn't work I'd be able to manage without it. She received a very stony response "all women are entitled to full treatmnt for conditions if they require it and all women are entitled to optimum tratment". I think my bp hit 140 on that visit!

PollyPerky Tue 26-Jul-16 12:57:04

Glad you had a positive result Roses

For the record, I was one of those women who was convinced I wasn't going to have any menopausal symptoms. I didn't have any till I was 53 and was convinced my healthy lifestyle (eating and exercise) was working a treat. Then bang, over night I went from sleeping like a log to not sleeping for ages, and flushing every hour- totally unacceptable in a client-facing role at work. My gynae consultant - who I was seeing for other issues not meno- was happy to give me HRT because they said I couldn't do anything more in terms of lifestyle.

It's a bit patronising to suggest women take HRT for 'youth and looks'! And you'd be hard pressed to find a GP on the planet who'd prescribe it for those- in fact most GPs treat HRT as if you are asking for heroin. They are terrified of it and most know nothing- just read the terrible tales on the Menopause Matters website.

mollie123 Tue 26-Jul-16 16:12:01

If you read my post I did not say (patronisingly) that women took it to look better
this is what I wrote
not as some would have us believe to make us look and feel younger (if only that were possible) and I have known this attitude to be very prevalent when we poor saps who did not have the advantage of taking HRT would look old and awful if we didn't
FYI - I avoided it for two reasons - my symptoms were fortunately manageable - I had a sibling who died of breast cancer (so increased risk factor)
I also felt that since previous generations had 'managed the menopause' without HRT it was eminently possible to do so with my generation
MN at it's most judgemental here - I was expressing my experience not attacking those who 'needed HRT' angry

PollyPerky Tue 26-Jul-16 16:35:59

I'm sorry Mollie but your post was at best confusing and at worst in danger of minimising women's symptoms. You don't appear to have taken on many of the medical points I made but instead have turned angry when someone challenges your opinions.

I don't know what you intended to add to the discussion other than 'women managed before with no HRT so they can manage now'. Well, children died from smallpox, so should they still do that now- or should we take advantage of modern medicine?

When you said this *not as some would have us believe*- who are the some - doctors or other women? I am 99.9% certain that there is no dr in the UK who prescribes HRT to keep a woman 'young'- can you back this up with evidence?

Many of the illnesses that women have are directly linked to the menopause - but 50 or 60 years ago they were not recognised as such. Osteoporosis is the main one. Heart disease is another. Depression, anxiety, lack of energy , prolapse, bladder issues -the list goes on.

Not aware anyone was judging you - only presenting medical facts. I'm sorry to hear about your sister, but again, consultants say 2 close relatives with breast cancer is a factor not to use HRT- not just one.

Esspee Tue 26-Jul-16 22:50:02

Dizzy, would love to hear how your appointment panned out.

ArgyMargy Tue 26-Jul-16 23:00:04

So easy to reach for the pills... Everyone seems happy to make sweeping statements about GPs and what they will say/do but I would suggest going with an open mind. I would also suggest being open to advice on lifestyle changes that will help you over the next 30-50 years. With or without HRT.

Bugsylugs Tue 26-Jul-16 23:12:11

Agree with Margy. It is all very well saying what consultants advise but they take no responsibility for the prescribing. Any doctor prescribing any medication has to be competent and happy with what they are doing.
OP I hope your appointment goes well.

hellsbells99 Tue 26-Jul-16 23:18:35

Hi Op. Good luck with your appointment. I suffered severe symptoms for 3 years before finally deciding I had had enough! It affected my relationship with my DCs and DH, my sleep, my moods and also affected my confidence and my work. I was prescribed Femoston approximately 6 months ago, and I feel like a different person.

GenghisCalm Tue 26-Jul-16 23:24:22

Hi, I had a hysterectomy when I was 38 due to ovarian cancer and started HRT 3 months later. HRT stops the flushes that appear anytime of the day or night that make you feel like you are boiling to death, eases the aching joints and also protects your bones.

Unless you have an underlying medical condition I don't think your Doctor should have a problem prescribing it. My Gynaecology Consultant has prescribed mine until I am 60 as long as there are no health contradictions.

Good luck.

PollyPerky Wed 27-Jul-16 07:45:12

So easy to reach for the pills.

All the women I know of who use HRT have tried everything else first. Women happily take ADs and all kinds of other drugs when they feel the need, without trying any lifestyle changes that are proven to help, so why is HRT regarded by some women as a kind of 'weakness'? It seems this health topic raises more judgemental comments from the non-users than any other kind of medicine. Puzzling.

It is all very well saying what consultants advise but they take no responsibility for the prescribing. Any doctor prescribing any medication has to be competent and happy with what they are doing.

It depends on the circumstances. I've been prescribed HRT by a consultant for many years, see them for reviews, obtain my prescription from them and they take responsibility for it.

OhTheRoses Wed 27-Jul-16 07:51:53

The women who cope with menopause without a second glance are presumably similar to the ones who tell everyone how easy breastfeeding is even I you have to persevere - because for them it was and they cannot comprehend different women experience things differently.

ArgyMargy Wed 27-Jul-16 08:25:50

Absolutely nothing wrong with HRT - of course it helps millions of women. I completely disagree that taking it is seen as a "weakness". My point is that we look to pills too readily as the only answer without considering how changing our habits and lifestyles will support us in the longer term. I also disagree that HRT is seen as a last resort - many women I know started taking it as soon as a hot flush or a heavy period arrived.

PollyPerky Wed 27-Jul-16 09:09:09

I don't know anyone who uses HRT as you describe. Most women- including me- agonise over whether it's the right thing to do. The myths of the 2002 research, which is now shown as flawed, gave it a bad press which is why most women IME have to get down on their knees and beg their GPs for it. But these same women and GPs think nothing of taking ADs when CBT, counselling, exercise and diet might help them more. And we don't urge the 67% of women who are overweight, and who will need medication for diabetes, cancer, heart disease, or hip replacements due to their weight, to adopt lifestyle changes do we?

Cherylene Wed 27-Jul-16 10:39:22

Menopause is a good time to take a look at your diet, exercise and the rest of your general health. Because you are facing a bit change and it is important to look forward and to where you want to be. I can be a wake up call if there is something you have been neglecting.

You can do it at any time, not just menopause. Really, it is good to be as healthy as you can be at any time of your life. There are some times when this is hard for us, such as when we are busy bringing up families and when we are feeling low.

What is really needed is a healthy lifestyle and the meds that help with the bits that don't work properly. Of course, neither of these are perfect, so you need something that gives you a lift mentally to help you over the bumps too. Some need meds, some need counselling. I recommend singing grin

Cherylene Wed 27-Jul-16 10:40:10

big change, not bit change confused

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