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How long does it take HRT to start working?

(171 Posts)
higgle Wed 12-Aug-09 11:28:54

My GP prescribed me Kliofem on Monday, strted taking it yesterday ( Tuesday) my only menopausal problem is hot flushes and they are driving me mad - how long will it take for the effects of the HRT to kick in? desperate to see an improvement. Also does anyone have any good or bad experiences on this drug?

pinkfrocks Tue 28-Apr-15 11:43:31

I don't think anyone else's experiences can help much- because everyone is different. I found relief in 4 days. You might need local HRT ( vaginal cream) to help with painful sex because systemic alone is not enough for over 20% of women.

You don't have to have a continuous type of HRT because this means you will be taking progestogens every day and some people find they make them feel more moody. You can still have HRT that follows a cycle and gives you a bleed each month, if you want, even though you have been period-free for 3 years.

cookinglinda123 Tue 28-Apr-15 10:50:34

I too have not had periods for 3years and just gone onto Elleste duo 2mg today. How has it helped and it it take very long to help

cookinglinda123 Tue 28-Apr-15 10:47:08

I have just been prescribed Elleste duo and started taking it this morning. I am a 51 year old who has not had a period for about 3 years and had the hot flushes and lack of sex drive for ages, also sex is very painful too. Can anyone share their first hand experience with Elleste Duo? How long before it works, how has it helped, not helped etc? This is my first evr post as a new mum to mumsnet, although my children are 18, 14 and 12!!!

pinkfrocks Thu 12-Feb-15 12:03:27

1mg is a very low dose if you have no ovaries- is that the case? Many women who are in peri or post menopause use 1-2 mgs.
I'd say it's unlikely that 5 days of oestrogen makes you feel bloated when it is such a small dose. Oestrogen itself doesn't usually cause bloating- it's something that tends to happen more with progestogens.

You might like to think about changing to a patch or gel. Pills are considered a bit 'old fashioned' now because topical HRT is much safer. In addition, a lot of oral HRT is lost during digestion so your 1mg might not be getting into your system much.

Springer61 Wed 11-Feb-15 21:32:18

I m 4 months post total hysterectomy and have started taking Elleste solo 1mg for hot sweats , joint pain the normal menopausal issues , been taking tablets for about 5 days . Not sure if its my imagination but I seem quite bloated would love to know of other girls experience of this hormone and how quickly did it seem to make a difference . I just can't wait to feel normal again it feels like it will never happen

pinkfrocks Mon 29-Dec-14 13:23:43

Your dr said a 48% chance of cancer? They are mad- or you misheard.... because that would mean 1:2 risk(almost) which is a joke.

A woman's lifetime risk is 1:8.

Taking HRT at 41 does not increase your risk of breast cancer. The risks only start to kick in if taken for 5 years or more after the age of 50+.

And even then they are tiny risks- drinking alcohol regularly and being overweight are greater risks for cancer.

dd73 Sun 28-Dec-14 23:55:02

Hi I am 41 I think I started manapause about a year ago but slowly got worse I had itching all over hot flushes moods all over place basically I felt pregnant anyway just started take the 2nd lot of pills in packet I am worried about takeing them nearly all symptoms gone but doctor said being so young I have a 48% chance of breast cancer is this a fact ? Just so worry any advice would be greatful

pinkbraces Wed 12-Nov-14 18:11:33

I forgot to add, I am quite a fit and healthy person, go to the gym about 4 times a week, walk lots as we have a loony dog who loves her walks. I also have IBS which means I'm a healthy eater , apart from the wineblush

pinkbraces Wed 12-Nov-14 18:08:08

Horses urine, you just said horses urine!

Well that has at least made me smile, in a strange sort of way.hmm

Thanks for all the info. I will read your posts again and take a look at the website. I want to go to my doctor appt on Friday as knowledgeable as possible.

No doubt I will be back with more questions smile

Shareaproblem Wed 12-Nov-14 14:50:24

Thanks for that pinkfrocks
The doc may do that anyway as my Bp was high she said she was still prescribing the HRT as the high Bp could be due to the sate I was in (I was a mess)and have to go back in 2 weeks for another bp check to make sure. And it's good to hear it's the meno that adds weight and not the HRT as hopefully this will mean I'll be dealing with the same metabolism on HRT as I was last week with out it
Hi pinkbraces
I think pinkfrocks is right not that I'm any where near as clued up as pinkfrocks (but I plan to be) as I only got the HRT yesterday and started putting on weight a while ago, I put it down to quitting smoking (I'm sure this is also a factor) but I go to the gym now and it's back in control so it's good to know I wont have to go to the gym more often to counteract the HRT.
As for the heartburn/reflux I was experiencing this for a while then 2 months ago the dc put me on Lansoprazole the weight and the heartburn started way before I'd been diagnosed I'd been putting all my symptoms down to nicotine withdrawal as my periods have been erratic for years

pinkfrocks Wed 12-Nov-14 13:36:22


You've got to allow 3 months for any HRT to work fully then think about changing. It might not be enough on its own- meno is a time when you have to really think about living and eating well- including plenty of exercise such as brisk daily walks for an hour.

I know it's boring but it really is the time to cut out sugar, crap food, booze and caffeine- maybe not completely but almost!

There is NO evidence that HRT causes weight gain but meno does- so our metabolisms change and we need to cut back- I eat a fraction of what I did in my 20-40s because of this.

Back to Prempak- this is an old form of HRT. it's still used but it's not the best. The oestrogen in it is from horses urine- so it's not the same as we'd have ourselves. if it's a continuous/ combined sort - no bleed- then you will also be taking a progestogen each day too- this can cause bloating and bad mood swings just like PMT.

Many women find they get on much better with a bio identical oestrogen ( same molecules as our own oestrogen) and a separate progestogen such as Utrogestan or Norethisterone- the first is bio identical meaning it's the same as we make ourselves and may have fewer side effects. Patches are also safer than pills.

If you use a separate progestogen then you can either take it for a few days each month and then you will have a period-like bleed, or you can take it every day and have no bleed. It's down to preference really- I prefer to have cycles and my dr is happy for me to have long cycles of between 6-10 weeks, but that is under supervision ( as it's private) to check the uterus lining doesn't overgrow with longer cycles.

Have a good read of the Menopause Matters website and go to the drs prepared to ask for what you want because many are not clued up on HRT and just reach for the cheapest and oldest products eg Prempak!

pinkbraces Wed 12-Nov-14 12:20:29

Can I join in please.

Im 51 and started taking Prempak C about 6 weeks ago. It has helped my hot flushes as they have reduced but not disappeared. I still have no libido and can cry at the drop of a hat, or alternatively I could kill!

I have also developed really bad heartburn/reflux, and seem to have grown a middle. I really don't think they are working for me so Im back at the docs on Friday.

Can anyone recommend what I should be asking for. Ive read so much on the menopause, what you should take, what you shouldn't take and I cant see the wood for the trees.

Im normally a very happy optimistic type of person but lately Ive been so down, Ive started to feel like a different (and not very nice) person!

pinkfrocks Wed 12-Nov-14 12:01:37

Glad you have had good results!

Femoston is- I understand- one of the better pill forms as it is close to our own bodies hormones.

If you get on well with it then maybe think- long term- of changing to patches as they don't increase risks of blood clots.

LurcioAgain Wed 12-Nov-14 10:38:36

Just noticed this - obviously a long running thread which answers the question I posted about 6 weeks back!

I can now report that vaginal itching went within a week, it took about 2 weeks for the night flushes to go for my particular combination of my physiology plus HRT and by a month I was pretty much symptom free. Second month's cycle saw my libido back to normal (peaking about a week after my "period" ie round about the time I would ovulate were things happening naturally).

Just like to say thanks to pinkfrocks for being so encouraging on the thread I started.

Shareaproblem Wed 12-Nov-14 10:26:26

Thanks for that info pink
I feel better just talking about it I really didn't know there was that much about this period of our lives I think typically I though we went through the change had a choice to take HRT or not, boy there's so much more to it.
I picked up my prescription last night she's given me 3 months of 1/10 femoston couldn't wait to take the first pill I've decided to take a couple of days off work, my head is in a much better place today than it was yesterday than god.
I've just ordered some garcina carbogia as someone earlier in the thread mentioned that apart from helping with weight gain they can help with moods, I'm prepared to try anything and in all honesty the last thing I want to do is put on weight I've battled that all my life and more so since giving up the nicotine.
I had a problem free pregnancy yet my employer and the Nhs offered time off,free dental care etc etc
Now I'm experiencing the menopause I feel like there's not enough understanding especially from employers and more should be done or is this just my employer !!!

pinkfrocks Wed 12-Nov-14 09:53:17

Share the advice is to give it 3 months and if it doesn't work, try another sort.
TBH patches and gel are better ( and safer) than pills- dunno why drs keep dishing out pills.

There are 3 different types of progestogens in the different types of pill- HRT ( the pills you'll take during the 2nd half of the cycle) and these are the ones that often cause side effects similar to PMT. If you don't get on with one sort then ask to try others.

You will find more info on this site under the HRT section, left hand side of menu.

Shareaproblem Tue 11-Nov-14 15:33:44

I'm a 48 year old lady that obviously didn't know enough about the menopause went to the doctors 2 months ago told him I was having sweats night/day couldn't sleep for more than 2 hours and I could actually feel my moods changing but also told him I had a really stressful job and had given up smoking 6 months earlier and asked if there was a test to confirm the menopause he said no and I ended up walking out with a leaflet!!!
2 months later I feel near suicidal, and my mood swings are going to get me in trouble at work, not good emotions to have in a managerial position, as I have no idea if I'm going to be In tears, happy, or going to walk away from my life and everything in it.
After reading all these threads what I now know is that I'm not alone, there's more to the menopause than hot flushes and us ladies should talk about it more openly I was also one of those lady's that thought that when the time came I would do it the natural way ha ha I didn't know then what I know now so after being in floods of tears explaining all my feeling to a female doctor this morning she's prescribed a 3month HRT course (which one I don't know I was feeling so horrifically depressed I didn't read the prescription) I'm just hoping it's all it's made out to be and I have a quick response to the drug as I don't think I can go back in to work until my head is in a more stable place so I. Watching the clock now waiting to pick up the prescription

Overit66 Mon 20-Oct-14 23:55:38

Hi everyone. Loved reading all your posts. Have a drs appointment today to hopefully get hrt. I'm 48 and have been having hot flushes for bout 3 years. I swore I would never use hrt after reading lol if the side effects but the last 6 months of my life have just been hell suffering from all symptoms. I'm at the point where I think my husband and kids just hate me and hate being around me. Just had the last 2 days off work and this moment can't even be bothered going tomorrow. I hate feeling like this as I've always been happy and a go getter. I hope that he gives me the script I need today and I can see results asap. Feeling so desperate.

Suomilanen Wed 15-Oct-14 17:33:37

Lots of great info, everyone! I'm excited to start HRT. I've had hot flashes every five minutes for some time and feel completely broken, tired, a real mess. Started on Minivelle (estradiol transdermanl system) lowest dose patches 0.0375 one week ago. Flashes now range 30 to 45 minutes apart (yes, I've got an Excel spreadsheet going). I'm hoping to see bigger changes in the next few weeks. My main concern is when to add the supplemental progesterone. My mom, 30 years ago, took Premarin w/o the progesterone and ended up with endometrial (sp?) cancer. I've held off on HRT because I was scared but realized w/o it, I'm plain old sick. Feels like the flu, all the time. Hot/cold, hot/cold. Fans in every room, carrying battery operated fans with me all the time. Dr. was happy I came in because she says car accidents are common with those suffering with this because of sleep deprivation. Looking for some great advice, as we travel this WONDERFUL (!) journey together. Thank you!

momcattt3 Wed 17-Sep-14 20:28:49

Hello all. I've just begun Mimvey estradiol and norethindrone acetate tablets 1 mg/0.5mg.

Have any of you had experience with these. Short story is I'm 48 and post menopausal. I am just OVER the syptoms, restless leg syndrome, headaches, exhaustion and insomnia to name a few. Went through meno real bad a few years ago. Had a run of zero to very little syptoms last year. They are back now. Not as bad as it was a few years ago.

Anyone with any knowledge? When will I be feeling better? Any loose ideas? Also I am in the US. Cali.

Thanks for the topic!!

lainey1957 Sun 24-Aug-14 14:02:41

I have been on and off HRT for 61/2 years and am now 57. I have had 2 breakthrough bleeds, the last one being in February this year. My gynaecologist thinks that I had a my age. Every time I come off HRT I have really bad menopause symptoms - hot sweats frequently day and night which make me feel sick/dizzy sometimes and was so sick of having a damp bed. Thankfully, I have been put back on HRT Everol Conti Patches two weeks ago. Not kicked in yet but hanging on in there. Also Vagifem for dryness and pain during sex.

I noticed on the blog that progesterone gel or cream is often used at the same time as the patches. This has not been suggested so far. Can anyone give me more information on it's use?

Roster101 Thu 21-Aug-14 10:40:29

I used Fluoxitine for two years - it reduced the flushes slightly, which was better than nothing. I've just come off them and started Kilofem. I previously explained how I was feeling on them but now things are improving. I am now having maybe one or two flushes a day / night. This is wonderful - I don't look as if someone's thrown a bucket of water over me any more because even these flushes are bearable. I hope this continues and I can actually live a normal life.

rubyruu Wed 06-Aug-14 18:26:35

Hi there, I have just registered to this site and tried to read as many posts as I can.
After being told by the GP I am on the menopause he has suggested 1mg of Elleste daily. Having being a complete nightmare for the past year and having NO sexdrive, bloating, exhausted, no interests in anything, forgetful, you name it I was it.
I am a 41 year old fitness instructor and being continuously in front of people i needed to make sure I was in top form. Just hoping I can keep the weight gain under control as at the minute im feeling very uncomfortable with the bloating. Was thinking of trying a herbal remedy for it, but will give this a go first to see how I feel. I have been on Fluoxitine ( anti-depressants ) for over a year so let's hope I can come off them soon. Thank you for listening hope it makes sense. Ruth

Roster101 Mon 04-Aug-14 08:13:06

I just read your comments about flushes and Kliofem. Glad I did. I thought I was going out if my mind. I've been taking Kliofem for 5 days and my flushes have been worse than ever too. I'm not sleeping because of them and I'm dripping wet day and night. Here's hoping for the same results as you.

Pinkfrocks Sun 03-Aug-14 17:45:40

If you aren't getting much improvement when on HRT that is rather unusual.
Have you tried other brands with a higher dose of oestrogen- it's lack of this that causes the flushes.
Most HRT comes with oestrogen levels of under 1mg , 1mg, 1,5, 2 mgs and more.
If whatever you were using didn't help then you need to ask for a higher dose- ideally a patch or gel as these are often absorbed better than tablets which have to go through the digestive system first and some is lost.

Oestrogel is applied morning and or evening and the dose is from 1 squirt from the can up to 4 ( that would be equivalent to 3mgs.) You can easily adjust the dose yourself - giving each dose a couple of weeks or so to see if you get improvement.

I'd def suggest you move off tablets because in any case they have a higher risk of strokes /blood clots whereas patches and gels don't.

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