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If you took HRT for peri-menopause, are you glad you did?

(8 Posts)
Whippet Thu 13-Oct-11 11:58:57

Think I have been struggling with peri-menopause symptoms off and on for 2-3 years (I'm 45) I've always blamed something else (lack of exercise/ diet/ stress etc) but if I'm honest, I think I've been in denial.

I know have regular hot flushes and angry outbursts or anxiety attacks, and I'm beginning to think 'enough is enough'. It's affecting my work, my DH, the kids, and ME!

If I go to the GP I expect I will be offered HRT.

If you took HRT in similar circumstances, was it a relief? What do I need to know?

Whippet Fri 14-Oct-11 14:50:50

Anyone? sad

Thumbelina46 Fri 14-Oct-11 23:09:20

Whippet,just to let you know I'm watching with you-I'm 46 and am finding same-hot flushes on and off, awful mood swings and its affecting everyone.angry. I keep thinking its too soon to be starting HRT-should wait for full blown menopause-or is it time to act now before I drive everyone awayconfused.

ameliagrey Sat 15-Oct-11 08:36:38

Okay- here you go ladies! Might be long but bear with me.

I have been on HRT for 3 years, from age 53 and a half.

I was already seeing a consultant gynae about my bone density which was low aged 47 (I had a private scan out of curiosity).

He offered reassurance etc and we decided tackle my bones with exercise and dietary changes. This was a mutual decision.

Continued to see him and when my periods fizzled out at 53, I started having flushes every hour, and insomnia. I asked about HRT. He agreed that I already had a really helathy lifestyle- exercising, diet, etct and that I was unlikely to get any improvements by changing those unlike other women who do get relief by exercising and diet changes.

He prescribed me oestrogen gel - rub on arms and you can control the dose either upping or lowering to control symptoms, and progesterone tablets once every 12 weeks to bring on a period which is necessary to protect your uterus against cancer. This is also safer than the usual HRT pills dished out by GPs as those pills contan daily or 14 days of progesterone, and it's the progesterone which causes cancer not oestrogen.

I felt the benefits within days.

His advice is that up to 5 years use is relatively safe- very few extra cases of breast cancer. It's a personal choice whether you take it or not.

I am not saying there is no risk but he explained carefuly to me the difference between risk and actual risk- headlines say that HRT "doubles your risk of cancer" sometimes, but dooubles might mean increasing the risk from 1 in 1000 to 2 in 1000 , which is still a small risk.

Sorry so long but hope this helps.

ameliagrey Sat 15-Oct-11 08:39:08

P.s. Going back to your questions- if you feel you are too young, then try lifestyle measures first- exercise daily for 30 mins, cut out alcohol and limit caffine, and eat loads of fruit and veg etc etc.

I had no peri symptoms at all. I only started flushes at 52 when I had 4 months with no periods, then they went back to monthly for about a year, then just stoped.

ameliagrey Sat 15-Oct-11 08:42:01

also did you know that HRT before 50 has no risk attached? THis is because your body would normally have hormones until you are average meno age of 50- so you only start counting the 5 years use after aged 50.

Whippet Sat 15-Oct-11 16:28:45

Thanks so much Amelia.

I've had a horrid past few days. Flushes virtually every hour, and really spaced out feeling with slight dizziness. I have been sleeping so badly for weeks now (waking up either hot, or needing to wee, or with back/legs aches and pains) and this morning after waking up about 5 times overnight I just burst into tears when DH woke up and poured it all out to him.

He was a bit shocked/unsure what to do/say, but just said to 'do what I think is best' hmm. I had a good read of MeonpauseMatters website last night (which is REALLY helpful).

I may try diet and exercise first - there's certainly room for improvement there. I can't imagine natural therapies working for me - I'm a real skeptic- and I think they only work for people who 'believe in them' (i.e. as a placebo effect). I've read too much about 'bad science' to believe any of the pseudo-research and claims.

Can I ask why you decided to have a bone-density check? Did you have any symptoms? I've had a really bad back off an on for most of this year, and I'm convinced it's hormonal, as there's nothing else changed in my life to cause it.

ameliagrey Sat 15-Oct-11 18:40:52

Hi there
I had a bone density scan really out of curiosity. My best friend had one first- she is younger than me- as her mother has severe osteoprosis and it can be hereditary. She was shocked to find her bones were not good, so she persuaded me to have a scan.
I had no risk factors except being small which means your bones are often not so dense to start with- I weigh under 8st and have done all my life though I am a well covered size 10!

I had also had a no-dairy diet for a few years, and had breastfed both DCs.

I had low density in my hips although my back was normal.

After working really hard for about 5 years now my bone density is going back up...slowly- which is good, because at my age it ought to be dropping anyway due to age.

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