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to hrt or not to hrt that is the question!

(16 Posts)
cuggles Tue 25-Feb-14 21:25:45

Hi there, I have had blood tests that show the menopause is here or imminent (still having the odd period so I am not sure when I am actually classified as menopausal??? Anyway I had a cycle day 5 test (I see many people seem to have it on 3 so is that odd?) and it showed hormone levels that indicate my periods will stop within the next yr or so. I am 39 so a bit shocked. My gp told me I would definitely have to go on HRT as I am considered to be early menopause and this brings more benefits than risks but speaking to a friend in the US she says that it is not insisted on there and she, at 42, is managing it via the natural route so eating high calcuim food and taking black cabosh (I think she said). I am not keen on HRT esp. as I was told my periods will continue and if I am going to go through this I at least want no more periods but also the synthetic hormones concern me (esp. as I have used the pill for years previously). Can anyone tell me if this is the case and if the natural route is risky? My Gp was wonderful and I do trust her so didnt even question having to go on HRT until this conversation with a friend? Also, I dont have many symptoms...anger!, mood swings, erratic periods, insomnia yes but no hot flushes etc..might the blood test be wrong?

cuggles Tue 25-Feb-14 21:26:15

Sorry, being rude (forgetfulness another symptom!)....thanks in advance for any responses!

jaffacakesallround Wed 26-Feb-14 08:33:10

Your GP is right.

You are 10-15 years ahead of the average age for meno (51 but some women go to 56).

Most HRT used in the UK is not synthetic. It's bio identical. The synthetic kind is made from horse urine and is called CEE- conjugated equine oestrogens- and is in HRT with the prefix Pre (Premarin).

Taking HRT under the age of 50 does not confer any risks. You are replacing what your body should have, the same as if you took insulin or thyroxine.

Bone density is only one issue- you are also at risk from heart disease with prem meno, and problems like vaginal atrophy and aching joints due to loss of collagen.

Your friend is being unwise. Calcium alone is not enough. Black cohosh has been linked to side effects so although it's a herb it's not always 'safe'.

At your age you would be put onto a type of HRT that gave you a monthly bleed, but later you could go onto a no-bleed type. You need specialist help really because no-bleed types are for older women who have not had a natural period for at least a year but they may be suitable for younger women too if there is absolutely no chance of your own hormones breaking through again- you'd need advice on this.

Your dr is right!

cuggles Wed 26-Feb-14 09:30:31

Thanks Jaffacakes..explaining it similar to insulin makes total sense to me and indeed makes me feel completely comfortable with it. Thanks for the full reply..really useful reading for me.

lovelymumof4 Wed 26-Feb-14 15:33:30

I'm also 39, well next month, and i'm borderline menopausal. My doctor prescribed me HRT, (Prempak C) last week. I'm a bit like you, not sure if i should take it or not xx

cuggles Wed 26-Feb-14 19:29:57

Lovelymumof4..it is a bit rubbish isnt it! Are you having the physical symptoms?? My comfort is that I feel happy my family is complete and I am guessing from your user name you too have had your little ones so, as my gp said to me, that is one thing not to worry about anyway for me and I am sorry to anyone reading this for whom it is not the case (and yourself if I am wrong!). I feel much happier with the HRT thing following jaffacakes post, likening it to replacing insulin or thyroxine makes it make sense to me and indeed my gp said the risks factors are not an issue for those pre-menopausal age. I think, for me, it is the way to go for sure.

lovelymumof4 Wed 26-Feb-14 21:21:36

Iv'e actually been trying for baby number 5 for a while now but no luck which comes as no surprise due to my perimenopausal status. It's been emotionally tough for me recently knowing that i can't have another child but i know how blessed and lucky i am to have 4 healthy children when some poor women can't have any. I'm having quite afew physical symptoms of menopause, night sweats, anxiety, palpitations, mood swings, vaginal dryness and also my hair and skin is drier. I'm sure i'm getting more wrinkles on my face which is worrying me no end!! I do still have periods but they a bit irregular and lighter and shorter than they used to be. My doctor told me to start the HRT with my next period. At the end of each pack i should get aperiod type withdrawl bleed. Are you having any meno symptoms ?

lovelymumof4 Wed 26-Feb-14 21:28:03

Sorry, i just read that you aren't having too many meno symptoms, that's ablessing at least! Out of interest, do you know what your FSH level was when your blood was taken ? This is the hormone that tells you if you are in menopause or heading that way. FSH will rise as menopause approaches. Anything over 10 is suggestive of menopause i seem to remember. If you don't mind me asking x

whattoWHO Wed 26-Feb-14 21:34:28

I was peri-menopausal at 38. Luckily (miraculously!) fell pregnant at 39 which gave me my precious DD. Never had another period.
I've been on hrt ever since for the reasons given by Jaffa.
Another persuading factor was that my fab GP told me that she had been taking hrt from a similar age.

lovelymumof4 Wed 26-Feb-14 22:01:49

Wow WhattoWHO, you fell pregnant at 39 then! So maybe there is hope for me yet then! Did it happen naturally can i ask ? My body has been doing some odd stuff this last couple of weeks, like it's trying like crazy to have one last attempt at making a baby! Hope i get lucky just like you did x

lovelymumof4 Wed 26-Feb-14 22:03:16

If i could have one last child i would be straight on that HRT without a seconds thought.

whattoWHO Wed 26-Feb-14 22:30:29

Yes, it was natural conception. DP reckons he must be blessed with super-sperm! He's very proud of himself!
I hope you get lucky x

jaffacakesallround Thu 27-Feb-14 08:28:36

lovely HRT is not a contraceptive. Your own cycle can still break through so there is no reason why when on HRT you could not conceive if you ovulated.

lovelymumof4 Thu 27-Feb-14 13:55:53

Well i'm still having regular ish periods, every 4-6 weeks, although very light and short. Maybe the estrogen in the HRT will bump things up a bit and help me ovulate regularly and perhaps even help prepare my body for a pregnancy.

cuggles Fri 28-Feb-14 20:22:50

Yes lovelymumof4 I am fairly symptom free in terms of flushes etc although skin v v dry and hair rubbish suddenly..get bad moods too..am taking agnus castus for that..think it helps abit! Not sure what fsh level was but I asked her if my levels were pretty far down the road to menopause and she said yes. I was put on the pill for three months to try and kick start system..seems odd if you are ttc but might work for you?? but no period since then and was about 18 day cycle before that..been six weeks now..will go back to gp at three month mark i think!

lovelymumof4 Fri 28-Feb-14 22:37:33

You probably will get a period before the 3 month mark is up. The biggest gap iv'e had so far is 7 weeks. So your doctor said your periods will probably stop within the next year or so, i think i will likely be the same as each time i get a period it seems lighter. Horrible to think we will be all done and dusted by around age 40 when most women are in their 50s! I did think of going on the Pill for a few months as one doctor said this can sometimes enhance fertility. Maybe i will give that a dry before i go down the HRT route. Hrt to me seems a bit drastic at age 39!

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