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Private hormone/menopause advice and help

(12 Posts)
Hazeleyes56 Wed 14-Jan-15 10:17:53

Hi
New here and need some support please. I am 56 and thought I had got through the menopause well...have coped and survived most of the effects of declining hormones, kept fit, eat well and so on but finally it has my attention - dry, painful vagina and low libido - ie. no enjoyable sex - have bothered the doctors repeatedly, got rid of any infections, tried vaginal moisturisers and vagifem (which turned me into a hot flushing, emotional wreck with no effect on the dry soreness). So am now looking at going to a menopause specialist - my doctor suggested Professor Studd....can anyone tell me their experience of him please? I realise he is probably top of the pile, but even so I cannot find any recommendations specific to him. Or can anyone recommend a specialist outside of London particularly out in Essex or Kent/south east. Or any other suggestions for someone who could never take the pill and is very wary of adding hormones to her body but is getting desperate! Many thanks.

pinkfrocks Wed 14-Jan-15 13:23:44

Sometimes symptoms kick in once your hormone levels have fallen right away rather than during peri. I had no symptoms until almost 54.

I think- just my opinion- you should have persevered with Vagifem or another similar product. There is no systemic absorption after a few weeks (if any at all) because what happens is that the effect of it hardens the cells of the vagina so they are healthy instead of fragile, and this makes it impossible for any to be absorbed into the uterus. This is why it is safe to use indefinitely and even women in their 80s use it.

It can take 3-6 months to reverse bad vaginal atrophy- it's not going to be fixed in a couple of weeks.

The truth is that nothing works as well as HRT. You mustn't compare the Pill to HRT because it's totally different- much smaller doses of hormone.

Prof Studd is basically HRT HRT HRT all the way and I don't think he's what you need. I can recommend someone else who is able to suggest lots of other things OR HRT. I'll drop you a PM.

Hazeleyes56 Thu 15-Jan-15 11:06:59

Thank you pinkfrocks for you suggestions and your PM........certainly will look into your recommendation. However, it was not just concern about the risks of taking hormones but the fact that one little dab of Ovestin turned me into a different person for three days - not a nice or happy one either......so in order to 'cure' my atrophy do I have to go back through all the other menopause symptoms as well (not fun!) and change character? I just seem to be very sensitive to the hormones and need to find someone who can steer me through the process with some confidence rather than trial and error or suggest another proven way of getting some sort of relief. Many thanks for any other advice.

pinkfrocks Thu 15-Jan-15 14:26:14

I don't want to contradict you BUT there really is no way that a dab of Ovestin ( you said Vagifem before which is stronger) could have that effect. I think the stats are that using the cream for a year is the equivalent of 1 HRT oestrogen pill taken in a day. It's more likely that what you felt would have happened anyway and the use of local HRT was a sheer coincidence.
And the oestrogen in local HRT would reduce flushes and moods- not give you more even if it were absorbed into your system- which it isn't or it couldn't and wouldn't be given to women ages 80+ ( like my mum!)

If you are worried anyway about the risks of hormones it's more credible that your anxiety over using vaginal creams etc exacerbated your meno symptoms and brought on a blip of symptoms for a few days.

pinkfrocks Thu 15-Jan-15 14:37:44

You might find this helpful

local oestrogen

It's from the US and what it says is that the only times they found evidence of systemic absorption was with CEE- conjugated equine oestrogens. These are not used in the UK. In the UK Ovestin is made from weak oestriol and the tablets/ pessaries referred to in the link are Vagifem- and it states that there was no systemic absorption with these.

Hazeleyes56 Fri 16-Jan-15 16:55:31

Hi - thank you - not going to argue but I know my body......thank you for your link (very useful). I have 'googled' more and think maybe I am one of the women who need progesterone, either as well or instead of estriol ( or whichever one of the various e's or p's we are talking about, they all seem to have slightly different effects on the body)......and have made an appointment with a local menopause doctor next week - the poor man is going to get a massive list of questions (ps. Why are they all men???!).

pinkfrocks Fri 16-Jan-15 17:43:48

Progesterone will not cure VA or hot flushes and most women find most sort of progesterone the 'devil in disguise'!

It's the reason we get PMT and is usually the cause of low mood, rages, and all that rubbish!

scallyali Mon 19-Jan-15 20:56:08

Hi an online friend of mine has an Appt with the professor studd in london next month.
He has a website which is a very interesting read :-)

pinkfrocks Mon 19-Jan-15 22:48:30

His website is interesting but I've heard from other people here and on other sites that he's not very personable but that's their opinion only.

cherrybrown Tue 29-Mar-16 15:52:33

Hi Pinkfrocks, any chance you could let me know also who you would recommend/suggest. I have seen Professor Studd but would like an alternative person to see for similar symptoms mentioned here. Thanks.

Issiwissiletsgetbusy Thu 31-Mar-16 23:40:32

They're not all men at all........ Claudine Dononey is excellent and I'd highly recommend her- shes highly knowledgable and v professional and also v v warm and supportive! Most good GO practices will have do one who specialises in gynaecology and specifically HRT. The best time to start is peri menopausal as early symptoms start regardless of bleeds- not much use checking blood levels as hormones pulsatile and erratic/ but is useful to exclude other issues and also as rough guide of levels to aim for ( checking LH, FSH and SHBG) I'd agree with a lot of the other posts- v good advice; Vagifem or oestradiol cream is for local use to address vaginal symptoms ( can help dryness and soreness and also improve cell protection and so reduce recurrent urine infections/ which can be a nightmare for many women post menopausally. I could write a book here- but essentially low dose natural oestrogen is v positive and need to tailor dose to suit each individual. Progesterone is given ( uterogestan is the safest natural progestogen) to protect the womb lining from the effect of the oestrogen and ensure it doesn't thicken. Academically there is no other role for progestogen ( can also consider low dose testosterone etc as ovaries also produce a small amount of this- but only if needed) BUT as you point out many people feel very well with it ..... Though the majority find they feel very well with oestrogen- there's a definite subgroup who do well with progesterone. NHS scripts are far better than bio identical hormones- as same stuff and much cheaper- though sadly still a few docs that give out the old fashioned stuff- just need to find someone good. There are lots of non hormonal options too and of course risk vs benefits analysis- but I'm v pro the new safe regimes long term....

Essentially it's a very individualised approach and a full general review is key - it's also a time when as oestrogen levels fall, women's risk of heart disease increases - so good to have a full health check and review duet/ exercise etc X
British menopause society website and HerHeart campaign are all v good.

Issiwissiletsgetbusy Thu 31-Mar-16 23:41:37

Sorry for typos?! GP practices not GO and someone not do one - need to get to sleep! X

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