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Hot flushes(12 Posts)
I had my last period in May last year, when I was 58. I am 60 in two weeks.
I had no menopausal symptoms at all before my last period, but since then I have the most horrendous hot flushes, which have escalated until I really can’t cope.
Today has been a typical day. I was fine when I got up, but by 7.30 I was hot all over and sitting by an open window to try to cool down. Needless to say, I have not cooled down and am just incredibly hot and sticky all over. I can feel the sweat running down the back of my neck and my hair is wet with it. I feel as if I can’t breathe, as if the air is too thick to get into my lungs. Almost every day is like this now.
I lost seven years of my life to side effects of the combined contraceptive Pill and couldn’t take the mini Pill either, so I don’t think I’m a candidate for HRT. I was offered it eleven years ago, without any testing or anything being done (and when I was not menopausal) so I’m a bit wary. I'm also hypothyroid and on replacement?
What do other people do?
Wow- that was a late menopause! Average age is 51/52 but I think something like 99% of women are finished with periods by 56.
When you ask what other people do, well....many who have symptoms as bad as yours will try HRT. You can't compare it to the Pill because the amount of hormones in it is much smaller. Also, at 60 you are advised to use HRT in topical form- patches or gel- for safety, so that is better anyway as it's not going through your digestive system first which can cause side effects.
You are a 'candidate' as they say for HRT up to ten years after your last period when many experts think there is a window of opportunity to reduce your lifetime risk of CVD if HRT is started soon in menopause - google any of this and you will find papers on it.There is a good Danish study that was done over 16 years.
Guess it comes down to how you feel about it. Some people will come along and suggest wool duvets, fans, chill pillows, herbs etc etc. No proof they work, but if you are anti HRT then that's the way to go.
I'm not anti-HRT as such, I just think my history suggests that I am not a candidate for it.
You seem to be suggesting that there may be a way round this, which is useful.
what kind of side effects did you have before?
On the combined Pill, severe anxiety, constant nausea, visual disturbances, and just feeling unwell all the time. On the min Pill, bled all the time and also had severe anxiety again.
Seconding the comments about hrt being different from the pill. I had horrendous depression on the two occasions I tried the pill - I am fine on HRT. You can get prescribed bio- identical forms of oestrogen and progesterone, so it's worth researching these. The menopause matters site is a good starting place.
Just a couple of tips. because of your age, you would probably be offered continuous regime which means 2 hormones daily and no withdrawal bleed. If you were having side effects from BCP then the odds are that it was the progestogens that caused the problems not the oestrogen. So....if you are ok about having a bleed once a month, then you would only take oestrogen for half the month. However, if you can afford it, I'd really recommend you see a gynae privately who can prescribe and monitor all kinds of HRT regimes that are not offered by GPs- not necessarily a different type of hormones, but longer cycle HRT where you have a bleed maybe once every 2 months and this cuts back on how often you have to use both hormones. GPs don't like to offer this ( or even know about it) as it's a bit 'off licence.
Interesting stuff, but I really don't fancy going back to a monthly bleed!
As I said, under supervision from a gynaecologist you may be allowed to have a 2 or 3 monthly cycle. You may have to decide if you want to try HRT, whether the trade off of a bleed now and then is worse than the other symptoms. Or you can try the 'natural' route but that can be expensive, takes time and no guarantee of success.
If you are very intolerant to progesterone then you ought to ask to be referred to a gynae with an interest in menopause because your average GP won't know enough about HRT to help you.
I gave in in the end and went onto HRT because I couldn't sleep at night for more than 30 minutes at a time due to horrendous hot flushes. The HRT has stopped the flushes brilliantly but back to a monthly bleed is the unwelcome price to be paid. Slightly the lesser of two evils....
I'm going through early menopause at 46. No hot flushes at all but had alls sorts of hormonal fluctuations and moodswings. Did go on HRT but when I ran out after six months I have not continued with it - didn't feel myself and it wasn't helping with moodswings. That's been about five weeks off it and still feeling a bit better. Hope that continues. Have you tried any herbal alternatives? Black cohosh perhaps?
I just wanted to say that if you do go on hrt, oestrogen increases the need for thyroxine. Just be be aware of this.
The pill brought my hypothyroidism to the fore due to this.
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