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HRT?

(9 Posts)
slowandfrumpy Sun 12-Jun-16 20:33:55

Just want sympathy really - and to ask, how bad does it have to be before asking for HRT. And does it get worse before it gets better.

i had regular periods until last September, then nothing for five months, during which I had six weeks of hot flushes. in March i had two periods and nothing since.

now the hot flushes are returning. I'm waking up all night. i can't remember ANYTHING. i ache (in a way i didn't when my period came back, presumably because my oestrogen was up) and my arms ache, and my joints ache and for the first time my back aches. my eyes are drying up, my boobs are drooping and I'm waking up throughout the night. this has never happened to me before. i've always been able to sleep anywhere. now i pass out around 11 and i'm awake at four and that's it. also vivid dreams and a shallow sleep. i'm also shattered by 1pm.

i want to ask about HRT. Do you think this will help. Or am I being whiny. It's not unbearable. It's just a pain in the arse.

googlepoodle Mon 13-Jun-16 20:43:19

No mine wasn't unbearable but hated not feeling like myself. So got myself on HRT and felt better within about 3 days. Yet to finish a full month but feel loads better. No aches, bags more energy. Not sleeping better but early days yet. Mood so much improved. I'd put my cranky mood down to stressful job and three kids but turns out was my hormones as feel much more chilled now.
Get to doctor and get HRT and see how you get on xx

PollyPerky Mon 13-Jun-16 22:07:01

There are no medals for struggling on! No one suffers migraines without meds etc so meno isn't any different.
Your symptoms sound bad enough but it's up to you. Like you I had no symptoms when having periods (up to 52) but during a 4-month gap I had hourly flushes, was unable to get off to sleep and woke quite a lot when I did. It was affecting my work and everything else.
HRT sorted it within a week. I don't sleep like a baby any more- always have had vivid dreams and still do and wake quite early most days, but loads better than pre HRT.

mommybunny Wed 15-Jun-16 10:56:45

I've said this many times before on these forums, but if you're aren't doing any regular strenuous exercise I cannot urge you strongly enough to try it.

I was suffering last year, at 47, with many of the same symptoms as you -waking in the night drenched in sweat, so dreadfully tired during the day I'd start sobbing "for no reason". I'd read somewhere (I think The Times) that "making yourself sweat" for at least 45 minutes 4x per week can help with the symptoms so I started training for a half marathon. While the symptoms never went away completely, I could not believe how dramatically they improved in duration, frequency and intensity. I know it was the exercise and not just general hormonal fluctuations because if I had to lay off the exercise because of holidays or injury the symptoms would come back, and go away when I started running again.

I have a generally open mind about HRT, though I would like to avoid putting hormones into my body if at all possible. I would therefore never foreclose the possibility of HRT if the symptoms worsened, but at the moment I use my running to "keep HRT at bay", and don't feel I need anything else. In addition to its many other effects on weight, blood pressure, heart function etc, it's also good for your bones and preventing osteoporosis. I'm in better shape than I've been in years, and most nights sleep right through.

I cannot say whether you need HRT or not. For one thing, you don't say how old you are - as polly has also mentioned many times on these threads, if you're under 45 and perimenopausal you are more likely to need intervention as a medical matter than if you are 45 or over. After 45, if I understand correctly, HRT is usually prescribed more for the patient's comfort, which is not to be sneezed at! I would have thought, however, that it would take some time to find out whether you should be prescribed it with all the blood tests and everything, which have to be timed with your cycle. In the meantime, while you are waiting, it couldn't hurt to make yourself sweat a few times a week and see if that helps.

Good luck.

PollyPerky Wed 15-Jun-16 11:53:25

Exercise is brilliant and I'd suggest it too, if you can! Some of us can't though...I have had a prolapse repair 25 years ago and have been told by physios and gynaes that I must avoid high impact exercise for life or the work will be undone. Anyone with a weak pelvic floor should take note!

I don't agree with 'not putting hormones into my body' though because it's been shown by research that starting HRT early has long term benefits on the heart, it also helps maintain collagen that supports the pelvic floor, bone density, and healthier lipid profiles. It may also protect against brain ageing and dementia- so it's not really just the 'comfort factor' . You won't get blood tests over 45 by the way - these are reserved for women under 45. over 45, drs are supposed to treat the symptoms.

elevenfouromfg Wed 15-Jun-16 12:08:53

I have been peri menopausal for three years and I am really struggling. Terrible hot flushes all day every day, night sweats, sleeping only a couple of hours a night so constantly exhausted. Had two periods last year and so far one this year. The most depressing of the symptoms are the aching joints and pains everywhere. I am so stiff and sometimes it's really hard to get moving in the morning. My body feels like I have done strenuous exercise when in fact I haven't exercised. I have an appointment friday morning to see the doctor to discuss hrt. I didn't want to go down the hrt route but I have zero quality of life at the moment and have struggled for too long. I have nothing to lose really as I feel so awful.

mommybunny Wed 15-Jun-16 12:27:47

Thanks polly for the clarification, but it has left me more confused - is the thinking now that all menopausal women should have HRT because of the benefits on the heart, brain, collagen etc? If you don't get the HRT, because your symptoms aren't unbearable and you therefore aren't seeing your GP for them, will you miss out on those benefits?

mommybunny Wed 15-Jun-16 12:29:20

And ps - I should have clarified in my original post that you should only exercise if and to the extent you physically can!

PollyPerky Wed 15-Jun-16 13:29:37

No, it hasn't quite gone that far yet mommy! The IMS (International Menopause Society) has published several papers on health of women in midlife IMS health of women in midlife which stops short of saying HRT ought to be used prophylactically but it almost says that! In other words, the current research shows a 50 % reduction in furring up of arteries in women who use HRT within 10 years of their last period. Offset against this is the small risk of cancer but more research is going on into differing risks between progestogen and natural progesterone (the figures already show marked differences between breast cancer with the 3 types of commonly used synthetic progestogens.)

To answer your questions- I don't know! I think women have to feel comfortable with the small risks (if any) and offset those against genetic predisposition. Heart disease and stroke is on my maternal side so I 've decided to use HRT for that and also my bones as I'm at risk there.

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