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No period for 8 weeks and now terrible hot flushes. HRT?

(7 Posts)
Deux Wed 27-Jul-16 20:12:20

I've not had a period not for 8 weeks and up until then they were regular. I'm almost 51.

About 2 weeks ago I experienced a bout of what seemed like extreme PMT and thought a period was on its way. But no.

Instead I seem to have been plunged straight into multi-hourly flushes and waking up bolt upright in the middle of the night sweating as if I was living in the tropics.

And I really can't bear it. We're going on holiday to Spain next month staying at my in laws which makes me feel all agitated and panicky. I'm worried I'll sweat my way through 2 weeks of hell and that I may have a hellish unexpected period whilst there.

So I rang for a GP appointment. The (large) surgery is in some kind of crisis and they can't offer me an appointment until the end of August. One, I'll be on holiday and two, I really don't think I can cope with these flushes for much longer.

So, I've decided to see a private GP asap in the hope of being prescribed HRT.

Couple of questions for anyone having gone through a similar experience. So after the first private prescription, assuming with NICE approved drugs, is my GP likely to prescribe for me? Do I have to go through the process again from the beginning?

I've got no idea if/when I'll get another period so what system of HRT will I likely be prescribed? Is it like the pill and you have to start on first day of bleeding?

Hoping for an appointment by the end of the week so I'll report back.

Deux Wed 27-Jul-16 20:16:00

One other thing. I like the sound of Oestrogel/Utrogestan combination. Am I right in thinking this combination is well tolerated with fewer side effects?

Hickey6 Wed 27-Jul-16 23:33:31

Hi, I truly sympathise with you. I had my last period in January this year, and have been suffering horrendous hot flushes ever since. I too have an appointment booked for a couple of weeks with my GP for HRT. I have just spent two weeks in the Dominican Republic in extreme heat, and it was two weeks of sweating!!!! The humidity of an evening was high, and even the males were sweaty. I found pure relief with leaving the air conditioning on all night, but the flushes were with me daily.
I came home over a week ago, and my flushes have reached the stage where I can no longer stand it. I am 48, and can honestly say I have not had a full nights sleep for 6 months ( apart from when I was abroad, under air con). I have a career where I meet clients, and I oftern have a sudden hot flush in which I can feel the sweat dripping down my neck, and my face is soaked. I am so embarrassed, as I find myself apologising, and I now explain to customers ( even men) that I am going through the menopause!!!
I have tried Sage tablets from Holland & Barratt ( Menoforce) which I did find a bit of relief, but then on certain relief. I have looked at my diet, I even gve up smoking last September but the flushes are getting worse. I have gained weight, my hair is thinning and I suffer anxiety and tingly arms and legs now and again. So I took the plunge and will see my GP to hopefully have HRT along with a blood test.
I suffered from the age of 16 with heavy periods and excruiting period pains, now they have gone I got the short end of the straw with the flushes and feeling rubbish!!!! The only good thing is I don't suffer with sore boobs now. But if i could swap the flushes for the period pains............I'd have the period pains any day. ( they only lasted 3 days a month) I have around 10 - 15 hot flushes per day, and I hate it!

Deux Wed 07-Sep-16 16:36:29

I just thought I'd update my thread as it may help anyone else in a similar boat.

Sympathies for all those suffering.

Well I had an appointment with a private GP and she was fabulous. I left the appointment with a prescription for a trial supply of Sandrina gel.

I applied the first gel at 3pm and didn't get another hot flush until 10pm. Then day 2 I didn't have any flushes, just a couple of hot episodes. Day 3 and since, no hot flushes.

I do feel a bit evangelical about it all.

Here's the thing, I hadn't realised quite how awful I had been feeling until those first 3 days of oestrogen gel.

I thought, crikey, this is how I used to feel the whole time. Brain fog gone, aches gone, flushes gone. Also my mood is great and I was having bouts of (uncharacteristic) anxiety which has gone too.

I also had a full panel of blood tests which all came back fine but I was surprised to discover I'm anaemic so the iron tablets have now kicked in too.

I've switched to a trial of Estradot patches which I'm finding super easy. I was a bit reluctant to have a patch as I imagined an enormous unsightly thing but it's transparent and smaller than my thumbnail and is placed on lower abdomen under knickers.

Currently taking 200mg of Utrogestan and then we'll review a regime once I've had a bleed. GP is keen for me to go for Mirena for the progesterone element but I'm not sure though the ease of it appeals.

I've not gone to my NHS GP and actually not sure if I'll bother. Of course that assumes I can get an appointment.

For anyone considering this route as an option in between NHS GP and Consultant, my initial consultation (45minutes) was £115 which included the blood draw and the prescription works out at somewhere between £10 - £15 per month. I can't remember the cost of the blood work but somewhere around £100. Second appointment was £75 for another 45 minutes.

The best thing about it was this GP was really clued up, had all the latest info and all the research at her finger tips. I was able to ask all the questions I had.

The private GP has suggested an appointment with their Gynae/Meno Consultant if I want to look at additional options such as testosterone gel etc but I don't think I'm at that point yet.

For my own research I read through the latest NICE guidelines, looked at Menopause Matters and also the British Menopause Soicety website. And this board too of course.

Deux Wed 07-Sep-16 16:40:09

Oh and another thing. I lost a few lbs in weight without trying.

I think because I wasn't feeling so rubbish physically that I was more active and also my appetite seemed to be more regulated. Plus I was sleeping through the night so wasn't waking up exhausted so had more energy.

Deux Wed 07-Sep-16 16:42:20

One last thing, my hormonal spots have gone too.

PollyPerky Wed 07-Sep-16 18:29:47

That's really good news Deux.

Like you I am another devotee of HRT having had results like you did in days. Looking back I can see that although my periods didn't stop till I was 53-54, I had various health issues related to low estrogen from my late 40s- just didn't make the connection. I'm using what is thought to be the safest sort- oestrogen gel- and Utrogestan instead of synthetic progestogens.

I hope you continue to feel good on it all.

Interestingly the fees you quote aren't that much lower than some consultants so I think there is a lot to be said for finding a dr /consultant who is clued up and helpful, even if that is outside the NHS, money permitting.

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