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nervous starting HRT

(47 Posts)
chrismartinsfuturewife Sun 25-Sep-16 15:25:23

Hi I'm 42 and about to start HRT but im really nervous and hesitant to start. I will be taking Evorel 50 patches for 2 weeks then Evorel Conti patches for 2 weeks.

I feel like a fraud taking them because im not having hot flushes, sweats etc. but doctor said my bloods indicate I should, however I do have moments such as panic, helplessness, very dry skin and have put on about 3 stone in weight.

My gut feeling is I'm feeling Ok and maybe I should leave the HRT for now ?

Any advice would be much appreciated.


ThroughThickAndThin01 Sun 25-Sep-16 15:40:33

It's such a personal decision, I think you should take your doctors advice.

Me , I've just come through the menopause although much older than you. i really didn't like the idea of HRT so avoided it. And pleased to have come out the other side without needing it. But with horrendous symptoms I may have done.

Everyone different, there's no right or wrong.

chrismartinsfuturewife Sun 25-Sep-16 15:48:37

That's what I'm thinking if the symptoms get worse I will take it. Such a big decision!

pinkieandperkie Sun 25-Sep-16 16:14:26

I'm 50 and was prescribed hrt for peri symptoms but for some reason it just doesn't sit well with me and I decided not to take it. I've been peri for three years and have not had a period since the end of January. I just want to try and get through it without hrt. The thought of taking it frightens me as the contraceptive pill sent me crazy!

chrismartinsfuturewife Sun 25-Sep-16 16:26:11

Same here pinkie, I had to come off the contraceptive pill because it didn't suit me so I think this is why I'm nervous of HRT!

pinkieandperkie Sun 25-Sep-16 16:37:20

I just think that if I take the hrt I will be swapping one set of problems for another. I was prescribed Eleste duet which is a two phase hrt and having read many reviews the majority said that the second phase of the hrt turned them in to crazy lady. Also with this type of hrt you get a bleed every month which isn't something I want to go back to having had no period in 9 months.

PollyPerky Sun 25-Sep-16 17:22:07

Pinkie I think you might have posted on this before?

HRT for women of your age ( early menopause) is totally different from women 50+. You are simply replacing what should be there for another 10 years.

Presume your dr has explained the risks of heart disease, osteoporosis and Parkinsons disease for women who have early menopause?

You need to read up more about it so you know all the facts.

The hormones in HRt are not the same as the Pill- the oestrogens are natural (in HRT) and not synthetic . They are much smaller doses than the Pill.

Also you don't have to use the type your GP has prescribed. There are others. You can have Mirena coil and an estrogen patch so that means you won't have periods. You can also have 2 different types of progestogens apart from the ones in Evorel. Don't believe all the scare stories. People only post their problems- not when they are doing well.

PollyPerky Sun 25-Sep-16 17:23:24

sorry- that should be for the OP I thought it was the same poster above.

PollyPerky Sun 25-Sep-16 17:24:53

chris the HRT you need now is not only for symptoms now- it's to protect your long term health in your 50s onwards- from things far more serious than a hot flush! It's standard advice from NICE for women your age.

electricflyzapper Sun 25-Sep-16 17:26:28

I simply don't get HRT. Unless you take it for the rest of your life, you are just delaying the onset of symptoms, aren't you? No way would I take HRT in your situation. But then, I have had other unpleasant, sometimes debilitating symptoms for years now and just live with it. I can hardly even bear to use a topical HRT prescribed to aid my sex life.

DoreenLethal Sun 25-Sep-16 17:27:57

Interesting OP. I went to my [female] GP 7 years ago with the symptoms of early menopause and was told that I could not even be tested and to go away.

I have had 7 years of slowly but surely feeling worse and worse until a few months ago went back, saw another [male] doctor and he put my on Evorel Conti's immediately. He sent me for the tests and they came up as 97 [apparently you are menopausal when it goes over 20]. And tomorrow I have been called in after my bone scan as I am presuming that is showed potential issues with bone density.

My hot flushes stopped virtually overnight, I had two more and then nothing. My aches and pains have virtually gone away, and I have gone from crawling up the stairs at the end of the day to bouncing up.

I avoided HRT as I really did not want it but oh my god I was desperate by the end. It has turned my life around and I'm not even at the end of the first packet yet.

electricflyzapper Sun 25-Sep-16 17:28:53

Oh I admit I did not read Polly's last post before posting. I know nothing about early onset menopause and the reasons for taking HRT under those circumstances.

pinkieandperkie Sun 25-Sep-16 17:30:58

I agree electric surely taking hrt just delays the symptoms as when my friend stopped the hrt the symptoms came back with a vengeance.

DoreenLethal Sun 25-Sep-16 17:34:48

Unless you take it for the rest of your life, you are just delaying the onset of symptoms, aren't you?

I'd rather still feel human for another 10/20 years to be honest. Rather than like an old woman at 42.

Plus it is another 10 years with less hormones than other women. Thus increasing potential bone density issues.

PollyPerky Sun 25-Sep-16 17:38:59

Those old women with hunched backs? They most likely had early menopause before HRT was known about and have to live with crumbling spines. The biggest killers of women are a) heart disease and b) osteoporosis. More than all female cancers put together.

Being without oestrogen for more than 10 years before the average age is a huge risk for these diseases.

HRT does not always 'just delay' the onset of symptoms. It helps when hormones are erratic and some women avoid the horrible symptoms when they come off it. There is also no reason why it can't be used for life. The new NICE guidelines say this is acceptable if symptoms or low bone density persist.

Sorry to sound evangelical but the menopause has 2 stages- shortish term symptoms like flushes and sweats (which can still last 20+ years - like my mum had) and longer term illnesses which oestrogen protects against- heart, bones, pelvic floor, possibly Alzheimers, and bowel cancer. End of the day it's a personal choice based on what quality of life you want- it's not all about longevity if life is crap all of your 50s and 60s onwards. But even so, women on HRT live longer and have fewer illnesses than women not using it- not my view but stats!

PollyPerky Sun 25-Sep-16 17:40:49

I wonder why the myths about HRT are still out there- ie HRT= early death so I'd rather put up with feeling crap from 50 onwards? is this down the scary overblown media stuff about breast cancer?

pinkieandperkie Sun 25-Sep-16 17:47:00

Three or four weeks ago I woke up to the news that you are three times more likely to get breast cancer from taking combined hrt. News stories like this does not make me feel that hrt is for me.

DoreenLethal Sun 25-Sep-16 17:57:09

Three or four weeks ago I woke up to the news that you are three times more likely to get breast cancer from taking combined hrt. News stories like this does not make me feel that hrt is for me.

Even though that figure might be minuscule when compared to the chances of other issues? Or did you not look beyond the headlines?

PollyPerky Sun 25-Sep-16 18:05:03

pinkie- read the sections on Menopause Matters about prem menopause. You don't seem to understand what I'm saying. Those figures do not apply to women of your age!!! You would only be putting back what you ought to have.

Also those figures still show that the vast majority of women using HRT do not get breast cancer. It's still a tiny risk- and a risk is not an absolute.

The research used has also been considered flawed. If you are as interested as me in HRT being a long term user, you'd maybe like to read in detail the actual research papers.

I don't use any of the progestogens that were used in those trials (which were observational, not double blind trials.) There are different risks with different types of HRT. Fortunately I have a wonderful meno gynae who has put me on the safest sort - which is available for all women.

It IS a personal choice but I've been told there are risks using HRT and, frankly, just as many risk not using it! Something will get us in the end so it's about quality of life. HRT so far has enabled me to sleep and therefore keep working, manage 5hr drives (each way) to my elderly parents, help my DCs with major life events and feel energetic as I did years ago. I don't say it's for everyone but make an informed decision on pros, cons and how much you are suffering.

electricflyzapper Sun 25-Sep-16 18:08:14

Interesting posts Polly and Doreen. They certainly give me food for thought.

I suppose each person's attitude comes from their own personal experiences and standpoints. I have a deep seated suspicion of hormone treatments. I did not have a premature menopause, and I do not have a family history of heart disease or osteoporosis. My menopause symptoms are not the classic ones. I do, however, have a deep seated fear of cancer - just from hearing so much about it in the media, again not from family history - and I have also heard of women dealing with menopausal symptoms when they come off HRT. My feeling is, annoying though my current symptoms are, there is no strong evidence HRT will help with them, yet the cancer risks are plastered all over the information sheet that comes with even topical HRT. I would far rather deal with my annoying symptoms now, while I am still relatively young and strong, than have to add them to whatever conditions old age bring me.

But I do appreciate by not taking HRT, I might be storing up problems for the future. I suppose I just prefer that risk to the risk of taking HRT. Rightly or wrongly.

PollyPerky Sun 25-Sep-16 18:08:52

pinkie- apologies- I keep confusing you with the OP who is in her 40s.

It's your choice in the end. If you cannot get through the day- which I couldn't as I was so tired from lack of sleep- then you might take anything that was offered bearing in mind that lack of sleep is one of the biggest risks to health as well! It can cause all kinds of serious illnesses.

Forgetmenotblue Sun 25-Sep-16 18:09:55

I'm on HRT for early menopause and my Dr who is fab, said all the stuff that polly is saying.

It took a few weeks to get settled on it, but my symptoms are almost gone (hot flushes, insomnia) and I feel very positive about it.

I've got a mirena coil so I take Elleste solo.

PollyPerky Sun 25-Sep-16 18:12:31

*electric' the leaflet in Ovestin or Vagifem is there because it has to be. There are no risks to using vaginal estrogen. I use it too and started on it before 'full' HRT. I didn't have any family history of osteoporosis. I found I almost had it by chance with a bone scan I had privately with 'prevention' in mind. The HRT is not for my bones- I made big improvements through exercise alone - but I'm really worried about women who are blase about bones because 1:3 women over 50 has osteo- they just don't know till they have a break.

KathyBeale Sun 25-Sep-16 18:17:19

I'm also 42 and have been taking HRT for three months.

I've just messed up my prescription and have been without it for three weeks and I feel dreadful. I can't concentrate, my head is foggy, my hot flushes are coming back, I am anxious, angry and irritable, I can't sleep...

I was nervous about it and resentful but these weeks of going back to how I was have made me realise how much I need it. I honestly think if I had to feel as bad as I do without HRT for another 10 years I'd be suicidal (and I have never had any hormone trouble - no PMT or anything - and no depression or mental health issues) And that's all before you consider the increased risks that come with an early menopause.

electricflyzapper Sun 25-Sep-16 18:18:08

Why put all that stuff in the Ovestin leaflet then? I am not disputing what you say, but the leaflet clearly says 'Ovestin and the risk of developing cancer' and then goes on for 3 columns about the increased risk (though I admit it only says HRT not Ovestin specifically). Also, my GP told me topical HRT was lower risk, she did not say it was no risk at all.

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