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My Experience With HRT

(14 Posts)
user1478292832 Wed 24-May-17 14:19:10

After being put into a ‘surgical menopause’ at 48 and not being naturally anywhere near that stage in my life, I was advised that having left my womb in and only removing my ovaries and fallopian tubes, I would need to have both progesterone (in the form of the mirena coil) and oestrogen (HRT tablet form).

Although sadly when I left the hospital, everyone was too busy to talk to me about it, let alone prescribe the necessary tablets so I left with only the progesterone! I carried on recovering from the operation and after effects of the anaesthetic when I realised that I hadn’t slept properly for over 10 days, my mind was all over the place, I experienced a panic attack in bed (something luckily I have never experienced before) as a migraine sufferer the lack of sleep and hormones prompted me to develop a bad attack, so along with the tearfulness I was at the end!!

I crawled into the doctor’s surgery and promptly burst into tears! She instantly gave me a packet of Celeste Solo 1mg (HRT) and a lecture about a major operation and rest!

I started the tablets that night and instantly felt better, they worked!

HRT & Breast Cancer?
Now I had a nagging feeling for the following months of the fear of breast cancer and the thought that I can do this without the medication, I’m fit and strong so why not…

A year later the nagging feeling and conversations with family and friends about the cancer worry prompted me to stop the HRT, I began with the tablets weaning myself off them until I was ‘free’ then the mission to have the coil removed (progesterone) that was a battle of wills but eventually the doctor agreed! Although I had no advice or alternative recommendations.

Free at last! I thought as I ordered myself various supplements:

Sage – for hot flushes
Menopause homoeopathic supplement
Magnesium spray – as a sleep aid
Californian poppy – as a sleep aid
Pillow lavender spray – as a sleep aid
Then it all began, it started with a hot flush, an instant hideous feeling that you are an instant furnace, from head to toe. Quilt on, quilt off! Oh my the nights of watching the clock willing myself to sleep! Dragging myself up in the morning, then the lack of brain! I felt as though it was all a dream going on around me, I was a shell. Then the concentration levels and the urge to burst into tears!

Throughout this, my kids were willing me to go back on as the mood swings were unbearable! Throughout I continued my exercise, which kept me sane and I hoped would help me sleep, but not a chance!

Through work, we drove to the Midlands to interview Dr Louise Newson, a GP, menopause expert who spoke about the benefits of HRT while clearing up some of the misconceptions of taking the medication.

As Dr Newson explains, one of the main benefits is you ‘get your life back, your symptoms go because you’re treating the underlying cause, replacing the hormones your body hasn’t been producing’.

She also clears up the breast cancer worry, ‘you’re far more at risk getting in a car crash when you drive than getting breast cancer when you have HRT’.

The interview was encouraging and really shows the importance of HRT for treating the menopause. smile

Catch the full interview with Dr Louise Newson: www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwjLP9O1inw

PollyPerky Wed 24-May-17 16:57:32

Very encouraging to see a GP who is up to date and giving the right advice. Maybe all will go on courses and offer this wisdom to women!

Silverstreaks Fri 09-Jun-17 09:21:48

Thanks for writing up your meno wrangles. It's always good to get different perspectives.

tasmaniandevilchaser Fri 09-Jun-17 10:13:33

Thanks for posting the interview, very clear, very interesting

PollyPerky Fri 09-Jun-17 10:30:34

Just to add, the advice and perspective on this video is exactly the same as I was told almost 10 years ago by my specialist meno consultant. (I think she's been on a course by them!)

The advice here is pretty mainstream now amongst top meno experts. Sadly, it's GPs and even some consultants (judging from forum posts) who are behind in their thinking.

Nellyphants Fri 09-Jun-17 11:47:08

I'm seeing my GP Monday, I know that it's going to be a struggle to get my hrt prescription repeated. Why can't gps just educate themselves?

PollyPerky Fri 09-Jun-17 12:14:48

why is it going to be a problem nelly?

Ledkr Fri 09-Jun-17 12:36:32

I saw a specialist too after I had my ovaries out at 47.
I have had breast cancer and have the BRCA gene so seen as a risk but she felt it perfectly safe to start hrt.
I have my life back too. I can get in with being a mother and bringing up my daughters 15 and 6.
I urge everyone to see specialists and not just accept what the GP says.

Nellyphants Fri 09-Jun-17 12:45:06

Polly 6 months ago dr said this will be your last prescription, we'll get you off this stuff. I'm 49 on oestrogen only for 18 months after a hysterectomy. I said why would I come off it, the benefits outweigh the risks according to latest research. He lectured me about breast cancer risks, I couldn't get a word in. He also seemed to think the only symptom of menopause is hot flushes. He gave me the prescription & said I'm out of time!!

PollyPerky Fri 09-Jun-17 15:01:19

nelly I don't know where to start with your GP!
Assume you have read the NICE guidelines and those of the BMS?
I'd find another GP. Not only is yours prejudiced, they simply don't know the facts.

-The risks of BC don't apply to women under the age of the average menopause (51-52.)

The decision over HRT is yours, once you have been informed of the risks. So your GP ought to be telling you that at 49 the risk does not apply.

The benefits of HRT up to age 60 outweigh any risks.

-There is NO risk of BC with oestrogen only HRT. In fact there are 4 fewer cases of BC per 1000 women on estrogen only HRT compared with women NOT ON ANY TYPE OF HRT.

Personally, I'd find someone who knew the basics about HRT because your GP has clearly not even mastered the very basics which are available to anyone (you and me!) online.

PollyPerky Fri 09-Jun-17 15:05:07

nelly here is the BMS statement.

thebms.org.uk/2016/08/breast-cancer-now-study-finds-effect-combined-hrt-breast-cancer-risk-likely-underestimated/

About 2/3rds way down you will find this (print off for your GP?)

^ However in women using oestrogen-only HRT there was no overall increase seen in breast cancer risk compared with women who had never used HRT^.

Nellyphants Fri 09-Jun-17 15:14:17

Thank you so much Polly I'll print that off. I think I do need a new GP, he's only in his 30s. But woefully behind the times. It's such an insult for women that doctors like him can play God.

PollyPerky Fri 09-Jun-17 16:29:40

The thing is, if these drs were in another profession- I don't know what, but something like accountants, or civil engineering, or architects and their lack of knowledge made bridges and buildings fall down, or accounts not tally, or whatever, they'd be called to account ( excuse pun) but because it's women's health they get away with it all.
They are paid a lot of money now and should be keeping up with research or even the basics which means taking an hour to read the NICE guidelines.
Makes me so cross.

Nellyphants Fri 09-Jun-17 16:39:01

Exactly Polly I was an accountant in a previous life. I couldn't apply the rules as I saw fit. I also had to know the rules In the first place!

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