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Very itchy body and on HRT

(16 Posts)
Discoisabelle Wed 31-Jan-18 18:28:29

I have been on HRT for apprx 7 months (Estrogel + Utrogestan), seems to suit me really well so far, palpitations disappeared, great sleep, happy moods, also using Vagifem and Ovestin to keep my bits comfortable. When peri started my boobs were quite itchy every now and then, 2 months ago i started itching all over and it hasn't left me since no matter what i do : antihistamines, rich moisturisers, hydrocortisone, change of washing powder. I am pretty sure it is due to falling collagen levels or oestrogens (but i am on HRT !?), i understand formication is a peri/meno symptom. I am looking for tips on how to relieve or alleviate this pesky symptom which is driving me crazy day and night particularly, should i change HRT ? Has anyone done it ? Did it work ? Or Should i just suffer it out and be patient ?

WandaWitch Wed 31-Jan-18 18:39:51

Would love to know if there is an answer to this too as am the same! Am not allowed to take HRT so am trying to just grit my teeth and get through it as have no other option. Am struggling with hot flushes, pain in legs, joints etc, not sleeping and being totally miserable and to add to it all I end up scratching like I have got fleas!! I often have ripped and bleeding skin because it drives me insane - rib cage, stomach and back are the worse - am always covered in scabs and grazes all over my back and sides from scratching with nails or whatever I can get my hands on - plastic combs and hair brushes often. It hurts but I don’t care as it is preferable to the itch for that short period of time. I have seen doctor and they have no suggestions other than antihistamine which I already take and don’t think they help. The only thing that seems to help is to be covered in thick moisturiser and then an anti-itch cream on the top. That is ludicrous though as ends up taking ages to apply every morning and then clothes all stuck to me which is horrible. Any thoughts as to what this is all about and how the heck we are supposed to cope with this?

welshmist Wed 31-Jan-18 18:47:43

I think you should both discuss this with a GP I have a tendency to self diagnose things, the itching all over may not be a result of HRT menopause but something else.

Having said that my nether regions are itchy as heck these days, but when I remember the cream before I go to bed all is fine.

welshmist Wed 31-Jan-18 18:49:29

We are cursed from puberty sad

WandaWitch Wed 31-Jan-18 18:49:57

Oh and to add I am about three years in to this now and only mid-forties so have probably got another eight or so years to get through? Sorry to go off on a rant - I have no-one to talk to about this and am just so fed up and resentful of trying to work full time hours in a notoriously stressful occupation, look after house/kids etc, juggle having no money and trying to make ends meet, arthritis pain (which again I am not allowed to take pain killers for because of very high blood pressure) plus put up with all of this as well, on about four hours of broken sleep a night. For some reason the itching is the final straw that is driving me to insanity!!

Discoisabelle Wed 31-Jan-18 19:09:15

Wanda i KNOW how you feel and it is good to offload sometimes so don't worry about 'the rant', peri and meno is quite tough for some of us, i do suffer from very bad aches and joint pains too , recently been diagnosed with osteoarthritis of the spine and hips, and then the itching/scratching started and keep me awake all night, cruel irony as HRT had sorted out my poor sleep and now i scratch, getting no sleep again, really wish there was something to help us.

welshmist Wed 31-Jan-18 19:25:55

Am on first name terms with my physio. now. He has fixed my sacro ilial joint and a bad shoulder since September, tis a bugger this meno.

PollyPerky Wed 31-Jan-18 19:40:11

Wanda I don't want to pry if you'd rather not say, but have you had breast cancer- is that the reason for no HRT? I'm only asking because there are women here who say they can't have HRT when in fact that's not true- their GPs are out of date.

OP It is unlikely imo to be the estrogen you are using. How much gel do you use? Could you increase it by a pump for a few weeks and see how it goes?
Itching is listed as a side effect of Utrogestan. You might find a higher dose of gel offsets this. The other option is to reduce the use of Utrogestan to every 5th or even 6th week but you should check with your GP ( who proabably won't have a clue.) This 'long cycle' regime is common with private care because it's possible to pay for scans every year or two to check the lining is still thin. I've done long cycle for 10 years.

PollyPerky Wed 31-Jan-18 19:41:59

Wanda if it's no HRT due to high BP this is wrong. There are loads of articles (medical)online on this -sorry can't look for you but you can google it and find it.
High BP has to be treated but HRT does not cause high BP- it's not like The Pill.

lovemylover Wed 31-Jan-18 20:03:46

I have a lot of itching too, HRT can cause it according to my leaflet that came with it, mainly my back,it drives me mad
Sometimes get itchy down below, am on pessaries too,, so dont know which is causing it,

Discoisabelle Wed 31-Jan-18 20:18:36

Polly, i am already on 3 pumps of oestrogel a day, also 12 days of Utro vaginal route (coping perfectly well with Utro), wondering if 4 pumps is going to make me feel 'wired', a bit hyper ? Still worth trying with itching ? Would you do it ?

WandaWitch Wed 31-Jan-18 21:13:31

@PollyPerky - no I haven’t had it but my Mum died of it. She was diagnosed in her 40’s treated and put straight onto Tamoxifen and despite that it came back twice more. The third time she died a couple of weeks after they found it again - it was very aggressive that time - she was only in her 50’s. There was no history in our family before this but she had taken hormonal contraceptives since her 20’s until she was diagnosed in order to deal with horrible periods. Therefore it looks possible that the hormones played a part in her getting it. I know it may not have been the case but that and the fact that she was in the percentage that Tamoxifen had absolutely no impact on leads to the worry about what triggered it off. I have had a lot of gynaecological issues - had a hysterectomy in my 30’s - but they left my ovaries as hospital consultant was not prepared to put me on HRT then either due to my Mum, so he wanted to give me few more years on my own hormones. Because of all this my GP says my risk is too high and will absolutely not give me any hormonal treatment. I do understand and accept this, I don’t want to increase my risk at all. However, I am at a loss how to cope as the only treatment does seem to be HRT.

Other than that it’s a case of just getting on with it. I am grateful I don’t have the period issues to deal with (though I made up for that in my 30’s when I repeatedly ended up in hospital for blood transfusions as I bled continuously and heavily at times for several years until they insisted that it had to stop and I had a hysterectomy - we had wanted more children but as the bleeding just wouldn’t stop I had no choice in the end as I got very ill).

It is just ridiculous - it was about 1 degree and snowing here this morning and I was scraping ice of my windscreen and then dropping children off at their breakfast club in a vest top, thin skirt and bare legs, still with a glowing red face and my top half covered in sweat! How on earth does my body do that? It makes no sense? I am like that every morning for several hours and get such weird looks. I dread the summer - I can only just about cope at the minute when I can open all the windows in the bedroom and go and stand in the back garden in my pyjamas when I wake up. As soon as it warms up again I will be back stood at the freezer door trying to put my arms and head in.

However, it is the aching and the itching that make me want to curl up in a ball and cry. I get so grumpy and angry because I hurt in my joints and I can’t stop scratching!! DH gets fed up with me sat on the sofa scratching or in bed scratching so he won’t sit with me now as he can’t stand the noise or movement. I get weird looks all the time at work as I must look like I have fleas as I am just constantly doing it - I don’t even notice until I catch a scab. I just really don’t know how to deal with it and am just having a particular itchy day today so am really down about it. Sorry to moan.

PollyPerky Wed 31-Jan-18 21:16:15

Personally no, not if you are on 3 pumps already. I suspect it is the Utro.

Someone on another forum posted some research on utro which said that 100mgs vaginally was as effective as 200mgs orally. I wouldn't want to 'prescribe' for you but sounds as if it's a reaction to the utro and you are absorbing it very well. be interesting to try one cycle at 100mgs and see how that feels, or skip one cycle and see if it helps.

PollyPerky Wed 31-Jan-18 21:21:14

Wanda I am very sorry to hear about your Mum. flowers I will keep this brief. I would in your case see a specialist meno consultant even if it means coming to London and paying £200 if you can do that.
The reason is a) you are suffering and b) the info you have had is a bit confused.

With no uterus you only need estrogen. ALL the research (and all consultants) now agree that estrogen-only HRT does not cause breast cancer. The stats are that women on estrogen only HRT have less breast cancer THAN WOMEN NOT USING HRT AT ALL.
4 cases per 1000 less.

Sorry for the caps- not shouting.

I just think you should have another opinion that is up to date with current research.

Discoisabelle Wed 31-Jan-18 21:49:27

Polly yes i read the research on Utro and its effectiveness vaginally, i am due to start the first day tomorrow, i am going to give it a try for one month and see if it makes a difference, thanks for this advice/thought and your guidance as always very grateful smile .

BrownTurkey Wed 14-Feb-18 21:59:01

I have seen it recommended by some allergists and individuals to take Ranitadine and Cetirazine together (Zantac and Zyrtec) and can work better for some types of allergy symptoms or uriticaria than cetirazine alone. Works for me, but not something on the radar of my pharmacist or GP.

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