What is the difference between perimenopause and the menopause? How do you avoid weight gain? Does the menopause magnet work? And ye gods, tell us how to get a good night's sleep! Luckily Gransnet has put together the most useful tips for navigating those muddy menopausal waters. Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you have any medical concerns do consult your GP.
Stopping HRT(20 Posts)
I had a full hysterectomy 3 years ago aged 50 and was advised by my consultant to take Livial for at least 5 years to keep my bones healthy. I'm now 53 and want to stop taking it.
Can anyone tell me what health symptoms I may expect?
Need to add that post surgery I wasn't allowed HRT and had night sweats and dry vagina but once on HRT it all cleared up.
I'm guessing that by 'full' hysterectomy they took your ovaries too? If so, you're likely to experience menopause and that can range from hot flushes, headaches and vaginal dryness through to anxiety, depression, and general fuzzyheadedness and loss of bone density and muscle tone. It can be brutal for some women so I'd think carefully and explore other options. At the very least have a blood test to check your hormone levels.
I stopped it a few months ago, I'd been on it 7 years and decided at 51 I would stop it, mainly due to I was having trouble getting it.
It was awful, I did taper off but the fatigue and pains were too much for me and I'm back in it. I was going to give it 6 weeks but lasted 3.
There was no way I could feel like I did and carry on working.
I'm 60. I've been on HRT for 20 years since I had a total hysterectomy and oopherectomy. I did try giving up at one stage when I thought it was time, but the symptoms came crashing down immediately. Horrendous night sweats so I had to change the whole bed....fuzzy brain.....terrible migraine headaches and emotional fragility. Doc put me straight back on the HRT and I recovered quickly. Never again ! I'll stay on it for life .
Oh god yes, the fuzzy brain. I turned to mush, couldn't remember what I was saying in the middle of talking.
I also felt like I had permanent pmt and sore boobs.
One good point was my body temperature went up, I'm usually cold all the time.
Can I ask why you want to stop it? You will experience all the symptoms of estrogen loss if you had your ovaries removed and in terms of bone density it's far far too soon to stop- it's suggested 10 years' worth is needed to give lasting bone (and heart!) protection. As you were told 5 years would be the minimum and at 53 you will continue to lose bone at the rate of 2-5% a year for life without HRT.
I only started HRT at your age and have been on it for 10+ years.
You might want to think about a different type however. Livial is not as safe as estrogen only and if there is no reason why you went onto Livial. you could swap to transdermal estrogen- a patch or gel. You were probably given Livial as it's a special type - it's not 'standard HRT' but a synthetic type of drug which mimics HRT and gives a bit of testosterone effect too (which women with no ovaries might need for libido.)
This is really worth watching @Flymetothetoon. The consultant is one of a handful of meno experts and there is a lot of advice on this video you might find helps your decision.
You know what...my gp didntnhave a fraction of this information to share with me the other week. The surgery sent out a letter re HRT breast cancer and HRT it's all bad. Although I thought the NICE guidelines had changed since then but she just looked blank . You have been on it for 8 years. Time to stop. Taper it off. No discussion about bone density or bone protection. I am convinced the practise wants to save money and getting me off HRR may save them a few Bob.
Or am I cynical.
It's very old news that there is no limit to use of HRT. You can take it for life as long as you tell your GP you are aware of the risks. Listen to the podcast - near the end if you are short of time- and hear the consultant say he has women in their 80s and 90s on it. He would also give HRT to women without symptoms if they wanted it as he is convinced of the benefits.
GPs know practically nothing on HRT.
It isn't cost- I buy my own on a private prescription and it costs me around £15 a month for 2 items, retail price, which is 2x the wholesale cost to the NHS- it's cheap as chips.
@lolaflores The British Menopause Society have responded to the letter GPs are sending (as it's based on some flawed research in the Lancet a month ago) and it's all on the BMS website. There has been a huge hoo-haa about this from menopause specialists- all over the media if you follow it.
Unless you have significant cancer risks or other health issues as to why you can’t take it it’s not a good idea to stop as others have said because of the low oestrogen risks- you need oestrogen to protect your heart and bones.
Thank you so much for that information. I lived in US for 4 years and they never had any doubts about giving it to me post ovarian removal but when I came back...there was a real reluctance to keep me on it. Then my particular brand of pill was running out in pharmacy near 31st October but then supply normalised again.
Anyway, there was a lot of instability with them around my HRT and it never seemed a priority for them. Your information has opened my eyes and I shan't feel any more obligation to try and stop taking it or seeing it as the devil in disguise.
Many many thanks
I'm marking my place on this thread so that when I get called into my GP for my regular 6month nag and scare monger session to bully me into stopping HRT, I can get them to read all your posts and listen to that podacst.! Honestly, it's so wearing having to plead my case every few months
A doctor on the news a month or so ago advised yes, increased risk of breast cancer but overall lower all cause mortality. I'm in.
thenightsky I know what you mean. I have to be the expert on the topic and get blank looks from my gp when I try to discuss the protection from osteoporosis. She suggested I get vit d from the pharmacy and drink soya milk. That was the advice.
@MissingMySleep - Brilliant info, thanks; I'm going to follow this up with my GP, too. (I'm peri, not enjoying it at all & know that I will need protection from osteoporosis.)
lolaflores I really need to maintain bone density and strength as I have a titanium hip replacement that relies on my bones being good enough to support it. My surgeon recommended I stay on HRT for that reason, but still the GP threatens and bullies.
Wow thank you everyone one for your responses! I hadn't actually thought about the bone protection - just focussing on the physical symptoms I had prior to being put on Livial.
My consultant advised Livial because I had a large endometrial cyst growing on an overy which he thought would turn cancerous so I had uterus, Fallopian tubes, overies and cervix removed.
my (female) gp was fab. She recommends it. Probably varies depending on gps and their experience of how HRT has helped patients.
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