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HRT: not just for menopause anymore

(49 Posts)
thefirstmrsdewinter Wed 14-Aug-19 11:03:19

Is the hormone medication prescribed to trans people now being described as HRT? A third of the people cited in these articles about menopause are trans women.

"HRT shortage 'adds to the stress of menopause'":
www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-49304163
"HRT: UK faces shortage for menopausal women"
www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-49308083

Plus it's a great little pick-me-up.

GodDammitAmy Wed 14-Aug-19 11:08:53

It's important for the trans for "gender affirming" but women have it for actual real life affecting symptoms. Wtf? Is this why there is a shortage?

OvaHere Wed 14-Aug-19 11:34:03

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

MadamBatty Wed 14-Aug-19 11:40:27

It’s not HRT for trans people it’s cross sex hormones. They don’t have oestrogen to begin with so they can’t replace it.

thefirstmrsdewinter Wed 14-Aug-19 12:00:16

The NHS makes a distinction between the two:
www.nhs.uk/conditions/hormone-replacement-therapy-hrt/
www.nhs.uk/conditions/gender-dysphoria/treatment/

I don't know if this is why there is a shortage. I suspect there are other factors. I don't want to take anything away from anyone's experience, I just don't think it's appropriate or helpful to lump together these separate issues. In my experience the risks and benefits are poorly understood, but at least the patients being studied (I assume - ?) are all female-bodied.

DejaVulva Wed 14-Aug-19 12:31:45

It is more correctly called cross-sex hormone when men take it. It cannot be HRT for men since they had little or no oestrogen to replace. [Vice versa when women ingest testosterone.]

NonnyMouse1337 Wed 14-Aug-19 12:36:03

Umm don't both men and women have oestrogen and testosterone? It's just the levels that vary between the two sexes.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Wed 14-Aug-19 12:39:48

re the shortage I found this:

thebms.org.uk/2019/08/british-menopause-society-update-on-hrt-supply-shortages/

Which lists all the brands and their availability if that is helpful for anyone.

DejaVulva Wed 14-Aug-19 12:42:54

Umm don't both men and women have oestrogen and testosterone? It's just the levels that vary between the two sexes

Yes, that's why I said "little or no oestrogen to replace". The purpose of HRT is to top up a decline in natural production of dominant oestrogen in women, hence use of the 'term' replacement. In men, that minuscule natural production of oestrogen is not in decline so there is no need to top it up. In men, larger doses of oestrogen are taken mostly to achieve redistribution of fat.

NonnyMouse1337 Wed 14-Aug-19 12:57:02

Thanks for the clarification, DejaVulva! smile

scaevola Wed 14-Aug-19 13:00:49

The reason for the shortage is a global manufacturing issue.

It is simply not being made at the moment (at all, or in previous quantities) and it is not clear when normal production will resume.

The number of prescriptions hasn't changed significantly(though if anyine has stats that show otherwise, I'd be interested to see them)

There are, unfortunately, interruptions to the supply of numbers of drugs from time to time. It is quite rare for them to make the main news at all.

Cocolapew Wed 14-Aug-19 13:07:02

Thanks for the link to the list ItsAllGoingToBeFine, mine is on it 😕

Spingtrolls Wed 14-Aug-19 13:13:28

There's been a shortage for several months.
I should be on hrt, when I was symptoms were reduced.
The only ones I can have because of other medical issues aren't in stock and no idea when they will be back.
The added strain to my mh is immense, and this alone is costing the nhs a lot more.
My memory and concentration is bad anyway due to severe prolonged anaemia. When I'm on hrt uti's are none existent which having kidney disease is complicated.

Hrt should be given priority to women. I don't know how this would be managed. But I am biased because this doesn't just impact my health now but also for the future. It also impacts my family with memory issues and constant hospital stays.

OvaHere Wed 14-Aug-19 13:15:32

Why did my post get deleted? Is me posting about 'people' gloating online over menopausal women not having access to HRT worse than the act of gloating by said 'people'?

FFS MNHQ this is a feminism board angry

Arkengarthdale Wed 14-Aug-19 13:15:59

I thought we weren't allowed to discuss this topic, I'm sure a couple of earlier threads have been deleted.

I get that there's a shortage because they are not manufacturing normal levels, but does anyone know why that is? Is there a global shortage of whatever it is that goes into HRT?

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Wed 14-Aug-19 13:22:58

The number of prescriptions hasn't changed significantly(though if anyine has stats that show otherwise, I'd be interested to see them)

According to the BMI link I posted above one of the brand shortages is due to "an unusual increase in demand" which seems a little strange - I'm guessing maybe NHS preferred brands changing or something?

over50andfab Wed 14-Aug-19 13:26:03

The reason for the shortage is a global manufacturing issue.

It is simply not being made at the moment (at all, or in previous quantities) and it is not clear when normal production will resume.

@scaevola do you have any further info/links on this? As you say, with all drugs there are shortages from time to time which can be due to varying factors, but I haven't seen anything that infers production of HRT has stopped totally by all manufacturers.

@ItsAllGoingToBeFine thanks for the link - useful to know.

As with any drugs, I'm sure any short term issues will be resolved and there will be enough to go around for everyone.

over50andfab Wed 14-Aug-19 13:30:49

@Spingtrolls The only ones I can have because of other medical issues aren't in stock and no idea when they will be back.

If the contact details for the manufacturer of your HRT are on the link that ItsAllGoingToBeFine posted why don't you contact them to find out more? Or perhaps ask at your pharmacy?

scaevola Wed 14-Aug-19 13:40:18

Sloppy drafting - not all kinds of HRT are out everywhere. This link posted above, from BMS earlier this month, gives a good overview

FDA is also listing estradiol shortages in USA, this is a component of many types, and the shortage is effecting countries worlldwide. I'm sure there will be further info on situation in other countries if you google (assuming you want that level of detail)

The reason is listed as manufacture/supply issues; spike or other significant increase in demand isn't discussed anywhere I have seen.

Spingtrolls Wed 14-Aug-19 13:40:52

I have done both. The shortage has been ongoing for several months and more brands are being added.
I was told one of the safe ones would be in stock in July. It's now August which another one should be back in stock. Another one next year.
The health pros who I see are also trying to chase down when these will be in stock.

GirlDownUnder Wed 14-Aug-19 14:05:05

@SarahConnorFem just in case you didn’t see this thread brew

SarahConnorFem Wed 14-Aug-19 14:25:53

Thanks @girldownunder! I was temporarily suspended earlier and had to promise to watch my language. So I'm not going to add too much to this thread now. But my concerns are valid, I am worried that we're not being prioritised in our need for this medication. Only time will tell but I'm reassured by my pharmacy that the HRT I'm on now Kliofem (which I had to switch to when my original Elleste Duet conti ran out) is in ok supply for now, but as more and more brands run out, more women will be switching so I'm sure even Kliofem's days are numbered!!

over50andfab Wed 14-Aug-19 14:31:18

I found this which might help explain the shortage and also give an idea of what to expect for those of us taking HRT and what, if any, alternatives there are.
www.gponline.com/gps-may-need-switch-patients-hrt-shortages-set-increase/womens-health/menopausal-and-hrt/article/1593413

“Mylan, which produces Elleste, told GPonline’s sister site MIMS that the shortages were because its manufacturing partner was experiencing interruptions in the production of certain strengths of the drug.

Janssen, the manufacturer of Evorel, said shortages of other products have increased demand for Evorel. Evorel Conti (estradiol/norethisterone) patches and Evorel (estradiol) 100 patches are expected to be out of stock from September; Evorel Sequi (estradiol/norethisterone) and Evorel 50 and 75 patches from October; and Evorel 25 patches from March 2020.

Meanwhile, all strengths of FemSeven Conti and Sequi (estradiol/levonorgestrel) patches have been out of stock in the UK since the end of last year and are not expected to be available again until 2020. The manufacturer Theramex said this was due to a quality issue with the patches’ adhesive.“

MrsSnippyPants Wed 14-Aug-19 14:39:03

SarahConnorFem Another Elleste Duet Conti user here. I can't even get Kliofem at the moment, so I am on Kliovance (which is half the strength of Kliofem) and having to take two tablets a day, which means my prescriptions only actually last 3 months.
I even had to explain this to my GP as he hadn't grasped the different dosage at all!

I know it says the 'ingredients' are the same, but I don't feel my symptoms are as well controlled as they are on Elleste. It took me months to find HRT that worked for me and I just want to go back to my Elleste angry

Nat6999 Wed 14-Aug-19 14:58:51

It's not only HRT that is hard to get at the moment, I took my prescription in to the chemists yesterday, 4 items, 2 missing, neither item uncommon, will be the end of the week before I get them.

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