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Do you have questions about menopause? Ask Vira Health’s expert Dr Michelle Griffin - £200 voucher to be won

421 replies

CeriMumsnet · 29/12/2020 12:46

Please note this Q&A is now closed for questions but you can see Dr Griffins answers here

Menopause can feel daunting and complicated. Maybe you’re perimenopausal; maybe your periods have stopped but you’re still having menopause-related symptoms. Maybe you’re going through an early menopause, or one brought on by medical treatment. Or maybe you’re just wondering what the next few years might hold for you and how you can best embrace (or at least get through) whatever may be heading your way. Vira Health is here to help, and their expert Dr Michelle Griffin will be answering your questions about everything to do with menopause from 18th to 27th Jan.

Here’s some more information about Dr Griffin: ‘Dr Michelle Griffin qualified as a doctor from University of Cambridge and specialised in Gynaecology, working in a number of hospitals in London and the East of England. She is a Member of the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and has completed her training with the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare. She has worked in the NHS for over a decade, as well as for the Department of Health, Public Health England and the World Health Organisation on women’s health projects. She is leading the clinical development of Stella, a new app to help you manage your menopausal symptoms'.

Here’s what Vira Health, the team behind Stella has to say: “Women spend on average 7-10 years in menopause, with symptoms changing and fluctuating all the time. Yet, in the UK, less than 7% of women are satisfied with the care they receive. That’s not ok. Stella offers women personalised plans to help manage menopause symptoms better with support from an expert coach. From insomnia to weight gain and anxiety to incontinence issues, Stella supports women to find relief backed by proven science. Plans are customised to your needs and you can track your progress quickly and easily.”

If you feel in the dark about the symptoms of menopause, you’re looking for advice on managing its effects in day to day life, or you have questions about treatment or care options, you’re in the right place. Share your questions for Dr Griffin below and you’ll be entered into a prize draw where one Mumsnet user will win a £200 voucher for the store of their choice (from a list).

Thanks and good luck!

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Do you have questions about menopause? Ask Vira Health’s expert Dr Michelle Griffin - £200 voucher to be won
OP posts:
Hopezibah · 30/12/2020 20:16

I think I'm in perimenopause stage and my periods suddenly went strange from June 2018 and followed a new pattern since then but my GP can't shed any light on it and although he was sympathetic, there was nothing he could do. The old pattern used to be a couple of heavy days at start of period followed by getting lighter then stopping. The new pattern is up to 4 or 5 days of very light bleeding to the point that it comes to a virtual stop and then 2 days of very heavy bleeding (floods through night towels every hour) - often accompanied by my blood pressure crashing really low (even before the heavy bleeding starts but just before), and then "period headaches" for a couple of days at end of period. Surely I can't be alone in experiencing this change in pattern and is there anything I can do to help matters?

Asuwere · 30/12/2020 20:26

Does the menopause need any medical management? What kind of symptoms would mean that you should consult a GP?

Folicky · 30/12/2020 20:34

Any address about menopause-related hair loss? And menopause related lip thinning?

BatleyTownswomensGuild · 30/12/2020 20:36

How can you work out what type of HRT is best for you? I'm reading up about it but am quite confused. (Really struggling with brain fog, fatigue, night sweats, insomnia and worsened allergies....)

TreacleHart · 30/12/2020 21:09

Went through an early menopause (39 , natural , females in the family tend to do it early ) never been on any HRT.
Now 20 years later have vaginal atrophy including a shrinking clitoris. Have been on vagifem past 6 months or so which helps with the dryness.
Would I benefit going on HRT ( cream or patch ) to help my poor shrinking clitoris or have I missed out ? Would it cause breakthrough bleeding ?

DrDolittlesParrot · 30/12/2020 21:17

I'm mid fifties, no periods for 2 years, on hrt patches and using local oestrogen. Now my gp has said I should be coming off hrt in the next year. I'm sure I've read this isn't the case. How do I approach this with him? Any documentation that I can print off to show him that will convince him?

I have lichen sclerosis and possibly vaginal atrophy, as often poison in my clitoris. I can't get a referral to a gynae specialist, my gp just prescribes steroid cream and local oestrogen. Have I anything to gain from insisting on a referral and how to go about it? I feel I'm just being dismissed by him. It's even more difficult, now I can't even sit opposite him when talking to him, but have to discuss everything on the phone.

WhoLettheCatOut · 30/12/2020 21:22

I'm 38 and struggling with breakouts (never had a problem even as a teen) and mood swings as well as becoming very irregular. I think it's perimenopause. What can I do to help with the symptoms?

Gazelda · 30/12/2020 22:21

I started menopause at 39 and have been on hrt ever since (I'm now 52). After struggling to get prescriptions this year, I haven't been on hrt medication for about 3 months.
I'm now getting hot flushes and suffering with terrible insomnia. Surely this can't still be menopause? How can anyone tell when it's the right time to stop taking hrt?

CMOTDibbler · 30/12/2020 22:28

I'm 48 and having awful night sweats. I don't seem to have any other symptoms (have a Mirena and so no periods to judge), but is there anything that will help short of HRT?

chillimartini · 30/12/2020 22:49

I'm 42 and I sweat during the night - mainly just my lower body. This started about 2 months ago. I am on the pill and have been for many years due to endometriosis.

LadyGAgain · 30/12/2020 22:53

I'm 42.
Mum and Granny completed menopause at 48.
I have Very young DC.
Now very irregular periods - 14 days to 85 days.
Emotionally challenged.
Exhausted. Literally just would prefer to lie down all the time (regular blood tests and am on both T4 and T3 which I needed and have always made me feel better).

I have controlled hypo-thyroid as per my meds above.

Any correlation? What should I be aware of/do?

LadyGAgain · 30/12/2020 22:54

Also, not on any contraception,

Summerhillsquare · 30/12/2020 23:30

These 'plans' and treatments are basically just oestrogen, right?

nutmegsteddytoes · 30/12/2020 23:51

I'm 48 and have been on the mini pill for 8 yrs
My gp says I'll stay on it until 55 then come off it-the contraception nurse at the gp's told me I'd have to come off it and go onto hrt-whats best for me?
I'm sure I'm peri menopausal,as my joints ache,I can feel VERY angry at times instead of my usual calm self and my vagina sometimes feel sharp pin like stabby feelings which I imagine is it drying out?!
I'm really nervous of coming off the mini pill as the last time I did,I couldn't stop crying-what would I gain from being on HRT?

PearlescentIridescent · 31/12/2020 00:06

I'm extremely concerned about when I reached menopause because both my mother and grandmother suffered with incredibly heavy bleeding during the transition which led to the near loss of my mother who had to have a blood transfusion as she wasn't taken seriously.

Is there anything that can be done to manage such an extreme symptom?

TheClitterati · 31/12/2020 00:16

I'm 53 and i'm not experiencing many symptoms yet. The symptoms I did have for awhile were intense pain while going to the toilet around my period, to the extent they made me want to faint, and plummeting moods in the week before my period. It was like all the joy was sucked out of life and I didn't really care about anything. It was absolutely horrible.
Cycle is shortening slowly but is still regular. Periods are a bit lighter I guess.

I was on the Merina coil for a few years which led me to realise that hormonal contraception makes me feel very depressed. So I am a bit concerned thatHRT might not be suitable for me as it may trigger Or bring about depression.

I've looked into alternative therapies but they all seem to be about treating hot flashes which I'm not having.

At the moment things seem to be kept in check by swimming in the sea several times a week particularly as the water has got cold. This has been really effective and I've not had the negative symptoms for 3 months now! Great! But I'm not sure it's going to be so effective come summertime when the water warms up.

So looking for advice re treating pain and plummeting moods that don't involve the hormones that have previously Had such a negative effect on my life.

StuntNun · 31/12/2020 06:54

I'm in perimenopause and having such heavy prolonged periods that I'm becoming anaemic. I asked my GP for micronised progesterone tablets but she will only prescribe the mini pill for me, insisting that I must have it for contraception purposes as well as for lightening my periods. I haven't been on the pill since my mid 20s and I use barrier contraception. Why is my GP pushing it as the only treatment for perimenopause?

ButterflyOfFreedom · 31/12/2020 08:54

A simple and maybe naive question but how do you actually know if you're going through the pre menopause/ menopause? Is the first symptom always periods stopping?

Katinthedoghouse · 31/12/2020 08:57

I’m 52 and still having regular (but increasingly heavy ) periods. My breasts are small but oh so painful in the build up to my bleed but then slacken off which has made me notice they are loosing their fullness and aged. My uterus has at least 3 large fibroids and I have a similar number of breast cysts ( all checked out ) . Would HRT make me look and feel more youthful ?

SantasBritchesSpelleas · 31/12/2020 08:59

I went through surgical menopause at the age of 42. Since then I have found it very difficult to lose weight, even with a strictly controlled diet. I sometimes feel as though I could eat literally nothing and my weight would stay the same! I'm not on HRT. Do you have any advice?

BeyondMyWits · 31/12/2020 09:05

I am currently perimenopausal (at56) and have a heart condition (heart attack at 53, coronary artery disease).

Would hrt help. I get night sweats. I get dryness everywhere. I get an occasional heavy period (last one 4 months back). I also seem to now be suffering from my guts slowing down.

EVERYTHING gets attributed to menopause if you mention it at the doctors.

Cotswoldmama · 31/12/2020 09:34

I don't really know anything about going through the menopause other than periods stopping and hot flushes. I'd like to have a sort of timeline of usual symptoms and average ages, also what exactly is HRT I know what it stands for but are there different strengths and does it work for everybody or are there alternatives?

babypossum · 31/12/2020 09:48

Can you recommend an alternative to HRT? I truly don't want to take it due to my anxieties about cancer. I'm 51 and currently have the mirena. Thank you.

kennythekangaroo · 31/12/2020 09:56

Although I am very open to the idea of HRT, I don't feel the need for it yet. I am 51, not had a period in 6 months, hot sweats, low libido, vaginal dryness.
Are there any natural treatments you would suggest?

Snog · 31/12/2020 10:01

Should I swap from the oral HRT my GP gave me to a separate cream and pill?
Is this likely to me
A) safer and/or
B) more effective in managing my symptoms specifically tiredness
I'm 7 years post menopause.

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