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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:
searchthesky · 02/01/2021 22:08

Sorry, another one! I've had acne on and off (but mainly on☹️) since my pre-teens. How does menopause usually affect skin please?

DinkyDaisy · 02/01/2021 22:34

I have mentioned this earlier in the thread but, as causing me so much worry, will mention again- brain fog.
I fear I will not recover from this and wonder if anything can help.
Does suffering from this make me more likely to get dementia?

LatelyOfShalott · 02/01/2021 23:02

I started HRT a little before my 40th birthday: single mum with 2 youngish kids and a Full-time job meant I needed sleep.
I’ve been on HRT ever since (am now 55). I get very very occasional periods that last a day at most and occur once every 3-4 months.
I don’t want to come off HRT and at the moment my GP is fine with that. There is no cancer history in my family and I’m pretty hale and hearty.
Realistically can I stay on HRT?

Saxineno · 03/01/2021 00:12

My mum started the change at 38, am I destined to have an early menopause too? I'm 36 and not ready to walk that path yet.

SoLongFurlough · 03/01/2021 09:21

What can you do about the incessant heat at night? No longer sweating but seem to radiate heat in the middle of the night. Been on HRT for about 2 years (I'm 49)

Bluntness100 · 03/01/2021 09:27

I’m fifty two and going through it. The issue I’m having is my periods are not just unpredictable date wise, but can be terribly heavy, as in so heavy I can feel it literally “chugging” out of me. To the extent it can flood through my clothing snd I need to dash to the loo as it suddenly “chugs” out.

I don’t want the coil, is there anything I can be prescribed or that I can take to reduce the flow and make it more manageable. Literally for those two days I can’t go anywhere, and I don’t even know when those two days will be, as my cycle is so messed up.

hopeishere · 03/01/2021 11:27

Loads of interesting questions here! I think I'm peri but not really sure. My OBGYN seems to rely on night sweats and hot flushes as a diagnostic tool - is there anything more reliable?!

AnneOfCleavage · 03/01/2021 12:45

Mid 40s and have missed my December period so wondering if this is the start of irregular periods - the last year I've come on a few days either side of my due date. Have flushes pretty much daily and mini night sweats but both are manageable at the moment. Brain fog starting to be annoying as can't get my words out at times.
My question is since August I've been having achy shoulder/ top of left arm pain but not to touch so no bruising etc and I don't have the movement as I used to eg washing under my right arm using left hand can be tricky as feels tight and also lifting it feels heavy. Is this a symptom of peri menopause do you think?

UntamedWisteria · 03/01/2021 17:03

DinkyDaisy I found the brain fog lifted when I started HRT.

EternalOptimist7 · 03/01/2021 18:11

I am on Everol Conti Patches which have been great for getting rid of symptoms like hot flushes but I wonder how you know when your menopause is over? Is there a blood test or something?

UntamedWisteria · 03/01/2021 18:42

EternalOptimist that's not how HRT works. It delays menopause. So when you stop taking the hormones you will still probably have to go through the symptoms of menopause - just 5 to 10 years later, depending on when you started and how long you take it for. Although I believe some women keep going into their 70s with no ill effects.

Peacenquiet2 · 03/01/2021 18:48

2/3 years ago, when I was 37/8, my periods started to become much closer together, from average 35 days to 26/7, and became heavier, and ovulation was becoming quite painful and prolonged. I was also feeling very hormonal and emotional with angry and/or teary outbursts, which was very unusual for me. Id not been on the contraceptive pill for several years so my periods had been natural. I asked for some blood tests at my gp's and was told I was post menopausal, which clearly wasn't true as I was still having full on monthly periods. I then started to take the mini pill cerezette almost 2 years ago, and since then I've not had a single period/bleed and have felt much more emotionally stable and happier in myself. I'm happy to remain on this as long as I'm able to, is this a good idea? How will I know if I am actually in perimenopause? I've had 3 children and my youngest is almost 7, I do not want any more. Thanks for any advice

Ticklytoes · 03/01/2021 19:13

I’m 45, I have some peri signs.

Night sweats, I’ve been having these for a while, but I’m crap at tracking things, do they peak at certain times in the month? Last night I woke dripping (twice) I’m wondering if they are just before my period is due. I need to start plotting them on my Callander.

The other question, is the menopause ageing? If so will HRt help with that.

Thank you.

GalaxyCookieCrumble · 03/01/2021 19:59


In annoyed at my GP. She is forcing me off the minipill. I take it because I suffered horrendous period pain. GP says that, as i'm 53, my periods have 'probably' stopped so i don't need the minipill.
She did blood tests to bolster her argument but I read the results were probably meaningless whilst I'm still on the minipill. She got very argumentative when i talked about the NICE guidelines I'd read. She would only prescribe 3 months minipill and made it quite clear I would have to have another confrontation if I wanted more.
I feel great on the minipill. Why do I have to come off it now ( I would just like a couple more years to make sure my periods have stopped) in order to end up probably suffering debilitating menopause symptoms- and then being offered a similar hormonal treatment of HRT- which may take a long time to get the right product/ dosage.
I feel bullied by my GP. What do you think?

Why would you need to be on the pill if your periods have stopped?
surelynotnever · 03/01/2021 19:59

I want to know about the likely implications for my sex life and what I can do about this. I am already getting soreness and dryness around my labia, and this has been for over a year now.. The GP says is not menopausal as I still have regular periods, but they can't find any other cause. I am in no way ready for my sex life to end or be diminished so I want to know how I can maintain my sex drive and still have good juicy enjoyable sex during and after menopause.

Jcee · 03/01/2021 21:54

I'm 48 and peri for last couple years. No symptoms really apart from my periods have become very unpredictable and very light, often missing 2-3 months then coming back with a vengeance!

When my periods go missing I keep experiencing joint pain and inflammation in my hands and feet. I only have the problem with my hands when I've missed months of periods hence me making this connection - seems a bit odd but is this a menopause symptom?

Madwomanuptheroad29 · 04/01/2021 13:23

I suffer from dry and sore and itchy skin in the vulvar area. On her patches but that does not help. Have tried estroring, that has improved the vaginal but not the vulvar area

likeamillpond · 04/01/2021 16:15

Why wont GPs prescribe small amounts of testosterone as part of an hrt package.
When it's been proven that menopausal women are lacking in this hormone
Oestrogen and progesterone can o my do so much.

NotJustACigar · 04/01/2021 16:17

I'm 48 and don't get periods because I have a Mirena coil. How can I know whether I'm menopausal? For various reasons my coil is "stuck"and my specialist gynaecologist has no plans to remove it anytime soon so I can't just wait it out. So far I do get night sweats but that's the only symptom I've noticed.

likeamillpond · 04/01/2021 16:21

A small amount of testosterone is necessary for libido health in women
HRT treatments in the UK don't contain this vital hormone, whereas in a lot of other countries women have no problem getting their doctors to prescribe testosterone , to be used alongside oestrogen/progesterone.
Why do you think that is?

likeamillpond · 04/01/2021 16:28


I am on Everol Conti Patches which have been great for getting rid of symptoms like hot flushes but I wonder how you know when your menopause is over? Is there a blood test or something?

This business of going 'Through' the menopause is a bit of a myth.
A lot of women have symptoms for the rest of their lives.
It can be a permanent state.
That's why it should be taken more seriously by health care providers.
Women live a lot longer now.
Why should they spend the second half of their lives in a state of permanent suffering.
billybear · 04/01/2021 17:27

mum dad a terrible time on the menopause when its time does it run that i will suffer badly as well or is it just luck

bestbefore · 04/01/2021 17:52

@likeamillpond i understand testosterone is not licenced in the UK at present for women. But can get it on private prescription.
I am convinced it's not taken seriously by health care folks as its a womens issue and we don't shout loud enough about it....

Miranda15110 · 04/01/2021 18:26


Does testosterone play any part in menopausal symptoms? Would you support this hormone being prescribed to menopausal women?

This is a query I have too. I'm 54 currently taking HRT and lots of the horrible menopause symptoms have receded. However I still have issues with libido, anger and tiredness. Would testosterone help and can you just ask your GP for it?
Nottheshrinkingcapgrandpa · 04/01/2021 18:45

I can’t have HRT- are there any safe alternatives?

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