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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:
Nootkah · 04/01/2021 20:48

What are usually the first signs of perimenopause?

Kweenxo · 04/01/2021 20:59

Can menopause cause changes in personality?

Theredjellybean · 04/01/2021 22:14

Would hrt help with change in fat distribution pattern.
I eat the same, exercise the same, and scales say same weight but in the last Yr I have got much bigger around chest, upper abdominal area and back fat.
I eat well, run marathons, strength train x 2week.
Its so depressing
I am 52, perimenopausal with mirena fitted ready for hrt.. But no other symptoms so held off starting oestrogen gel

Nordman · 04/01/2021 23:16

I am hoping to have fertility treatment to conceive using both donor egg and donor sperm (unfortunately both are necessary). While trying to save up the funding I now believe I am peri menopausal. Will this affect the treatment or outcome? I am 43, mother also had early menopause.

lillypopdaisyduke · 05/01/2021 09:38

I am 36 and my periods have always been irregular, and it's been 4 months since my last period (I'm not PG) My doctor has recommended medication (low dose contraceptive) If I was to go ahead with this, would this affect the onset of the menopause (my mum started hers at 40 so I expect to be an 'early starter') Are there any blood tests I can get to see if I am starting the menopause ?

Sadsammy · 05/01/2021 10:00

@EternalOptimist and @UntamedWysteria HRT does not delay the menopause, it's going on in the background. Look up Louise Newson The Menopause Doctor

Sadsammy · 05/01/2021 10:03

I'm on HRT and for a few years have noticed a receding hairline and thinning hair. I've read that the nothisterone in Elleste Duet, can cause the hair problems. Is this true and if so, will changing to a non androgenic HRT make my hair grow back and prevent any further hair loss?

Ihearditthroughthegrapevine · 05/01/2021 12:08

Im 39 and for the past 4-5 months my periods have been all over the place and anything from 2 -7 weeks apart, im having so many migraines and dizziness and I'm finding things that didn't used to make me anxious make me quite anxious.
My GP hasn't really offered any decent advice or support and told me I may have a hormone imbalance. Ive had a smear recently thats negative.
Does this sound like the start of peri-menopause

VintageGill · 05/01/2021 13:32

Why are GPs so badly informed about the latest developments in treating menopausal symptoms? If a woman experiences bad menopause symptoms, the last thing she needs is to have to enter into battle with a patronisingly defensive and ill-informed GP.

Why do most NHS GPs not know what body-identical HRT is? I am not talking about health food shop creams and potions here, I am talking about NHS approved HRT - for example, micronised progesterone (not synthetic progestogen) and natural oestrogen, such as Oestrogel. Doctors, by and large, do not seem to know the difference between these and synthetic hormones and I had to do my own research. For anyone interested, Professor John Studd, a menopause specialist with a Harley Street Practice, has an excellent website with lots of information about body identical HRT and everything you need to know to help you discuss your treatment in an informed way with your NHS GP.

Why is it not widely accepted by NHS GPs that, if prescribed in the right way and carefully monitored, testosterone can be very helpful for women who have suffered menopausal loss of libido? The NHS is a dead loss on this topic, despite the fact that my doctor told me that this is the number one thing that menopausal women come in with worries about. The NHS no longer licenses testosterone for this purpose. Unless you are very lucky, you are simply not going to get this treatment without a battle and then it is likely that you will have to continue battling if you move house and have to have to change GP.

Why are menopause symptoms generally trivialised and not taken seriously by the NHS? Some women experience symptoms that are devastating and life-altering.

Whilst I do appreciate that some people find CBT helpful for relaxation, but the NHS still offers this quasi-quack 'treatment' as an alternative therapy for the menopause, but they wouldn't (hopefully) suggest that you go home and re-frame your thinking if you went in with a broken leg.

I am now through the worst of the menopause. The symptoms do get better, but don't all go away. You just learn to adapt. However, when I did seek help, it was horrific just how uninformed almost all the NHS medical professionals I came into contact with were.

I applaud those activists - like Diane Danzebrink - who are fighting to improve menopause awareness and services for women.

sharond101 · 05/01/2021 20:48

I am going through early menopause and my Gynaecologist insists I need to take HRT to protect my heart and bones. I am not tolerating it. I have tried several different preparations but I either get very depressed and anxious or do not sleep at all. How important is it to take something? Iam 38 and this started 18 months ago.

spaceghetto · 05/01/2021 22:20

How long does it last for?

MrsFrTedCrilly · 06/01/2021 00:48

How do you know that menopause has begun when you aren’t having periods due to IUD ( Mirena)?
Also how does body composition change and what specific exercise will help?

CompleteBarstool · 06/01/2021 07:27

Where do you stand on the prescribing of fluoxetine for menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes/nightsweats and mood swings when a woman cant take HRT due to a history of breast cancer in the family.

mrsrobin · 06/01/2021 08:27

I wonder what percentage of women (in UK) go onto HRT? It seems most people I know are on HRT.
I am not, although I do have some symptoms which I can just about manage. Personally, I choose not to unless because I don't really want to be on any medication for life.

RACHELSMITH45 · 06/01/2021 10:04

My mum experienced early menopause. Does this run in families and mean I'm more likely to be the same? Thanks

Honeyroar · 06/01/2021 11:17

I am in 51, still have regular periods, but very heavy and short. For the past few years, when my period has been particularly heavy I’ve had incredibly bad cramp in my right leg. My GP didn’t seem very interested. Do you have any suggestions?

hutchy73 · 06/01/2021 11:26

Which HRT treatment is best for migraine sufferers . I am in the menopause and suggested that I go on HRT but my migraines are already horrendous and don't want to aggravate them.

HelloKitty145 · 06/01/2021 11:44

I'm so panicked that I might be going into early menopause. I'm 34, no children (2 miscarriages, 1 natural, 1 medical). After the medical miscarriage, my chest broke out in spots, nurse called them "pustules". I'm still trying to have a baby. In the last year or so, sex has become very painful and I've been very dry. Was putting this down to age. My period has always been like clockwork but has now been later than normal twice. I have developed acne on my jawline but it's appearing as cyst like spots rather than normal whiteheads. Also, last week (1 week before period due) my chest has broken out again but with what looks like little pinprick whiteheads. I also sometimes get terrible low mood around this time. I've convinced myself this is all hormonal and signs of early menopause. I'm panicking.

KiansKuddles · 06/01/2021 12:41

I'd love to know what the key tests are for early menopause...and how treatments have evolved for women of all ages...

simbee1 · 06/01/2021 17:06

How do you deal with intimate dryness? I take Omega 7 which does help but wondering if there are any other remedies. Using lubricants just seems so un-sexy. :-(

Mooncupdotcom · 06/01/2021 21:39

How can I best support colleague going through the menopause? (teachers)

DeRigueurMortis · 07/01/2021 04:10

How do you get past your (male) GP constantly undermining your symptoms as "perfectly normal"?

In context when you haven't slept for many, many months due to hot flushes and as a result are in "brain fog" though sleep deprivation.

When you do have a period it's like the hoover dam being breached and there is no mooncup, tampon, pad (or combination) that will contain it.

When you realise it's like it's having the mother of all "bad" period symptoms for years but your GP quips that you should be happy that you're not bleeding so regularly and should sell your shares in the owners of tampax?

When you are told it's not a priority in Covid-19 times and the fact you've just ruined yet another set of clothes, but worst the sofa because you've flooded all over it with no warning.

When your husband/children see that and your embarrassment as you scrub the sofa. They are kind but you can't bear then being "kind" as you've so embarrassed.

I'd really like these questions answered, thank you.

popsocks · 07/01/2021 06:44

I have started feeling very sick and headachy every few months a day before my period starts. So bad I spend the day in bed sleeping and take a day off work. My period is then very heavy and crampy. I have not experienced this at all until I turned 41. I also get very hot although am not sure it is hot flushes as its not what is described. Is this part of perimenopause? As soon as my period starts, the sick feeling goes away and I kind of forget until it happens again. Would seeing the GP help or is it something I have to put up with until the actual menopause happens?

naturesbuds · 07/01/2021 08:59

I am aware the average age of menopause is 51 and am 50. I am combating perimenopause symptoms with exercising, a plant-based diet, and meditation . Am prepping my mind and body but my question is can you go through this estrogen depleting without HRT if symptoms mild at present or will they increase with age?

Downriver · 07/01/2021 12:03

Is it possible to go through it without problems. I mean I feel I have but are my bones just going to snap like twigs one day if I don't medicalise?

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