I am 47 and suffering with hot flushes, night sweats (up to 4 or 5 times per night) brain fog, joint aches and pains and urgency incontinence which has started to worsen more recently, my last period was inJanuary this year.
I went to visit the nurse at my surgery last week due to having a virus, and told her about my symptoms while I was there, she has made me an appointment to see my GP this Thursday and suggested that HRT patches might be a help to me. She sent me away with literature to read, having read it allI am totally confused as to whether or not I should try it or whether I should try managing without and maybe use some natural progesterone cream like serenity first.
I am worried about the risks of breast cancer and stroke, and worried about when and if to come off it once started and I pressume that once you come off it all the symptoms return?....I have been told that the [patches are safer as much lower dose of hormones....just so difficult to decide, it seems one lot of problems are replaced by another lot of concerns...
I've been on HRT for 9 year and there is no way I am going off it! My GP and my gyno both have no probem with me being on it as I am sexually active and there is absolutely no history of breast or cervical cancer in close female relatives - nor any cancer for that matter. I have one uncle who developed pancreatic cancer in his 80's . That's it. Besides, I was on birth control for decades. It might be, if you are still having periods, that going on a low dose birth control would do the trick. They just kept adjusting mine until I had no more periods and went on HRT.
And yes, whenever you go off HRT you are likely to have symptoms for up to 3 years or so.
thanks for the reply, I guess I willhave todiscuss things with my GP, I am iinthe uk so not sure how different things are here.
My mum died of cancer but it was non hodgkiins lymphoma, not breast or ovarian, and as far as I am aware, not hereditary. There have been members pof my mums family that have had strokes, but not until they were in their 80's, not sure if this counts.
I don't drink regularly ( although I like a good evening with friends occasionally) I don't smoke, and I teach dance and dance fitness classes so i consider myself fairly fit.
I worry as I know a lady that comes to my dance classes who had oestrogen related breast cance 17 years ago from oral HRT her body was still producing oestrogen and the HRT obviously was surplus to her body's requirements hence the cancer developed, she is fine now, but still a worry when trying to decide whether or not to try HRT.
I am struggling a lot with the flushes and night sweats and just feel so "not me" really tired all the time and not rested even after sleep ( huh what sleep!) also my body just aches permanently and my brain feels so foggy, like Im in sided all this but cant get out.
I have to try to weigh it allup in my head as to what to do, just so difficult.
I was on a climara patch once a week .1 mg for a good five years!
I loved it and when I finally stopped taking it, I had very little to no
more menopause hot flashes...its worth a try,.
I was told that one can safely take estrogen for 5 years without having
to worry about it...climara patch is bio identical to what your body produces.
There is also another patch called Vivelle, it is smaller and you change it twice a week
instead of once, i've tried both and I liked them both!
Think about it, you can try for a few weeks and see if it helps.
The patch worked fairly quick to reduce my flashes too and once that
happened I didnt want to ever take it off!
Before you go on HRT that includes estrogen, you should have your blood checked for progesterone and estrogen levels. Most women in their 40s into early 50s until they actually go through menopause are estrogen dominant. As your hormone levels decline towards menopause, your progesterone declines much faster than the estrogen, leaving more unopposed estrogen circulating in your body.
I have run the gamut of peri-meno symptons - night sweats, insomnia, anxiety, heart palps, thinning hair, low libido etc, etc. Progesterone supplementation seems to be working to eliminate or reduce many of those symptoms.
I'm 49 and up until this year I just used progesterone cream from the health food store and it seemed to work. But getting closer to menopause, those creams don't contain enough progesterone to oppose the estrogen. So I went to a BHRT doctor and she did blood work and prescribed me 100mg of natural progesterone per day (day 14-28) and I take a lower dose of 25-25mg on days 8-13. My testosterone was low so I take natural testosterone as well on days 14-28.
I would suggest you read about estrogen dominance. Unless you have blood work showing your estrogen levels are low, I wouldn't take estrogen. And even if your estrogen is low but your progesterone is too low, you can still be estrogen dominant. It's all about balancing the progesterone to the estrogen to stop the hot flashes, night sweats and all the other fun stuff that goes along with peri-meno and menopause. You might find relief with just the progesterone. Good luck!!
Thank you Iris rose,
I to am going along the natural progesterone route at the moment, I am using serenity and it seems to be helping, my GP is happy for me to try it, here in the UK we dont seem to get the choice of natural hormones from our GP's, so quite limited to what we can try.
I am going to give this a go for a couple of months and see how I feel.