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Menopause Woes

(28 Posts)
Red1970 Sun 06-Jul-14 10:54:38

Morning Ladies
I'll try to keep this short.
I'm 43 and have been hit by the menopause, my doctor prescribed HRT and I did start taking it but with scares of blood clots, and increased risk of cancers I stopped taking it. This was a year ago, and since then I have not had a decent night sleep, and I'm not sure how much longer I can go on like this.
I tried menopace which initially worked at first but then it stopped. I was going to try Black Cohosh, but read that it can effect the liver. I'm currently trying to introduce Soy into my diet, as this is meant to help.
But I feel like I'm clutching at straws and feel that all the information on the internet is confusing me.
My main problem is the sweats, especially at night. I have no problem dropping off to sleep, ten minutes and I'm out like a light, but then an hour later I'm awake, and I'm waking up every couple of hours. I feel totally drained.
Any help or advice would be really appreciated.
Thanks for reading ladies and I hope you all have a lovely Sunday.

ninathenana Sun 06-Jul-14 11:03:00

Hi, I'm sorry I have no words of wisdom as I was very fortunate to have no symptoms at all with my menopause.
I didn't want to read and run. I'm sure you will get lots if brilliant advice. If I'm right in thinking your new, wellcome to GN smile

Granny23 Sun 06-Jul-14 11:29:38

Red1970 Welcome to Gransnet.

I think the clue to your problem lies in your words - feel that all the information on the internet is confusing me. Back in the day, when the only source of medical information was the family doctor, us oldies tended to believe what he/she said and duly took our medication or treatment regime and generally recovered sooner or later. What we were spared was endless nights, worrying about side effects and reading more scare stories. Has it occurred to you that commercial interests are at work here - spreading scare stories about treatments in order to sell their own alternative remedies?

Your GP will have checked that you are a suitable candidate for HRT and will keep an eye on Blood Pressure, etc. while you are on it. It does not help everyone, but you do say that your troubles started when you came off smile. I cannot advise you what to do. I only know that for myself and many other Gransnetters, HRT allowed us to continue to work and live a full life through the menopause and we survived to tell the tale.

Best wishes flowers

janerowena Sun 06-Jul-14 11:34:14

Get back on that HRT at once, I would have loved to have been allowed to take it but take other medications that made it impossible. I didn't get the night sweats very often, but they were awful and I remember dreaming that I was on fire very vividly. Also causes rows when you want the window open at night in minus temperatures! It's great for your skin too. Just make sure that you come off it very slowly when it is time.

suebailey1 Sun 06-Jul-14 12:00:50

I agree!! My night sweats were horrendous when they started at 52 and when I had three months with what felt like no sleep at all the GP put me on Tibolone which is form of HRT which 'harvests' what's left of your oestrogen and the relief was enormous. My current GP wanted me to stop taking it (not because it causes problems but he was watching his prescribing bill) now at 61 so last year I had a trial without it for 12 weeks pre and post a foot operation. The nightmare returned up all night one enormous hot flush after another every night without fail (worsened by alcohol I will admit) - the GP doesn't bother to suggest I come off it now. I have trialled all the natural remedies to no avail. I hope you get more comfortable now- listen to your GP- not the scare stories.

Rowantree Sun 06-Jul-14 12:13:09

I had an earlyish menopause and sweats weren't too much of a problem but even now, years later, I still get hot at night sometimes and need the window open, even in the depths of winter and even at times when I also take a HWB to bed to warm my toes!

I was put on HRT in my 40s because of low bone density and stayed on it for several years. I discontinued it eventually because a) worries about associated health risk and b) my bone density improved and is now OK.
Later, I used HRT pessaries because GP thought it would help my thinning tissues and my propensity for getting UTIs. The pessaries caused spotting and I had a health scare and I haven't used them since.

I think it all depends on how bad your symptoms are and how intolerable, but for me, it wasn't worth the associated health risk.
I expect there are more up-to-date and safer HRTs available now though.

GillT57 Sun 06-Jul-14 12:43:28

I had a fairly easy menopause, but do appreciate that it is horrendous for many people. I found that seeing a homoeopath helped me, not just the remedies, but the time to listen to all my woes and symptoms. I have to admit an interest here though, as I did train as a homoeopath, but i do not practice,so no financial gain for me in recommending it. The thing with the menopause, is that it is different for everyone, so the one size fits all approach works for some, but not for others. I would recommend that you do not try to do it alone, as you are right, there are so many conflicting stories, methods and approaches on the internet. Not all articles on the internet are form people with financial gain in mind, some, like people on GN simply want to share their fears and worries and what works for them. There is a website called something like The Menopause Trust which many find useful, I will try to find the link and post it on here for you.

GillT57 Sun 06-Jul-14 12:47:21

it is called and is independent. Have a look

Red1970 Sun 06-Jul-14 13:34:20

Thanks for all your help ladies, I think I may go back and have a chat with the doctor, tell him how I'm feeling about it and then decide what to do, and thanks GillT57 I'll have a look at that website.
Thanks again everyone

Mishap Sun 06-Jul-14 18:22:16

If they would let me go back on HRT I would do it tomorrow like a shot - I felt brilliant on it, but I am now 65 and they won't let me have it anymore as the health risk increases with age. I was on the oestrogen only patch as I have had a hysterectomy, so the risk is low.

Your GP will, as others have said, assess the risk to you personally and if you study the details the risk to someone of your age is small.

Do not suffer! - go back to GP and discuss in detail. You are a mere young thing and have a lot of this ahead of you!

Nonu Sun 06-Jul-14 18:39:53

I took HRT for several years , then decided to come off, after reading things about it , which slightly concerned me.

I informed my GP and said that if I felt the need to go back I would.

She however, informed me that it would increase the risk of breast cancer , if I did .

So, in my book that was it , I never went back on , suffered with all usual symptoms, then lo & behold it was over and done with , I am glad to say.

That is my experience, may be different for others.

Still women all through the years have had to put up with the menopause and lived to tell the tale

Ana Sun 06-Jul-14 18:46:50

I found Flashbuster tablets from Holland & Barrett really worked for my hot flushes and night sweats, but I agree with those who say go back to your GP and don't stress too much about the possible health risks of HRT. Good luck!

hildajenniJ Sun 06-Jul-14 20:09:23

I decided not to worry about menopausal symptoms and just "go with the flow" I have been having hot flushes for nine years, some days worse than others. I feel quite hard done by as all my mother had was hot feet! I wonder when I will see the end of them, and if I'll notice when I do.grin

Mishap Sun 06-Jul-14 21:14:39

If it had just been hot flushes, going with the flow would have been an option - but the migraines, they are something else!

fiorinda Sun 06-Jul-14 22:03:57

I've been taking HRT for 10 months now. I was getting hot flushes, insomnia, terrible aching joints, and I felt so old! I started to feel better almost straight away with the HRT. Before it I was using sage tincture for the hot flushes, which was very effective for a while. My sister has had breast cancer 3 times (at ages 39, 53 and a couple of years ago aged 67 - she's 19 years older than me) and I've had regular annual mammos for the last 10 years. Despite this my GP felt that as I'm under 50 it was better for me to take HRT to protect my bones and that the risks were minimal. She said we would review it after 2 years.

No-one can tell you what you should do, Red, but I'd definitely go back and speak to your GP again. Good luck. And the menopause matters forum is brilliant!

Coolgran65 Mon 07-Jul-14 02:39:45

I had an early hysterectomy at age 39 and was left with one ovary. GP said no need for HRT because I still had the one ovary.

I only ever had one hot flush- sitting in the chiropodist chair with feet up, does anyone else feel really hot???? I had to leap up and go to the door, bare feel 'n all and stand flaffing myself with a newspaper fan. I didn't have the wit to realise at the time that it was a hot flush. A few years later went to doc with aches and pains, low mood and weeping (mind you I had plenty to weep about) and this doc asked how long I was on HRT - says me - never. She nearly had a fit, did a blood test and I was just about through menopause, my estrogen was nearly zero.

Crafting Mon 07-Jul-14 15:00:52

For me the hot flushes came after my hysterectomy. I can't sleep with them either. Also get them during the day. Have been fine on HRT but docs keen for me to cut down. As soon as I do, back come the hot flushes. I am trying cream (inserted in the obvious place!) to see if that will help. Anyone who suffers this has my sympathy it's like having a massive panic attack for no reason

Nanalogue Mon 07-Jul-14 15:08:43

Anyone who sails through menopause without problems must find it hard to understand how totally debilitating and life wrecking it can be for others. Bit like pregnancy/childbirth, it may be natural but it's different for everyone.
I personally tried EVERYTHING to help with my catalogue of awful symptoms, physical, emotional and mental. In the end my Dr persuaded me to try HRT and it totally changed my life. So I'd say, if you need it Red, take it. You're young enough for it not to be risky, and you should be enjoying life.

I am now trying to reduce my dose as my current GP thinks I have been on it too long (over 10 years but can't remember exactly) and am getting too old (61!). I already notice the difference in sleep (lack of), energy, mood, concentration, and my OH would want me to add irritability and several other things... God knows how it's going to be coming off it altogether.
Dr has suggested antidepressants as an alternative as they have similar effect on some symptoms... anyone else heard that? I don't want them though, although they have been suggested before for migraines (me too Mishap).

janerowena Mon 07-Jul-14 16:01:36

Yes, to antidepressants as anxiety is often increased hugely during the menopause and only worsened by the fear of coming off. If you take a mild antidepressant which takes that anxiety away, you are more able to be objective and note the real problems that you may have.

Nanalogue Mon 07-Jul-14 17:56:32

She actually said they are useful to control hot flushes janerowena, although I do agree with you Crafting, when hot flushes are bad you do feel panicky, like you're suffocating and about to spontaneously combust!

Rosiebee Tue 08-Jul-14 23:52:16

I started an early menopause at about 39 with the usual hot sweats, mood swings, anxiety etc. My doc tried me on various tablets before I settled down on one of the HRT types of pill. After about 10 years I reviewed the situation in the light of all the scare stories about links to breast cancer. When I asked about what was the best way to come off HRT, my dear doc said I should just stop. I then asked about what I might expect and in her immortal words she said "Well I don't know my dear, you'll have to suck it and see."
The night sweats were horrendous, much worse than they'd ever been. All night long, 'duvet off.... duvet on....' I really wish I'd gone back to the doctor. I'm sure things have moved on since then so it may be worth going back rather than trying to sort it out on your own. It does eventually get better, but I'm 62 now and feel as though my temperature gauge has never recovered. Useful in winter as I hardly ever feel cold. Go back to your doc and be persistent, you deserve support with these horrible symptoms.

gillybob Wed 09-Jul-14 07:34:47

Hello RED1970 and welcome to. GN. smile

I know exactly what you are going through as I am exactly the same ! I am 52 and currently suffering the same horrible night sweats (and sometimes day) as yourself. My GP has not refused HRT (exactly) but has persuaded me against it as I have other health issues that may be effected. I am still having on/off periods too. None for three months and then as normal as clockwork for another three and then none again etc. just returned from holiday and typical of my luck after three months of nothing...... You guessed it, right in the middle of the holiday !

ElyshaCharles Fri 15-Aug-14 15:15:53

have not experienced any of this yet but I own an online boutique selling luxury duvets and I have had so many ladies contact me over the years with regards to this problem.

They have all asked for a thin summer duvet and I do know that this has helped them in some way, obviously it has not stopped the flushes but it has made them to feel more comfortable.

A good quality, summer goose down duvet will be light and as it is all natural, it absorbs the sweat. Goose down is hygroscopic which means that it has the ability to break down the sweat and release it back into the air. The goose down duvet will make sure that the sweat is taken away from your body which can help you to regulate your temperature. A synthetic duvet will leave the sweat on your body as it is unable to absorb moisture at all.

The more luxurious the duvet, the thinner it gets which means excellent drape and the ability to move with you as you sleep. We sell some which literally are as light as air and I have lady customers who have said that this really helps them.

It is only be a small change but may just help you feel slightly more comfortable, something that I am sure is important when you are going through these symptoms.

Iam64 Sat 16-Aug-14 08:29:49

I do wonder if the possible side effects are outweighed by the benefits for the majority of us. As others have said, if it's "only" night sweats, and only for a few years (!) that is manageable. For many, it's much more intrusive than that. I was prescribed it by my gp, because inflammatory arthritis means more problems with bone density. 5 years later, after he'd moved on, another gp expressed horror, and wouldn't prescribe any longer. 10 years later, I'm still having night sweats, but the worst thing is the aches and pains. Every woman I know who came off HRT found the aches and pains, tiredness etc that follows, hard to deal with. Good luck Red, google can be our friend but it can also scare the wotsits out of us

nightowl Sat 16-Aug-14 09:03:39

Good plug ElyshaCharles but goose down is predominantly produced by live plucking, causing great pain, bleeding and trauma to the birds. The wounds this causes are often crudely sewn up and the birds sometimes die of shock and infection. They are live plucked every few weeks during their miserable lives before dying a miserable death. So all in all, I wouldn't call anything produced in this way a 'luxury item' and certainly wouldn't want to wrap my body in it. I use a cotton (also natural) sheet instead when night sweats are a problem.