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HRT or NOT!

(66 Posts)
Juliette1708 Thu 18-Apr-19 20:23:54

I'm 66 and came off HRT 3 months ago (slowly) having happily taken it for 20 years. I'm now regretting it. My joints hurt. I cant sleep. I sweat all night and have hot flashes throughout the day I feel tired and irritable and am constantly snapping at my husband. And I've gone off sex . I want my HRT back! But is it safe? Dont feel I can go on like this!

Joyfulnanna Thu 18-Apr-19 21:05:05

I attended a menopause event recently and was told that HRT is much safer now than it ever was because patients can be given bespoke treatment that can treat individual symptoms, rather than giving drugs that treat all symptoms at the same time. Apparently they are safe to use for women who've have breast cancer or at high risk of bc. I don't take it myself but it's good to know things have moved on from previous HRT. I do understand all your symptoms. They sound very difficult to live with and I don't think you should be scared of seeking your GP's advice about going back yo HRT.

Framilode Thu 18-Apr-19 21:10:57

I have just had my prescription renewed by my doctor. I am 72. Last year she was very reluctant to prescribe but this year was extolling all the benefits to me. She said the latest advice is that there is a tiny increase in risk for breast cancer but against this is protection against heart disease, strokes, dementia and osteoporosis. She thoroughly recommended staying on it.

Matron Thu 18-Apr-19 21:20:56

I started taking HRT in 1991 following a hysterectomy and oopherectomy. I have taken it since then apart from a brief break (my decision) a few years ago. I lasted about 2-3 months and found the menopausal symptoms unbearable. My GP prescribed it again and she said providing I don’t have any contraindications I can take it for the rest of my life. HRT is safe and I’m willing to take that extremely small risk of breast cancer. Please go back to see your GP because there’s o need to suffer.

icanhandthemback Sat 20-Apr-19 10:29:16

I'd sooner take HRT and be comfortable rather than risk free and miserable. Without it, I become a very different person who is tearful, paranoid, and with very low self esteem. I used to be like this with PMT and it wrecked relationships so I have no desire to go back there!

Willow10 Sat 20-Apr-19 10:44:20

I'm 72 and definitely want to stay on it for the rest of my life! When a male doctor once refused to prescribe it any more, I saw a female doctor who said " Oh for goodness sake - Men! How do they think the Queen would do as well as she does without it?'" (She was the male doctors wife!) smileFor me its quality of life now. I'll worry about the rest if and when the time comes.

Hm999 Sat 20-Apr-19 10:52:57

My understanding was always that HRT just postponed the menopause. Tough as it was to cope in my late 40s, no way did I want to endure that in my 70s.

Is it not just a tunnel to be got through, and we come out the other end?

Annaram1 Sat 20-Apr-19 10:57:34

I have been on HRT for more than 15 years. I feel OK with it and it doesn't seem to be dangerous anymore. Not setting myself up as an example, though, because my son is a doctor and when he found out 2 years ago that I was on it he was very worried and told me to stop. I am 78. I had a medicine review and was not told to stop taking it. I have not told my son and he has not asked. Maybe there is a slightly increased risk of breast cancer but life is full of risks and if you don't get breast cancer you could still get another type of cancer.

harrigran Sat 20-Apr-19 10:58:23

Not, definitely. The female hormones deplete for a reason why would you want to reinstate them. Some cancers are hormone related and topping them up could put you at risk.

Annaram1 Sat 20-Apr-19 10:59:26

As for the menopause I did get some spotting for the first year or two but as far as the menopause and its symptoms went I have never experienced it. Best to discuss all female questions with a lady doctor.

Annaram1 Sat 20-Apr-19 11:09:35

Harrigran, as for female hormones depleting for a reason, please inform us what the reason might be? People live longer now and female hormones used to last until say 45 or 50, when in the old days that was the length of your life. Now we all live into our 70s or 80s and female hormones are artificially given to us, and perhaps in a thousand years women may have natural hormones for far longer and not need HRT.

Allsaints55 Sat 20-Apr-19 11:12:09

I’m 60 and have been on HRT for 8 years . A 2mg dose which I only found out recently was quite high .? I have felt great on it but have always worried of the risks . I’ve tried coming off a few times but never feel that good . HRT makes me sleep like a log , plenty of energy , keeps me slim and firm , confident. Libido good . But I’m so confused 🤷🏼‍♀️. One side says it’s good for your heart bones etc etc the other is I could have a blood clot Stroke. I really don’t know what to do . I think it’s the stroke risk that worries me , there is no going back from that .HELP. I’m thinking of paying for a private consultation as my Docter just prescribes it without even taking my blood pressure x

TerryM Sat 20-Apr-19 11:12:35

I am on so many pills what is another.
Having said that I didn't have HRT when I went through menopause .
If I needed it I would have probable taken it

Allsaints55 Sat 20-Apr-19 11:16:55

I agree with the above comment that women used to die before they hit the menopause. And they had done their job of child bearing years .Now we are living to 90 and we want to still enjoy that and feel great and sexy .! Nature doesn’t seem to care or take care of that . We have to take control .

pamdixon Sat 20-Apr-19 11:18:22

I had a hysterectomy in my early 40's and was on HRT for about 15 years and my doctor made me come off it - have not had a decent night's sleep since - not to mention the aches and pains, and the odd hot flush etc.............am now 72 and really wish i'd stayed on it. I tried loads of different herbal pills, but nothing was that helpful Don't give up the HRT unless you absolutely have to I'd say - weigh up all the risks.

BusterTank Sat 20-Apr-19 11:24:50

Can you tell me ? Does hrt make you gain weight . I sweat night and wake up feeling I'm suffocating , but I can't afford to gain any more weight .

Willow10 Sat 20-Apr-19 11:27:31

Allsaints - I started on 2mg at 45 but a new doctor wasn't happy so cut it down to 1mg several years ago. I've been fine on 1mg, so maybe you could ask at your next review if you could try reducing?

nipsmum Sat 20-Apr-19 11:29:22

I tried HRT for 3 months. I suffered headaches and depression and had to stop it. The menopausal symptoms were nothing like as bad as the treatment.

Gingergirl Sat 20-Apr-19 11:38:29

I’m a holistic therapist and I have to agree with the above comment about having to go through it eventually. I see lots of people suffering dreadfully at a later age, after coming off hrt. I wouldn’t (didnt) go on it..I think it’s been over medicalised to be a medical condition....and if I was on it, I’d come off. Sorry...I know lots of people won’t agree and you just have to make up your own mind I guess.

Bbbface Sat 20-Apr-19 11:56:45

@harrigran

*Not, definitely. The female hormones deplete for a reason why would you want to reinstate them. Some cancers are hormone related and topping them up could put you at risk.*

The reason is biological. Most 85 year old women would not survive child birth. If they did, they would then struggle to raise a child.

Bbbface Sat 20-Apr-19 11:57:18

If modern medicine means we alleviate some of the side effects, then I’m all for it.

pce612 Sat 20-Apr-19 12:08:39

I'm 68 and take HRT; having come off it a couple of times and suffered all of the symptoms of the menopause really badly each time.
I have researched it and the pros outweigh the cons (for me). The increased 'risks' are very very small statistically.
I would rather have a slightly shorter life than one living in misery with all of the hot sweats, lack of sleep, thinning hair etc.
I never took any of the products made with pregnant mares urine - names usually started with Prem.... - but one made with plant derived ingredients.
Two months ago I was changed on to Kliofem as my usual HRT wasn't availableand am now having a period! Wouldn't recommend it. Am seeing my GP on Monday...

Jan66 Sat 20-Apr-19 12:26:39

I am 52 and after using various types of HRT (including one where you only have bleeds every three months). For 6 months I came off them and used herbal preparations and omega 7 capsules to try and diminish the symptoms. I struggled with the symptoms all the same. I now use the transdermal patches called 'Evorel Conti' which are a continuous combined HRT preparation. Patches are applied to the skin twice weekly. My doctor recommended these for me rather than taking HRT pills. Generally women are able to take these if they haven't had a period for a year. It was difficult to know if this was the case for me as you get a bleed when taking normal HRT generally - but my gynaecologist seemed to be OK with me using the patches. I am doing fine on them. Initially I was concerned that they could come off easily when showering or bathing - but they don't.

grannyactivist Sat 20-Apr-19 12:27:00

Having become mentally ill and cognitively impaired during the menopause I don't ever plan to come off HRT. The age group for women with the highest suicide rate per 100,000 in the U.K is 50-54, the average age of menopause is 51; as far as I am aware no research has been done to establish a causal link, but I know from my own experience that the menopause, for some women, can be almost impossible to navigate. Fortunately my (female) GP is clued up on the menopause and recognised it as the cause of my inability to function, which was a blessing for me as I hadn't connected my symptoms to the menopause - I just thought I was going mad.

I am now on a very low dose of HRT, taken every other day; I muddled up my meds one week when I was away from home and missed taking three doses - I found I simply couldn't function. Recent 'spotting' had me nervously awaiting the consultant's diagnosis as I was worried he might suggest I come off HRT, but instead he said that because of a slight gynae problem I have that he recommends I stay on it at my current dose forever. I honestly could have kissed him!

Bbbface Sat 20-Apr-19 12:48:26

What is regarded as lose dose HRT?