Gransnet forums

Menopause

HRT shortage

(88 Posts)
LaraGransnet (GNHQ) Tue 12-Nov-19 15:01:32

We've been keeping an eye on this story, not least because we know it affects some gransnetters. It doesn't look as though the situation is improving though and we wanted to find out if any of you who are using HRT are finding it difficult to get hold of? Or how would you feel if you did find yourself in this situation? It appears that so many women are finding their health and wellbeing compromised with no real answers forthcoming from the government or healthcare providers as to when this is likely to change. We'd love to hear your stories.

Paperbackwriter Wed 13-Nov-19 10:39:31

The shortage I'm finding at the moment is my brand of contact lenses. I also think my HRT (Tibolone) is on the list. I certainly haven't had the usual delivery to my local Boots. I take it ever other day as a kind of maintenance dose and wouldn't want to be without it. I feel it keeps me sane and my bones healthy.

Abuelana Wed 13-Nov-19 10:51:11

Is this part of the cause and effect of Brexit do you think. I don't take HRT but I do take BP tablets.
Just a thought - why now are these medications not available?

GoldenAge Wed 13-Nov-19 10:56:43

I have a couple of comments to make here. Having had a particularly bad menopause and had to come off the HRT for medical reasons, I fully sympathise with anyone who needs this and can't get it. I struggled through with sage tea but found the flowers from the Turkish sage, much more helpful than the leaves from the sage plant common here.
I do also know some women way into their 60s who don't need HRT and want it simply to keep their hair and nails as they used to be. Personally, while I believe in every woman's right to look as she wants, in a climate of austerity and non-availability of certain medications, I think women who fall into this category should not be prescribed.
And finally, am I right in believing that certain HRT brands are not available because of Brexit? If so, I hope the many people who are posting on here and voted to leave the EU are beginning to realise the enormous changes that this decision has brought to our daily lives already.

Rivernana Wed 13-Nov-19 11:32:24

Agree that the comment 'just get on with it' is thoughtless and aggressive. Menopause can cause very debilating problems which can affect the individual and wider family - so if there is help available why not take it. I took HRT briefly but it didn't suit me so I just gritted my teeth and managed till the symptoms abated. My poor husband probably suffered during this time. I have a friend who is struggling to get supplies and gets friends who are travelling abroad to buy supplies for her because you can get them across the counter, without prescription, in countries like Spain. Not something I advocate but I guess you will do anything if you are desperate and the pills are from a proper Chemist rather than the dodgy stuff you get on line. I am running a petition to save NHS funds by reducing waste of prescription medication and other equipment to address these sort of shortages - this following recent personal experiences with the NHS - here is the link if anyone would consider supporting me by signing and sharing.

sarahellenwhitney Wed 13-Nov-19 11:53:44

Tooting
I watched my late mother cope with the menopause and the discomfort it can bring as many did when HRT was not at that time available. She got through and lived to ninety three. What was good enough for her was good enough for me and I too have survived without HRT.Now waiting for the hmmits all right for you etc etc etc.

Funnygran Wed 13-Nov-19 11:59:25

I was lucky enough to sail through the menopause with no real problems. I sympathise greatly with those that do suffer and being told to get on with it isn’t helpful. Thinking back to how our mothers coped - I must have been in my early teens when mine went through it. She never ever spoke about illness and hated visiting the GP but I remember she had a spell when she was very low, always turning the heating down as she was so hot and found fault with us all including my Dad! So in hindsight I suspect she would have been a prime candidate for HRT.

deanswaydolly Wed 13-Nov-19 12:48:50

Not the same but we cannot get epinpens for my granddaughter. Prescription still outstanding since August when she was hospitalized and nearly died due to peanut allergy. The epipens saved her life whilst waiting for the ambulance. It absolutely terrifies me that we cannot get it ( we do have one spare)

Kathy1959 Wed 13-Nov-19 12:59:10

I made the decision to not take HRT if I could help it. My mother died from breast cancer, aged 63, and I’m 60 now. I know they’ve looked at these issues with a new approach the last few years, but the seed was sewn for me, and didn’t want to take the risk. I have to say, that generally, I’ve coped. The last three years, I’ve felt below par on and off, and haven’t felt like me. The worst has been sickness( another thread ). From what I’ve read about HRT, it only really treats hot flushes, and settles down any intermittent bleeding. Since neither of these has been a problem to me, there was no point to HRT. I know there are women who are worse than me and it must be awful if they can’t get the one thing that helps them. I wish you all the best 🤔

blondenana Wed 13-Nov-19 13:08:39

If anyone is saying get on with it and get over it,then they have either not reached menopause or have sailed through it
I am still getting flushes and night sweats,and my mother used to say she felt like running into the sea,as we lived at the seaside it was worrying,as she got very hot and wound up,and did disappear at one time

blondenana Wed 13-Nov-19 13:12:14

Goldenage if anyone wants HRT to keep their hair and nails nice,they might be very disappointed, my hair is falling out since i have been back on HRT

blondenana Wed 13-Nov-19 13:18:06

paperbackwriter i am on Tibolone and had no problems getting it, my Dr said it was one of the easiest to get.but thinking of stopping it as i am losing hair and wonder if this is the cause,it is very androgenic

Hetty58 Wed 13-Nov-19 13:20:21

It's not that I'm without sympathy. I had a truly horrible menopause (still get hot flushes) but HRT was not for me. I have little faith in doctors so I would have worried far more about taking it than enduring a natural process.

Women rightly object to pregnancy (another natural process) being viewed as needing medical intervention. Monitoring, assistance and checks are welcome, of course.

Nobody can tell how they would have been (long term) without their HRT, given time to adapt and adjust to their next stage in life. Menopause intervention remains a first world problem and even here, three quarters of women manage without it.

Surely, availability of life-saving drugs is a far more important concern?

Hetty58 Wed 13-Nov-19 13:27:58

Drug shortages have absolutely nothing to do with Brexit. The problems began way before the referendum and are due to manufacturing problems along with shortages of ingredients.

MissCherryCakeyBun Wed 13-Nov-19 13:30:32

I have been struggling to get Everol 50mg for months and have now been given a different scrip for a different Brand but on 40mg. Not at all ideal as I had a period out of the blue for the first time in years as my body struggled to cope with the change.
This brand is also now in short supply confused. Not all women have easy menopause I struggled for several years before the Dr suggested it would help the problems I had including hormonal migraines and wow it’s like I have my life back. I work full time and have a demanding job so I need to feel I can function as a normal human everyday without turning bright red being covered in sweat and having time off with debilitating migraines.
And yes I tried alternative Supplements and got now relief at all

Let’s support each woman in their own choices and not belittle others choices.

Hetty58 Wed 13-Nov-19 13:32:11

www.coventrytelegraph.net/news/coventry-news/nhs-drug-shortages-list-17025276

Esspee Wed 13-Nov-19 13:33:39

Firstly I have oestrogen implants twice a year and thankfully when I attended the clinic a couple of weeks ago I was told they have no problem with supplies and supplies of patches have been affected by manufacturer supply problems, absolutely nothing to do with Brexit no matter what the scaremongers try to portray.
Secondly women on HRT actually SAVE the NHS money as the protective benefits to a woman's health saves money, for example the protection against osteoporosis.
Finally HRT doesn't help hair and nails but does give life to your years. I have been assumed to be mid fifties just this week. I am 70. Excuse me but I need to get back to work (6 days this week on my feet all day and loving it).

Hetty58 Wed 13-Nov-19 13:38:22

We are all different. I found that my regular migraines increased in frequency and intensity when I was pre-menopausal, then they disappeared altogether (thankfully) when my periods stopped. I feel just great these days!

www.nationalmigrainecentre.org.uk/migraine-and-headaches/migraine-and-headache-factsheets/migraine-menopause-and-hrt/

sandelf Wed 13-Nov-19 13:51:14

Re face it or don't face it. From ages 13 - 51 I had vile bloating, unpredictable cramps and nasty periods. Imagine my relief at swapping this for some hot flushes - no pain and lots of sympathy. I'm one of those for whom the menopause is the best thing ever!!

Jools444 Wed 13-Nov-19 13:53:57

When I saw the thread “HRT Shortages” I thought I should respond as I have started HRT this week. However, I was a little surprised at some of the unsympathetic and judgemental comments as after all, everyone’s experiences are different and surely needing medication is nothing to be ashamed of??
I saw my GP on Monday after having a hysterectomy and both ovaries removed 6 weeks ago. I was prescribed Estradiol gel which I apply to my arms. My GP said there have been production problems with the adhesive in the patches which started the shortage and therefore the demand for other forms of HRT have gone up, causing further shortages. Fortunately I was able to get my medication from my local chemist.

Tinydancer Wed 13-Nov-19 14:03:23

Fortunately I am passed needing HRT and hope people don't experience too many difficulties with obtaining it. I am terrified of not being able to get my meds for heart problems, just taking a dose late has landed me in hospital before now. Memory problems caused by low B12/Folate, hopefully and not dementia. I really hope we don't end up with a no deal Brexit as although it is off the table for now supposedly, I heard this morning that it could still happen if we don't reach a deal by the end of 2020.

Keeper1 Wed 13-Nov-19 14:19:41

I went through menopause without a hitch but now I have all sorts of complications from lack of oestrogen etc that I am under a consultant I have estrogen pessaries and a sort of HRT that stimulates the body so does not contain hormones. No menopause isn’t an illness but if you had suffered the last two years I have as a result of menopause you wouldn’t say get over it.

Liz46 Wed 13-Nov-19 14:21:02

Jools, I had the same operation but had to wait for a few months before starting HRT. Once I started, it was like a miracle. I had had such problems since I had children that I thought that 'this is what it must be like to be a man'!
A few years ago my GP thought I should give up HRT and a while later, I had the one and only panic attack I have every had. I was Christmas shopping with lots of bags and I had a bad hot flush. There was nowhere to put the bags and I felt I had to strip!
I managed to get an appointment with a GP (young and male so definitely not my first choice). He said that I was old enough to make up my own mind and gave me a prescription, bless him
I am still on the lowest dose Evorel about 30 years after my hysterectomy and I think it is protecting my bones as I had a dreadful fall and didn't break anything. So far I have not had any problems in getting the Evorel.

Dyffryn Wed 13-Nov-19 14:34:39

Don’t let people on here put you off. I have been on HRT for years, I do sometimes worry about possible side effects. On it I feel amazing, off it awful. You need to do what is right for you.

Dyffryn Wed 13-Nov-19 14:36:32

Oh and I am having terrible problems getting hold of elleste solo, have been for nearly a year now.

Urmstongran Wed 13-Nov-19 14:55:55

I’m very lucky as I sailed through the menopause over 12 years ago. Never needed medication. Hot flushes for a few months but that was it.

I’m just posting to say I hope the shortages are soon rectified for all you ladies who need HRT and feel benefits from taking it.

Also, I must add, I’m pleased if it had to happen at all, that the shortage of this and recently, Epipen and in some areas the ‘flu vaccine have occurred too soon to be blamed on Brexit!

Let’s all remember this post-Brexit (next year).