Gransnet forums


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.

jura2 Fri 15-Nov-19 11:57:00

Sensible post Nanna. Lack of empathy to say 'tough luck' and of course it is very different for those who need HRT because of hysterectomy or cancer, etc - to those who want it to look better and feel younger...

But very sensible to say it can't be compared to life drugs which are essential for life threatening conditions, surely.

icanhandthemback Fri 15-Nov-19 13:45:12

Tooting29, they just had to put up with the menopause, just like the vast majority of women do today. After all, it's not an illness

As it's not an actual illness just get over it.


My consultant would not give me a hysterectomy without promising that I would take an oestrogen pill for as long as possible. It has revolutionised my life. I knew that PMT affected me but until I had the hysterectomy and HRT, I had no idea just how compromised my mental health was. When I am without oestrogen I suffer really badly from low self esteem, paranoia and massive eating problems. I also suffer from a lack of bone density which is exacerbated by a lack of oestrogen so whilst the menopause is not an illness per se, it can cause problems that I really don't need if I can avoid them.
I now feel in control of my life and will take HRT for as long as I am allowed to.

jura2 Fri 15-Nov-19 17:17:13

You are making the point well- that in case of real shortage, GPs and Consultants should prioritise those with genuine needs.

janeainsworth Fri 15-Nov-19 20:31:31

Jura you seem to be suggesting that some doctors and consultants prescribe HRT inappropriately.
Why would they? In the NHS at least, what would they have to gain from prescribing HRT to a woman who didn’t really need it?

jura2 Fri 15-Nov-19 20:36:28

Not suggesting that at all. But there are different degrees of 'need'- some are more severe than others. For a large number of illnesses- not just hormone depletion.

ClareAB Fri 15-Nov-19 21:16:33

That depends how you define illness. Severe menopause symptoms can have a devastating effect on every day life and make it impossible to carry out normal daily activities. Don't knock it until you have been through it.

jura2 Fri 15-Nov-19 21:18:53

no knocking it- just saying there are different degrees of severity- and that in case of shortage, medical staff will have to prioritise. As they will do with other medicines for other conditions- as they do with organ donation, etc. Very difficult job, of course.

janeainsworth Fri 15-Nov-19 22:22:31

But jura you said “GPs and Consultants should prioritise those with genuine needs”

That implies that some women who are now being prescribed HRT don’t have genuine needs confused

Hetty58 Sat 16-Nov-19 09:07:47

janeainsworth, I believe that is true. Of course, women will go to the doctor when they feel awful. They know others who take HRT and swear by it. We're all tempted by 'magic pills' to help us cope (with lots of pressure to cope) and doctors are very inclined to prescribe just to manage their patient load.

The natural menopause, without HRT, involves periods of feeling absolutely rotten and other times when symptoms recede and we feel fine. There's no way anyone can tell, for sure, how much HRT helps them.

janeainsworth Sat 16-Nov-19 09:43:38

hetty We're all tempted by 'magic pills' to help us cope (with lots of pressure to cope) and doctors are very inclined to prescribe just to manage their patient load

Speak for yourself. Many people cope with life’s difficulties without resorting to a ‘magic pill’. And if someone does feel they need help in the form of anti-depressants or HRT, so what? Why should they live a life of misery because of a hormonal or serotonin imbalance?
And that’s an outrageous generalisation about doctors. Clinical decision-making is between a doctor and their patient and who are you to say many doctors prescribe inappropriately?

Razzy Sun 17-Nov-19 19:26:15

I thought I would avoid HRT. I was never particularly hormonal. I have to have a medical every year for work, and one year she gave me some info on HRT and suggested that I might look into it. As I did some research I realised that I had been suffering symptoms for quite a while. I thought I was going mad. Maybe it was having a young child still. I was anxious, not much in the way of hot flushes, memory was poor but the anxiety and stress was causing real problems. It got to the point where I would have had to give up my career just to deal with the symptoms I was experiencing. Menopause is not an illness but then neither is pregnancy. Giving birth is not an illness but hordes of women take drugs for it! I didn't have any drugs or gas and air for giving birth, I never really take any medicine, but I felt it was worth trying HRT.
If I was "just" on my own pottering about at home I would be able to cope with the symptoms, but to continue in a high level professional job which is known for high stress, would have been impossible.
As for supply, the first time I tried to get a repeat prescription I couldn't. This was a big thing for me because I have to have 2 weeks off work for any new drug/ medicine. My Dr suggested patches as they have lower risks, and I switched. I've not had any supply problems since, but no HRT would mean I could not work, so for me the benefits outweigh the risks.

Hotmama Tue 19-Nov-19 12:41:14

Razzy, pleased you are doing ok with the patches. I emailed the online Independent Pharmacy to see if I could get an update on the supply of Estradot patches and I received a reply yesterday.
‘I’m sorry to say the treatment you are enquiring about is currently out of stock with all the pharmaceutical wholesalers in the UK and we currently do not have a date when it will be available from the manufacturer’.
And so it goes on!