Menopause Matters Forum

Menopause Discussion => All things menopause => Topic started by: Tiddles on February 07, 2018, 07:41:24 AM

Title: Testosterone
Post by: Tiddles on February 07, 2018, 07:41:24 AM
Hi
I am new to taking HRT (first week) having finally come to the end of my tether after about 3 years of gradually worsening symptoms.  None of the 3 doctors I've seen at my practice has any expertise in menopause so I am trying to do the research myself so I can guide them on my treatment.  I am confused about testosterone and would appreciate member's views / experience.  I've read it is not licensed as a treatment for women in the UK but gel developed for men is sometimes prescribed in the UK for menopausal women under doctor's supervision.  I believe it is also available through private specialists.  I wasn't offered it through my NHS practice and when I mentioned it the doctor looked blank.  Does anyone have any experience of using it?  My interest is in its potential to help with lost libido and low energy levels.  Thank you for taking the time to read this and thank you in anticipation of any information you can give.
Title: Re: Testosterone
Post by: Dotty on February 07, 2018, 07:44:00 AM
Usually prescribed by menopause specialists or at menopause clinics. Some GPs will prescribe it but some wonít .
Title: Re: Testosterone
Post by: racjen on February 07, 2018, 08:30:55 AM
First thing you'd need to do is persuade your GP to test you for it, as they're not going to prescribe if your levels are normal. I'm not sure if any GPs will prescribe it - you'd be much better off getting yourself a referral to a menopause clinic, or failing that seeing a private specialist; if they suggest testing you can then go back to your GP and get the blood test done via them. If you have to get it prescribed privately it's not expensive.
Title: Re: Testosterone
Post by: Annie0710 on February 07, 2018, 09:02:52 AM
My GP prescribed mine

They did test my levels which were in range according to the ones they use but I put all my symptoms to them, along with a scan they asked for which showed no ovaries AND the fact Iíd been on oestrogen for years so there had to be a missing link.  She said she had no experience of testosterone so I asked if sheíd consider speaking to a gynae for guidance (I begged her to choose one thatíd be sympathetic!)

Anyhow she came back to me within a week and said theyíd agree to testosterone gel.  I have to have blood tests every 3 months for the first year then annually thereafter in order to keep the prescription

My take on it is testosterone was taken off for women purely on money reasons, not because itís dangerous.  Itís a hormone we all once produced naturally in sufficient amounts so are only replacing like we do oestrogen. 

I no longer day nap.  Libido is hit n miss.  I go through phases of thinking about sex all the time to then preferring watching my hobby you tube videos instead ! My wellbeing has improved as has my social anxiety a little bit

My advice is get your oestrogen levels at a good level then broach the subject having as much knowledge as possible.  Hopefully my surgery will see through my blood results and improvement in myself that testosterone may help many other women.  Iíd say Iím the first female at our surgery that has actually asked for it going by their reaction and how theyíve listened to me, but it could help so many other women there, staff included !
Title: Re: Testosterone
Post by: Tiddles on February 07, 2018, 12:00:56 PM
Thank you all very much for replying - this really is very helpful.  I think I will give the HRT 3 months and track my symptoms on a spread sheet and if  I'm still suffering I'll go back armed with better knowledge on possible ways forward. Annie - it's reassuring to hear that you've had a similar experience to me with regard to the GP.  His response to my question about testosterone made me wonder if I'd asked for something that was somehow outrageous but just from your reply and other things I've read on here this morning I'm starting to realise my doctor is far from unique.  Many thanks.
Title: Re: Testosterone
Post by: Annie0710 on February 07, 2018, 12:22:00 PM
Knowledge is power on subjects that gps arenít experienced with.  Unfortunately menopause is one of them.  We have a lovely wellwoman nurse who came from gynae at the hospital and is very modern with her approach (sheís pro testosterone but hits a wall with gps stuck in their ways), on one review I asked her for ovestin along with my vagifem, she said you canít have both.  I argued that you can and suggested she googled it, so she did there and then, got up and hugged me saying sheís got so many older patients that will benefit from using both.  She loves how I learn about things , it sounds like the majority of female patients at my surgery just take what theyíre told as gospel but I question it all, my surgery is in a deprived area of town so without meaning to judge that could play s huge part.  Weíve moved Home about 11 miles away but I wrote to the surgery bigging them up saying Iím happy with their service and have got my treatment to a level I can function on and would love to stay with them and they accepted x
Title: Re: Testosterone
Post by: ricekrispie on February 07, 2018, 02:45:32 PM
I asked for testosterone and was told it wasn't prescribed to women because of implications for the heart! And yet I can't find any research to back that up.

I went to the London Hormone Clinic 18 months ago and was put on testosterone, progesterone and a different oestrogen. No more napping, some libido and no more brain fog. Endocrinologist I saw in London had no idea what the 'heart' reference was referring too.

I get my review in London, my GP to do any bloods (except thyroid they refused so I paid for it to be done £70 and it was low), then get my creams from a pharmacy up north. Now I'm on test/prog/oest and thyroxin. Am a whole new woman. Go for it.

Good luck.
Title: Re: Testosterone
Post by: Tiddles on February 07, 2018, 03:36:37 PM
Many thanks.
Title: Re: Testosterone
Post by: Hurdity on February 07, 2018, 08:55:38 PM
Try this thread Tiddles (in Private Lives so you have to be logged in).
https://www.menopausematters.co.uk/forum/index.php?board=13.0

Hurdity x  :welcomemm:
Title: Re: Testosterone
Post by: Tiddles on February 07, 2018, 08:57:13 PM
Thank you ! x :) :) :)
Title: Re: Testosterone
Post by: sheila99 on February 08, 2018, 10:54:42 PM
I'm in the same situation, been on HRT 1.5 weeks and have all the symptoms of low testosterone except headaches. My GP knows little about HRT (and nothing about testerone for meno) so I have a review at the end of the month with a more experienced GP. She knows I'm going to ask about testosterone so it will be interesting to see what she says.
  Has anyone tried to get it via an on-line prescription? I'm sure OH could have the relevant symptoms...
Title: Re: Testosterone
Post by: Annie0710 on February 09, 2018, 07:07:57 AM
Online to my knowledge would never prescribe testosterone treatment for women.  For men Iím sure they insist on blood tests x
Title: Re: Testosterone
Post by: Noheroicsplease on February 09, 2018, 07:17:04 AM
I went to my doctors about 6 months ago to ask for testosterone. I took the NICE guidelines with me. I'd already been tested several times over the years and my testosterone levels were non-existent. They consulted with each other...and said yes, even though they didn't really understand it.

I've been delaying taking it, though. I've just changed up my HRT - onto ostrogen patches from gel - and will give it 2 months before seeing about testosterone.

It's about the libido for me.

But I am a bit scared of taking it, which is stupid!
Title: Re: Testosterone
Post by: Tiddles on February 09, 2018, 08:10:33 AM
Thank you.  Please can you update me with how it goes, if you decide to go ahead ?  Many thanks.
Title: Re: Testosterone
Post by: Hurdity on February 09, 2018, 07:49:05 PM
I was scared too noheroicsplease - in fact didn't even consult anyone for years even tho' libido was shot - it was not until I had the other low T symptoms that I went. Once I started - well there's no stopping me  ::). I have never had T levels tested and gynae said no need - also that they would not be an accurate reflection. Really T for women is in its infancy and about time things moved on!!!

Hurdity x
Title: Re: Testosterone
Post by: Noheroicsplease on February 09, 2018, 08:47:28 PM
Hurdity, what were your other symptoms as well as libido?
Title: Re: Testosterone
Post by: Heidi1 on February 09, 2018, 09:06:23 PM
Iíve also just been prescribed Tostran 2% gel (10mg pump every second day).  Iím 11 weeks post total hysterectomy and oopherectomy. Been on Evorel 75mg Oestrogen  patches for about 9 weeks now. Had bloods done about 3 weeks ago which showed Iím in full blown surgical menopause! (Oestrogen was below the lowest threshold).  I have more bloods due in 3 weeks. Iíve had the worst menopause symptoms (and some less common ones too). Iím not getting flushes anymore- but my anxiety levels (including chest pains and breathlessness) keep coming and going every few days. Iím going through one now and just not sure how Iím going to sleep- also getting blocked ears and sinuses (which my be an estradiol side effect and/or a menopause symptom). But my query is whether or not the testosterone gel will help with these awful anxiety symptoms? I was talking Zolpidem sleeping tablets- but my worst anxiety seems to happen within a few days of taking them - so Iím not sure whether they aggravate it. Iím hoping the testosterone might help. Any advice? x
Title: Re: Testosterone
Post by: Annie0710 on February 10, 2018, 12:25:52 AM
I use Tostran, one pump daily and itís really helped my wellbeing and social anxiety.  X
Title: Re: Testosterone
Post by: Heidi1 on February 10, 2018, 12:50:27 AM
Thank you so much Annie. I see you are on Oestrogen gel. Iím on 75mg patches (for about 9 weeks now)?but seem to be waiting so long for the Oestrogen to build up in my system (I was full blown surgical menopausal 3 weeks ago). Do you find gel better than patches / or are you on patches and gel? Just want to feel normal again.
Title: Re: Testosterone
Post by: Annie0710 on February 10, 2018, 08:50:31 AM
Iím much happier with the oestrogel.  I didnít like the idea (laziness) of daily gel application, waiting for it to dry etc but now itís part of my morning routine.   Oestrogel on, testosterone gel on, vagifem up.  Wait 10 mins playing on my phone then ready to get dressed

Plus with gel you can be your own manager of dose x