Menopause Matters Forum

Menopause Discussion => Alternative Therapies => Topic started by: sed on March 02, 2021, 05:49:49 PM

Title: Accepting HRT isn’t working for me....
Post by: sed on March 02, 2021, 05:49:49 PM
Just hoping I can get some positive feedback on coming of HRT and finding something else....I have been trying for a year to find the best regime for me.  I am on my 4th regime now Mirena and Oestrogel and feel defeated and decided maybe I am just intolerant to it  :-\  surely I should be seeing some benefit but unfortunately the negatives outweigh the positive which is only sleep which I can replace with a Nytol if I have to.  I have also made this decision because of the lack of professional help unless you are prepared to pay a lot of money for a timed call.  I have already spent a lot of money on specialists over this past year.

I am wondering do I just stop the estrogen or do I phase myself off?  I have the Mirena so have to wait until NHS says yes in taking that out. 

Any ideas what I can do in its place? 

My symptoms are endless - no flushes but muscle aches, dryness (especially eyes so bad it hurts)..., legs crawling in the morning, dizziness, nausea, low mood when symptoms are at its worse, breathless - all checked for underlying issues and all good.

I hope someone out there has a positive experience of coming off but suspect they aren’t on this forum anymore -

Please help!


Title: Re: Accepting HRT isn’t working for me....
Post by: CLKD on March 02, 2021, 06:38:12 PM
HRT isn't an instant cure nor will it solve all symptoms for all women.  It mayB that you need a hike in dose a few times a week.  MayB put the names of the products into the search box on the Forum: make notes ;-).  Do you keep a mood/food/symptom diary?

You can get an NHS referral to a menopause clinic. 

Many symptoms are due to a drop in oestrogen levels: this can cause the body to become dry, inside and out.  Scalp, skin, vagina, deep in the ears, eyes.  4 me it was itchy insteps when I took off socks at night prior to stepping into the bath  :o and across the back of my scapulae.  So using a good quality hand cream regularly has helped.

Olive oil into the itchy ears to ease any dryness down there as well as the above cream on the outer ear regions, difficult to scratch!   Eye drops - ask your Phramcasist for something appropriate or buy over the counter.  'optrex' is a good product to try but must be used regularly.

Prior to each period I would feel breathless which went immediately the bleed began is there a cyclic aspect to this 4 U?  As for aching muscles this can also be caused by a lack of oestrogen and should be eased with over the counter pain relief taken regularly. I have restless legs, several bananas a week cured that.  Or  2 'nurofen' if it bothers me at night. 

Dizzyness/nausea can be surges of adrenaline caused by hormonal ups and downs.  I was told by NAPS to eat every 3 hours, even in the night and that advice certainly saved my Life.  Even 20 years after I still keep to regular eating to stop that awful lurch when the body is hungry = intense sickness feelings. 

Low mood can be eased by appropriate anti-depressant medication - some require that with HRT.  Also any anxiety can be helped with an emergency drug "as necessary".  Don't give up hope!
Title: Re: Accepting HRT isn’t working for me....
Post by: mandss on March 02, 2021, 06:41:17 PM
I am now 3 weeks off HRT, but continue to use internal oestrogen cream twice weekly. I felt so rough on the HRT especially after having my coil removed as it was sitting in my cervix. I now take menopace plus and 2 seabuck thorn tablets daily. I am trying to eat a healthier diet and do a little exercise every day. In general I am feeling better than I have in ages. My VA does seem to have gotten a bit worse, but I am trying to managed that. I am also not sleeping too well, but that could be due to the fact that I am on furlough and getting a bit bored at home. I know it is early days but I am trying to be positive and not less this blooming menopause ruin my life x
Title: Re: Accepting HRT isn’t working for me....
Post by: CLKD on March 02, 2021, 06:49:41 PM
VA has to be controlled on a daily basis - our threads give lots of advice and sympathy  ;).  Although classed as HRT it's not the same as other forms of medication.  It can be used without other forms of HRT too.
Title: Re: Accepting HRT isn’t working for me....
Post by: Deeble on March 02, 2021, 10:21:37 PM
Hi sed  - I've been off hrt 8 weeks now. Used low or ultra low dose femoston conti over the last 5 years or so. I stopped the hrt prior to a hysteroscopy in January when I had to - but decided to carry on without it and see how I got on. I am using Vagifem twice weekly and also sylk moisturiser internally when I feel I need it and Olive and Bee moisturiser externally. This is an expensive cream but worth it.
I have been steadily improving  over the 8 weeks. Initially sleep disturbance, small joint pain, tearfulness and early morning anxiety. However, I am feeling pretty good at this point (still wobbly at times!) and I intend to keep going. I feel more 'me' and certainly less fatigued, more optimism is creeping in - I was pretty 'flat' and low in energy on hrt in the end I think.
Anyway I feel I'm getting over the pain barrier.
I try not to get over tired but to have a good walk daily. I'm cutting out coffee and reducing sugary treats. I've started taking Vit D (good for pelvic issues I believe). I take a half teaspoon of calcium, magnesium and zinc powder in water a few nights a week - I think the magnesium helps with sleep and muscle relaxation. I'm avoiding alcohol - think it will make me too emotional.
Your gp should be able to advise re stopping your hrt if that's what you decide to do. I just decided to stop mine though, but I was just taking a daily tablet so it was more straightforward.  I'm happy I decided to stop and it seems to be working out.
Very best wishes whatever you decide. X
Title: Re: Accepting HRT isn’t working for me....
Post by: Sparrow on March 03, 2021, 08:34:38 AM
Hi sed,

There are plenty of alternatives to HRT, but just like HRT it can be difficult to find what suits you.  Sometimes lifestyle changes can get you halfway there.

I would recommend this book.  The earlier addition was a real boon, during my natural meno journey.

The New Natural Alternatives to HRT
Marilyn Glenville

Hope that helps
Shadyglade

Title: Re: Accepting HRT isn’t working for me....
Post by: jaynej on March 03, 2021, 04:22:23 PM
I had my mirena removed a few years ago and before any postmenopausal symptoms but do understand the changes it can make when removed - I used them for 15 years and weirdly felt really 'free' inside when it came out.  I did not go on any other contraception because I wanted to be clean of chemical intervention and I am actually really glad I did because I am completely in control (doesn't stop me from having mood swings but I can control them when I do).

A year or so after the removal the peri started.  It was about the same time I was finishing my diploma in phytotherapy (medical herbalism) so I have tried a number of natural things that have worked for me that I am happy to share.

I need to stress here that any remedy (herbal or chemical) is specific to each individual.  It is bonkers that everyone gets the same dosage of anything because we are all different (weights, metabolism, thyroid function, diet etc...)  But here is what I did - and be prepared for it to take a while to get your head around:

Get a hormone graph like this: https://i0.wp.com/www.corehealthcoaching.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Female-Hormone-Cycle.jpg

Then match it to your pattern depending on the length of your cycle... which includes if you are having periods or not... you should be able to match it on your moods because even though hormones are low, they still fluctuate in a similar way.  I also take St John's Wort to calm the crazy.  Some days I need to take more than others.

I use Black Cohosh which is safe for the vast majority of people (unless you know you have some kind of liver condition, in which case I would choose Red Clover).  And take a pill when you are low.  If you take a pill to boost your oestrogen levels when you're on a high level, you are likely to get all the horrid symptoms like sore boobs, migraines etc... You don't need a tablet every day because that can build up the oestrogen and cause other issues - so balance what you need.

You need to map out your hormones and take note of your moods etc so you can get the levels right.  It's taken me about 6 months but I can avoid the painful boobs, migraines and hot flushes now.  You may want to avoid oestrogen foods during high times too like soya products cos they can cause all sorts of fluctuations.   Lemon can also play havoc with your thyroid regulation so cutting back on that and all sugars too will bring some calmness.  It's all about getting the balance back and it is going to be a challenge (I won't lie).

Happy to give further advice if needed - take responsibility back and your body will thank you for it.  Defo get reading and know that what you need is specific to you.  It's half the battle when you take back control but it takes some learning.  It's all out there if you have the time and inclination.
 Good luck!.
Title: Re: Accepting HRT isn’t working for me....
Post by: CLKD on March 03, 2021, 04:33:26 PM
Lemon can also play havoc with your thyroid regulation so cutting back on that and all sugars too will bring some calmness.

We use a lot of lemon in cooking which I love ........ as well as garlic and ginger in almost every meal.  Can you explain why lemon upsets thyroid function?

Also Black Cohash shouldn't be used for more than 3 months then a break should be taken.
Title: Re: Accepting HRT isn’t working for me....
Post by: Jari on March 05, 2021, 08:05:23 PM
Hi Sed...I did take hrt briefly, which was a big mistake. Had dreadful breathlessness and all sorts of symptoms. I stopped it overnight, no problems, just huge relief to be off it.
I totally echo what shadyglade says. Marilyn Glenville's book was really great for me. I started regular exercise which really helped... nearly 3 years post meno and the odd hot flush, no big deal. I think I'm just used to them now. They used to be a lot worse. I think its a case of just seeing it through....things for me just levelled out and got better. I had terrible joint stiffness initially and that's all gone now...
Title: Re: Accepting HRT isn’t working for me....
Post by: Postmeno3 on March 05, 2021, 08:20:57 PM
Is there a more recent book than the one recommended above? If I understand correctly it's nearly twenty years old?
Title: Re: Accepting HRT isn’t working for me....
Post by: Sparrow on March 05, 2021, 09:33:53 PM
Is there a more recent book than the one recommended above? If I understand correctly it's nearly twenty years old?

It's a new updated addition. Still not that recent I know, but still very relivant.

Check out her website and you will get a clearer idea.
Title: Re: Accepting HRT isn’t working for me....
Post by: mariawd on March 13, 2021, 09:39:46 AM
Morning, I am in two minds whether to stop taking HRT or not. I think I’m coming around to the fact that it is just not working for me.
I am on Femonston 1/10 with a top up of 1 pump of oestrogel every second day. That worked for a while and then my sleep went downhill again.....so I added spray magnesium, CBD oil, citalopram, all the recommended meno vits and sleep was no better.
I realise I am throwing too many supplements/ minerals/ treatments and feel like binning the lot!
I’ve bought menopace plus and think I should wean off the HRT and stick to that and magnesium spray.
Any advice please xx
Title: Re: Accepting HRT isn’t working for me....
Post by: Deeble on March 13, 2021, 10:41:59 AM
Hi Mariawd
It might be difficult to work out what is helping/hindering if you are taking a lot of things at once.
If you want to have a trial off hrt maybe your dr could offer a lower dose/cut your tablet in half if appropriate (no knowledge of using gel) - if you want to wean off over a couple of months for example. Some people on low dose hrt just stop and it's very individual how you get on. You can only try. I recently stopped hrt and it's been a bit up and down but not a rollercoaster. I was on low and then briefly on ultra low femoston conti. I have more energy now,  my initial sleep issues resolved, aches/pains too, mood a bit fragile at times but manageable.
I take vit d and also calcium/mag/zinc powder a few times a week. Walking helps level my mood and sleep.
I think if you are using a lot of supplements etc it will be hard to know what is of help - also confirm what is ok to mix with citalopram.
I'm 9 or so weeks off hrt and don't plan on restarting (and I have a whole heap of family stuff going on too!). So, overall for me a good result so far. Hope that helps.
Title: Re: Accepting HRT isn’t working for me....
Post by: mariawd on March 13, 2021, 12:04:35 PM
Thank you Debee, that’s very helpful.
I am on way too much !!
Title: Re: Accepting HRT isn’t working for me....
Post by: Ingeborg3 on March 13, 2021, 06:17:54 PM
I tried HRT and I did not feel a big improvement, so I stopped taking it. I suggest you do it gradually, as I did have bad effects after my sudden withdrawal. I replaced it with soy capsules (2-3 daily), fish oil for brain fog, 2 cups of soy milk (that was tough, I stopped them now, but they had good results), magnesium for sleeping and anxiety, vitamin D drops, occasionally a multivitamin. If you need the specific brands, please let me know. I had to try several soy supplements until I found something that worked for me. Then, wholesome diet and step counting... My energy levels are slowly returning, so there is hope.
Title: Re: Accepting HRT isn’t working for me....
Post by: sed on March 13, 2021, 06:31:37 PM
Thank you all for your responses - I have slowly reduced.  I presently take multivitamins, fish oil, vitamin D and magnesium tablets and gel for night time.  Very nervous about the transition and what to expect but figure I am not getting benefit from HRT.  I am not sure about soy but will research if recommended.
Title: Re: Accepting HRT isn’t working for me....
Post by: mariawd on March 14, 2021, 08:14:09 AM
Hi Sed, what is the gel you take at night?
Title: Re: Accepting HRT isn’t working for me....
Post by: sed on March 14, 2021, 08:43:53 AM
I rub Holland & Barrett Magnesium gel onto my legs and it helps with irritable legs/restless legs and aids sleep too.
Title: Re: Accepting HRT isn’t working for me....
Post by: mariawd on March 14, 2021, 10:55:43 AM
Ah yes...I use their Magnesium spray.
Title: Re: Accepting HRT isn’t working for me....
Post by: sed on March 19, 2021, 02:09:19 PM
I know it is still early days for me but I hope this gets easier...I don’t feel worse off HRT.  Started the supplements suggested - for the ladies in here that came off how long did it take you to level out?
Title: Re: Accepting HRT isn’t working for me....
Post by: Deeble on March 20, 2021, 10:49:25 AM
Hi sed
I think it took 4 or 5 weeks to feel I was beginning to level out/settle and by 8 weeks I felt my energy and positivity were up - and improved energy has been the most noticeable thing for me once I stopped conti hrt.
My morning 'jitteriness' that started again when I stopped the hrt has now as good as gone again.
Nerves/mood still a bit easily impacted and I don't do so well if I get tired, but now 10 weeks off hrt I feel the early discomforts were worth it and I'm levelling out all the time.
Good luck with it. Xx
Title: Re: Accepting HRT isn’t working for me....
Post by: Deeble on March 27, 2021, 09:08:20 AM
Hi - I'm about 11 weeks off hrt and in my last post said I was levelling out all the time. Well, just to clarify it's not exactly levelling off! There are days when I suddenly think oh I feel normal which is very nice, days where I have to push through a bit (get easily anxious/upset); and the days (occasional only) when I feel a bit overwhelmed and vulnerable and anxious/tearful.
So, although levelling out generally over time, there are highs and lows along the way.
I do seem to be extra sensitive and tiredness/hunger/everyday stresses impact more than they should.
Vagifem, or the new generic is doing the job and am sleeping very deeply. It's the emotional side that takes a bit of management.
Just didn't want to give the impression  it was plain sailing when it's a bit variable although generally 'on the up'. Worst times as usual first thing in the morning (cortisol?).
So, progress without hrt is good generally. Still taking the vit D but not taking calcium/mag/zinc powder every day (2/3 times per week). Ground flax on breakfast cereal (omega 3).
Onwards and upwards. Good luck to everyone trialling off hrt. X
Title: Re: Accepting HRT isn’t working for me....
Post by: sed on March 27, 2021, 09:29:06 AM
Hi - I'm about 11 weeks off hrt and in my last post said I was levelling out all the time. Well, just to clarify it's not exactly levelling off! There are days when I suddenly think oh I feel normal which is very nice, days where I have to push through a bit (get easily anxious/upset); and the days (occasional only) when I feel a bit overwhelmed and vulnerable and anxious/tearful.
So, although levelling out generally over time, there are highs and lows along the way.
I do seem to be extra sensitive and tiredness/hunger/everyday stresses impact more than they should.
Vagifem, or the new generic is doing the job and am sleeping very deeply. It's the emotional side that takes a bit of management.
Just didn't want to give the impression  it was plain sailing when it's a bit variable although generally 'on the up'. Worst times as usual first thing in the morning (cortisol?).
So, progress without hrt is good generally. Still taking the vit D but not taking calcium/mag/zinc powder every day (2/3 times per week). Ground flax on breakfast cereal (omega 3).
Onwards and upwards. Good luck to everyone trialling off hrt. X

Thanks for the update.  I am only 2 weeks off and have had some highs and lows.  My main problem is sleep since coming off which exacerbates my other symptoms when I am tired.  Looking for a supplement/help to assist with that.  Still feel better off than on HRT so far - will see how things go.
Title: Re: Accepting HRT isn’t working for me....
Post by: Deeble on March 27, 2021, 10:02:18 AM
Hi Sed
The first few weeks were poor for sleep with me too but that improved.
The reason I only take the calcium/mag/zinc powder a few times a week is because it knocks me out. I can only take it at night before bed. If I thought I'd have trouble sleeping I would definitely take it before bed. Maybe it might help you to sleep?
A few years ago when having trouble sleeping I used to have a valerian tea at night (Dr Stuart's?). It was like knock-out drops for me at the time. It doesn't taste great, but I grew to almost like it!
Title: Re: Accepting HRT isn’t working for me....
Post by: CherrySG on March 28, 2021, 08:03:05 AM
Hi, I've just stopped hrt 3 weeks ago.

I was using it for VA as the local treatments did not seem to be enough. I was on it for a year, first Utrogestan and gel, then Provera and gel, then Evorel

I could simply never settle on any combination, and the side effects were difficult to manage. Very tired on it, and the constipation, omg. I never knew it was even possible to have it to that degree.

I was also emotionally unstable on the patch/Provera combo and managed to have a breakdown last summer.

I seem to be managing better without, and the mood and energy levels are better
Some VA but I seem to be managing so far.

I am taking citalopram which helps with the VA as well as mood. I took ADs with the hrt but they didn't seem to work together.
Title: Re: Accepting HRT isn’t working for me....
Post by: sed on March 30, 2021, 02:37:09 PM
Hi ladies, just need to tap my feelings out here. It’s been a tough few days but have got through because I have no choice.  I have a family and I have to work. All these years I have taken sleep for granted.  Now all I want is a good nights natural sleep - my eyes spring open at 3am everyday.  When I do sleep through I seem to handle my daily symptoms better which are mainly muscle aches and sometimes dry eye socket which brings on headaches, tension.  I don’t experience any flushes.  I have read that women can do this HRT free, I mean what choice have I got as I have tried it.  I do worry that this is going to be life now and am scared my feelings will turn to depression.  My mood is up when I sleep and my symptoms aren’t bothersome.  I am 2 weeks in no HRT - I really don’t know what to do!
Title: Re: Accepting HRT isn’t working for me....
Post by: CherrySG on March 31, 2021, 07:34:14 AM
Sorry you aren't sleeping well, Sed. I've had phases of insomnia and it's just awful.

Maybe some drops for the dry eyes? And/or Sleepeaze (they're based on antihistamines), Kalms tablets (valerian) and a bit of melatonin (get the liquid kind as the tablets aren't much use).

You'd want to take them in rotation as otherwise the body gets used to them. I did this sort of thing for years before going on citalopram.

Just putting a few ideas out there, although I know advice can be annoying especially if you've already tried all the suggestions   ???
Title: Re: Accepting HRT isn’t working for me....
Post by: tammiegurl on April 03, 2021, 06:51:14 AM
I feel for you. I have had side affects and tried 3 different types now the third afte 2 tablets I'm finding old symptoms coming back so I think (lol) I.decided to try natural. I did go out this morning and spend $83 on supplements so they are sitting there. I think hrt just isn't me either and my body telling me so. My plan is take no HRT tonight leave it 24hrs and then start the supplements. I wrestled with the whole idea of taking HRT and now I'm wrestling with coming off it lol
Title: Re: Accepting HRT isn’t working for me....
Post by: sed on April 04, 2021, 03:58:10 PM
It’s nearly 3 weeks no HRT.  Today has been the worse - dizziness all day.  Checked my BP and all normal. I have experienced dizziness when on HRT but today it’s stayed with me all day....I am so overwhelmed today.  😞 I feel so stuck.... and lost ☹️ I have had manageable days, actually Thursday and Friday I felt 70% normal and then I have crashed yesterday and today.  What else can I do to help myself ? I have done CBT and a bit of acupuncture, I am trying to get back to walking as this slowed down when things were really hard.  I just don’t know. 
Title: Re: Accepting HRT isn’t working for me....
Post by: Deeble on April 06, 2021, 06:01:21 PM
Hi sed
Hope your dizziness has resolved?
I have had a couple of nights poor sleep after saying my sleep had resolved! Woken by mild night sweats and going to try the calcium,magnesium and zinc powder tonight to see if it does the trick. Might be worth trying if you're not already.
I know coffee affects my sleep - just wondering if chocolate would too ... have eaten a fair bit of that!
I hope you've had some sleep over the weekend  and not feeling so overwhelmed. I do think things settle down more and more over time. I'm 12 weeks off hrt now. I have had some days were I felt fine, had more energy and forgot I had stopped hrt! Others I've not done so well - glum, achey, tired. Overall I like to think I'm getting more good days, but not getting your sleep must be very hard.
I think it was 5 weeks or so before I really noticed episodes of feeling better.
Good luck with it and best wishes. X
Title: Re: Accepting HRT isn’t working for me....
Post by: Flan747 on April 06, 2021, 06:41:20 PM
I have slowly been reducing my HRT!
I was on 4mg Sandrena and have got down to 0.5mg and stopping completely tomorrow ? My symptoms have just never been controlled. I have tried 4 different HRTs with no great effect! The main symptom I have since reducing had been a bad head and some light headed ness which I can deal with for now. Will see how this goes and keep you posted
Title: Re: Accepting HRT isn’t working for me....
Post by: sed on April 06, 2021, 06:54:45 PM
Hi sed
Hope your dizziness has resolved?
I have had a couple of nights poor sleep after saying my sleep had resolved! Woken by mild night sweats and going to try the calcium,magnesium and zinc powder tonight to see if it does the trick. Might be worth trying if you're not already.
I know coffee affects my sleep - just wondering if chocolate would too ... have eaten a fair bit of that!
I hope you've had some sleep over the weekend  and not feeling so overwhelmed. I do think things settle down more and more over time. I'm 12 weeks off hrt now. I have had some days were I felt fine, had more energy and forgot I had stopped hrt! Others I've not done so well - glum, achey, tired. Overall I like to think I'm getting more good days, but not getting your sleep must be very hard.
I think it was 5 weeks or so before I really noticed episodes of feeling better.
Good luck with it and best wishes. X

The dizziness has disappeared today - I have only slept 4 hours last night and plan to take 5 HTP...right now I will try anything.  Nytol no longer works for me - I have CBD oil waiting in the wings and failing all of that, back to GP to request sleeping tablets.  I think it would make such a difference if I could sleep.  I am surprised the body hasn’t collapsed into a deep sleep for hours ☹️
Title: Re: Accepting HRT isn’t working for me....
Post by: sed on April 06, 2021, 06:55:23 PM
I have slowly been reducing my HRT!
I was on 4mg Sandrena and have got down to 0.5mg and stopping completely tomorrow ? My symptoms have just never been controlled. I have tried 4 different HRTs with no great effect! The main symptom I have since reducing had been a bad head and some light headed ness which I can deal with for now. Will see how this goes and keep you posted

Good luck 🤞
Title: Re: Accepting HRT isn’t working for me....
Post by: Flan747 on April 06, 2021, 07:35:33 PM
Thank you! I just feel like I need to try it as I was in way too much estrogen and with no benefits
Title: Re: Accepting HRT isn’t working for me....
Post by: CherrySG on April 07, 2021, 07:22:52 AM
I have slowly been reducing my HRT!
I was on 4mg Sandrena and have got down to 0.5mg and stopping completely tomorrow ? My symptoms have just never been controlled. I have tried 4 different HRTs with no great effect! The main symptom I have since reducing had been a bad head and some light headed ness which I can deal with for now. Will see how this goes and keep you posted

Oh gosh, yes - massive headaches! I had those too. Didn't occur to me that it could be hrt withdrawal. My bladder is a bit sensitive too. I've been off hrt for 4 weeks now.
Title: Re: Accepting HRT isn’t working for me....
Post by: Flan747 on April 07, 2021, 09:49:45 AM
Good luck CherrySD hopefully all will settle once the body gets used to not having high dose estrogen! That’s my plan anyway
Title: Re: Accepting HRT isn’t working for me....
Post by: CherrySG on April 07, 2021, 11:20:20 AM
Let's hope so, Flan! I'm in a better mood off HRT, also my complexion has lost the weird yellow/brown tone it had.

Was never really keen on taking it but felt I had no choice due to the VA, but that seems to be manageable with citalopram, idk why.

I do agree that the body seems to adapt to what we put/don't put into it. I found my oestrogen tolerance went up, for example. And I don't think it was purely because I had that much less of my own, surely not over 1 year! I read an article recently where Dr Studd said he'd seen some women on huge doses of oestrogen, cannot remember the details, but it does imply the body adjusts.
Title: Re: Accepting HRT isn’t working for me....
Post by: Flan747 on April 07, 2021, 01:07:45 PM
I’m going to give it a go and see where I get to! Would never rule out going back on to HRT as it did have some benefits just never got me to where I would ideally like to be! Thinking maybe we have to choose which symptoms we can live with! Hoping it works so let’s see! Will keep you posted
Title: Re: Accepting HRT isn’t working for me....
Post by: sed on April 08, 2021, 02:22:20 AM
Advice anyone....my GP offered me sleeping tablets to help temporarily with the sudden insomnia- I haven’t slept for 4-5 days more than 3 hours per night.  He prescribed Zopiclone 7.5.  I have taken a first dosage at about 9:30 and wide away at 12pm and haven’t been able to go back to sleep.  I am at the end of a rope here?  Anyone else tried it?
Title: Re: Accepting HRT isn’t working for me....
Post by: Flan747 on April 08, 2021, 05:37:55 AM
Hi Sed
So sorry to hear that your struggling with sleep that was one of my main first symptoms of peri!
Yes I tried Zopiclone and it too didn’t work for me in fact it made me feel horrendous especially the next day and that was with taking half a tablet.
The HRT I believe was the thing that settled my sleeping! I sleep really well now taking Utrogestron but also maybe the supplements and better diet have helped! Who knows ?
Wishing you well and that you get the right balance soon
Title: Re: Accepting HRT isn’t working for me....
Post by: CherrySG on April 08, 2021, 06:23:48 AM
Advice anyone....my GP offered me sleeping tablets to help temporarily with the sudden insomnia- I haven’t slept for 4-5 days more than 3 hours per night.  He prescribed Zopiclone 7.5.  I have taken a first dosage at about 9:30 and wide away at 12pm and haven’t been able to go back to sleep.  I am at the end of a rope here?  Anyone else tried it?

Sorry you're not sleeping, Sed. A while back I was prescribed Zopiclone. At the time I thought they were fantastic - good night's sleep and no 'hangover' the next day. Maybe try again tonight? Must have been disappointing for them not to have worked.

Then again, having reread Flan's post, sounds like they don't work for everyone. Clumsy post by me, sorry...
Title: Re: Accepting HRT isn’t working for me....
Post by: sed on April 08, 2021, 09:27:04 AM
Hi Sed
So sorry to hear that your struggling with sleep that was one of my main first symptoms of peri!
Yes I tried Zopiclone and it too didn’t work for me in fact it made me feel horrendous especially the next day and that was with taking half a tablet.
The HRT I believe was the thing that settled my sleeping! I sleep really well now taking Utrogestron but also maybe the supplements and better diet have helped! Who knows ?
Wishing you well and that you get the right balance soon

Thanks - I was trying to steer away from HRT as I note you said you are on HRT.  Have tried four regimes and all haven’t helped.  It came with just more side effects.  Having said all that it looks as though that’s the only thing that will help me 😓 feel miserable today
Title: Re: Accepting HRT isn’t working for me....
Post by: Floo36 on April 08, 2021, 12:40:52 PM
Perhaps the HRT dose wasn’t high enough, just a thought. Insomnia is one of the many symptoms I have it’s awful. 
Title: Re: Accepting HRT isn’t working for me....
Post by: sed on April 17, 2021, 03:19:09 PM
Hi all, just updating - it’s been 4 weeks off HRT and my symptoms have come back with a vengeance.  No let up!  Could this still be the withdrawal stage and things will hopefully get better?  I have started acupuncture and taking 5-HTP, CBD oil at night to help sleep which has helped.  Just at a loss!  My main symptom is fatigue and headaches daily...everyday!  My life is existing right now.  Will this get better without HRT or go back to HRT and manage 50%?
Title: Re: Accepting HRT isn’t working for me....
Post by: sheila99 on April 17, 2021, 04:23:58 PM
There can be many causes for headaches and fatigue. Are you certain they're because of meno? Haven't read the whole thread so apologies if you've already answered this.
Title: Re: Accepting HRT isn’t working for me....
Post by: sed on April 17, 2021, 04:31:21 PM
There can be many causes for headaches and fatigue. Are you certain they're because of meno? Haven't read the whole thread so apologies if you've already answered this.

Hi Sheila99, it’s a minefield for me.  Last year March/April I had COVID - since then my symptoms started to appear.  I know now I had COVID because I had an antibody test because of the unexplained illness.  My GP took numerous bloods and everything came back normal bar hormone levels and said I was menopausal because of the ongoing symptoms. I have since tried 3 different HRT regimes and not being able to settle I decided to stop - I stopped 4 weeks ago. 
Title: Re: Accepting HRT isn’t working for me....
Post by: Flan747 on April 17, 2021, 05:02:21 PM
Hi Sed I am only 2 weeks without HRT and have been looking at Estriol as a back up! I’ve tried the Estridiol in pump form, Sandrena and patches with little effect! I have had a lot of headaches and fatigue so will see how it goes! Early days I suppose! Not sure how long it takes but you’ve done so well without it for 4 weeks!
It is a minefield I totally agree
Title: Re: Accepting HRT isn’t working for me....
Post by: Kathleen on April 17, 2021, 06:59:54 PM
Hello ladies.

I have related the following tale many times so please forgive me for repeating myself but my experience may offer hope to those suffering headaches.

My headaches began in post menopause and occurred every day.  I realised they were hormonal and I wasn't on HRT at the time. I didn't seek any treatment for them and after six months they stopped as suddenly as they had started. Perhaps that particular symptom just burnt itself out or my body finally adjusted to lower oestrogen, who knows. It's been ten years now and I have never had another headache so hopefully those ladies currently suffering this horrible symptom will also soon find relief.

Take care all.

K.



Title: Re: Accepting HRT isn’t working for me....
Post by: sheila99 on April 17, 2021, 09:01:52 PM
Could it be related to Covid? Fatigue can be an after effect, not sure about heafaches. I only had the vaccine (AZ) and I had a return of symptoms for about a month.
Title: Re: Accepting HRT isn’t working for me....
Post by: sed on April 18, 2021, 07:45:01 AM
Could it be related to Covid? Fatigue can be an after effect, not sure about heafaches. I only had the vaccine (AZ) and I had a return of symptoms for about a month.

I had the vaccine too and had headaches after that.  Having said that I was having them before but that one was different.  I have no idea what to diagnose my symptoms as.  Long Covid or Menopausal.  When I initially came off HRT I felt better (not 100%) but 2nd or 3rd week it’s like Chronic fatigue on a daily basis - I am lost and just existing right now.  I feel out of control because the GPs nor I have a clue.
Title: Re: Accepting HRT isn’t working for me....
Post by: CherrySG on April 29, 2021, 07:35:27 AM
Hi everyone. So it's been 8 weeks off hrt and back on citalopram.

I'm still strangely agitated and wake up feeling low. Still a bit constipated but less than on Utrogestan, about the same as on Provera. No joy in life, although I can feign it (lots of practice). Less emotional generally, whereas I wasn't very stable on hrt.

I am thinking that some of the issues I thought were hrt-related were actually caused by menopause, as I still have them.

I wake up every 3 hours or so with some bladder urgency. I'm getting really fed up, and am trying the left-over Tibolone again whilst keeping the citalopram as I don't want to change 2 things at once or I can't compare properly. Bodily aches and stiffness have started too.

I'm hoping the mild hrt qualities of Tib will help.


Title: Re: Accepting HRT isn’t working for me....
Post by: Flan747 on April 29, 2021, 07:42:34 AM
So I gave in and have gone back on 2 pumps oestogel!! Terrible migraines without HRT! Now going through the nauseous and bloating stage again? Nearly 2 years now and feel like I’m starting again!
It’s a minefield! I’ve come to the conclusion that whilst in peri it’s what symptoms I can live with
Title: Re: Accepting HRT isn’t working for me....
Post by: CherrySG on April 29, 2021, 12:44:13 PM
So I gave in and have gone back on 2 pumps oestogel!! Terrible migraines without HRT! Now going through the nauseous and bloating stage again? Nearly 2 years now and feel like I’m starting again!
It’s a minefield! I’ve come to the conclusion that whilst in peri it’s what symptoms I can live with

I felt a bit weird on the Tibolone (tired & wired), so put on a pump of gel. Been in a better mood this morning than for a while. The bloating stage is not great, is it? Thank heavens it passes. I may try 2 pumps gel and 2.5 mg provera along with the citalopram, see how that goes. I must admit I'd forgotten how relaxed and energised I was on the gel. The Evorel 50 patches, just the oestrogen, brilliant for sleep and anxiety - also make me depressed and tearful, but the gel is better. I also had a migraine stage when coming off hrt, and never get them normally. It's the constant waking up at night that got me in the end, I see what Sed means.

I agree, a total minefield.  :o
Title: Re: Accepting HRT isn’t working for me....
Post by: Flan747 on April 29, 2021, 01:43:32 PM
I’m sure I need more but will increase very slowly due to the bloating🙈 hopefully it’s will pass
Good luck
Title: Re: Accepting HRT isn’t working for me....
Post by: sed on April 30, 2021, 07:17:33 AM
I am not feeling any better - 5/6 weeks off HRT.  the problem is I don’t know what to try now.  my GP is useless.  Have tried Evorel patches, Mirena and Gel....just existing right now 😓 and look forward to nighttime when I am left on my own so I don’t have to pretend I am okay
Title: Re: Accepting HRT isn’t working for me....
Post by: Flan747 on April 30, 2021, 07:39:08 AM
Hi Sed I totally get that, dreaded the poor sleep but like you no pretending to do? Have you tried gel and Utrogestron? I’m now taking it nightly to see if they balances things a little rather than up and down all the time!
We will get there it just takes some of us a little longer
Title: Re: Accepting HRT isn’t working for me....
Post by: sed on April 30, 2021, 07:55:08 AM
The GP prescribed that but has no idea how to advise me to take it so haven’t tried.   I am a year without a period now
Title: Re: Accepting HRT isn’t working for me....
Post by: CherrySG on April 30, 2021, 10:12:59 AM
The GP prescribed that but has no idea how to advise me to take it so haven’t tried.   I am a year without a period now

I was going to say I can't believe they prescribe stuff and don't know how to tell patients to take it...but when the doc put me on the Evorel patch, I asked him where to stick it on and he said 'on your arm'.  ::) Good job I read the leaflet.
Title: Re: Accepting HRT isn’t working for me....
Post by: Nas on May 03, 2021, 01:36:30 PM
Can I join in please?
Started HRT gel and utrogestan in from June 2019 until September 2020.
Hated the stuff. Felt hot and dizzy on every dose up to 4/5 pumps.

Changed to 100 evorel patch in September 2020, flushes subsided, anxiety remains, as does poor sleep.

Have had 3 short bleeds in 5 months. Currently awaiting the results of a
Hysteroscopy.

Transdermal is the only option for me, due to breast cancer 12 years ago.

Awaiting an appointment with the menopause clinic at Chelsea and Westminster hospital now.

I fear the patch is going to make me bleed, so possibly hysterectomy or increased progesterone is the way forward ( specialist will advise I’m sure)

I would like to come off HRT altogether, as I’m sick of not feeling great and now there are the bleeds to do contend with! 😢

What to do, what to do? 🤔
Title: Re: Accepting HRT isn’t working for me....
Post by: CherrySG on May 03, 2021, 02:43:54 PM
Hi Blitzen, welcome to the thread. You are in good company as most of us seem unsure as to the best way forward  :)

Day 5 for me of being back on hrt. I'm tired and wired to the max and sleeping is worse if anything. Skin less like sandpaper though, and less bladder urgency. Don't know what to do. Felt better on first couple of days but that may have been placebo.

Good luck with appointment at Chelsea and Westminster 🤞



Title: Re: Accepting HRT isn’t working for me....
Post by: Nas on May 03, 2021, 03:21:11 PM
Thanks Cherry, what a hideous journey this is turning out to be. Which HRT regime are you on?  :)
Title: Re: Accepting HRT isn’t working for me....
Post by: CherrySG on May 03, 2021, 03:41:13 PM
I've tried a few! First there was gel & Utrogestan. Couldn't tolerate Utrogestan.

Then gel and Provera, which was probably the best of the combinations. Tried to get some testosterone gel from GP, who wouldn't oblige, but tried to compensate by giving me Evorel 50. Got very depressed over time on this combination.

Have just ripped off second half of Evorel patch as so wired and anxious, yet so tired I had to lie down at midday.

Think I'll just take 10mg citalopram and have done with it. I know chopping and changing is probably the worst thing you can do, but just trying to function on a day to day basis :-\

Wonder how every one is getting on  ???
Title: Re: Accepting HRT isn’t working fo
Post by: Nas on May 03, 2021, 04:24:57 PM
Is citalopram an anti depressant? Does it work? Honestly it’s a nightmare. I’m on the 100 evorel patch and can feel another bleed coming on! If it does, I’m coming off HRT until my appointment. Then the flushes will start!

You are right, day to day function is a challenge!

Title: Re: Accepting HRT isn’t working for me....
Post by: sed on May 03, 2021, 04:56:30 PM
Still hanging on in there not knowing what to do - 6 weeks off and not so good, good and bad days becoming a norm!  Lacking expert advice.  I have had four regimes and no idea what to go on next! Tried AD and didn’t help.  Get really down with it all - 13 months of this nightmare and still counting.
Title: Re: Accepting HRT isn’t working for me....
Post by: CherrySG on May 03, 2021, 05:02:36 PM
Sorry to hear about that Sed. Hopefully it will level out. Nightmare is about right. I'm still not sure if I'm better of on it or off it.

Blitzen, citalopram is an AD. It does work for me but it leaves me quite demotivated and lazy. Seems great for VA also, indeed I never suffered until I was off it for a year. It's prescribed for meno symptoms like hot flushes, or used to be. They put us all on Hrt now, a few years ago it was ADs, with citalopram generally being the first one as cheaper than some others.
Title: Re: Accepting HRT isn’t working for me....
Post by: Deeble on May 04, 2021, 06:59:39 AM
Hi
Just an update on my 'progress' off hrt (17 weeks!).
My energy is much improved.
Vagifem (generic) seems to be keeping me comfortable. No change there.
My sleep is ok - a bit heavy if anything, weird dreams etc.
I do get occasional tingling heat through my arms, legs, back - mostly related to stress.
I am more thin-skinned than on hrt (!) and my moods can go up and down depending on what's going on in my life. I can get a bit stuck in a low mood, but:
I am generally more optimistic.
I have noticed if I have wine - even small amount - it affects my mood making me low for days. So I need to remember that...
I have been sugar-seeking even more than usual and put on 4 or 5 pounds so that's the next phase of the challenge!
If I can manage without hrt I'll keep going without it because of the improved energy and optimism (not always of course!).
It took me many weeks to get a generally better balance and I do feel more 'me' now and do not have the exhaustion and lack of energy that came with hrt for me.
Hope this is helpful. Good luck everyone.D x
Title: Re: Accepting HRT isn’t working for me....
Post by: CherrySG on May 04, 2021, 10:15:46 AM
So useful, Deeble. I've been craving sugar too since being off hrt. Weird, isn't it?
Title: Re: Accepting HRT isn’t working for me....
Post by: sed on May 04, 2021, 02:34:02 PM
Hi
Just an update on my 'progress' off hrt (17 weeks!).
My energy is much improved.
Vagifem (generic) seems to be keeping me comfortable. No change there.
My sleep is ok - a bit heavy if anything, weird dreams etc.
I do get occasional tingling heat through my arms, legs, back - mostly related to stress.
I am more thin-skinned than on hrt (!) and my moods can go up and down depending on what's going on in my life. I can get a bit stuck in a low mood, but:
I am generally more optimistic.
I have noticed if I have wine - even small amount - it affects my mood making me low for days. So I need to remember that...
I have been sugar-seeking even more than usual and put on 4 or 5 pounds so that's the next phase of the challenge!
If I can manage without hrt I'll keep going without it because of the improved energy and optimism (not always of course!).
It took me many weeks to get a generally better balance and I do feel more 'me' now and do not have the exhaustion and lack of energy that came with hrt for me.
Hope this is helpful. Good luck everyone.D x

This sounds hopeful although “many weeks” sounds scary!  I am only week 6 and up and down.  Symptoms are with me everyday some days more bearable.  Never had flushes though thankfully - my main problem is muscle aches, nausea, chest ache, anxiety.  Started acupuncture hoping for the best to help. 
Title: Re: Accepting HRT isn’t working for me....
Post by: Deeble on May 04, 2021, 09:34:33 PM
Hi Sed
I was into my eighth week without hrt when I made a note in my diary 'best post-HRT day' and felt I'd moved along into another stage.
D x
Title: Re: Accepting HRT isn’t working for me....
Post by: Nas on May 08, 2021, 06:47:34 PM
Day 3 off HRT here and on fourth bleed in 6 months. Waiting for my hysteroscopy results and an appoint with a Meno specialist as I’ve had breast cancer. No idea what symptoms I’m going to be left with, but they can’t be much worse than what they were on the gel or patch regime. God I hate being female!
Title: Re: Accepting HRT isn’t working for me....
Post by: Deeble on May 11, 2021, 06:50:36 AM
Hi
Sed - wondering if the acupuncture has started to help with things? Hope so.
Blitzen5- hope you get your hysteroscopy results soon - the waiting is hard going along with everything else.
18 weeks off hrt for me now. I had a blip at the weekend - got very tired and wee smelled a bit strong (coffee?). Think I was fighting off a bladder infection and I did - but I've gone into a little bit of a low mood dip since. Beginning to over worry as lockdowns lift ... even though it's welcome. Prospect of travel (work and family related) is making me nervous and feel a bit overwhelmed and self esteem taking a hit.  Talking to partner about  possibly moving has rattled me too! Even when we might want these things they can be a big challenge! So, although I'm doing OK off the hrt I'm a bit thin-skinned and 'wobbly' at the moment. There's going to be highs and lows I know - fingers crossed I'll be back on an even keel soon! 
Title: Re: Accepting HRT isn’t working for me....
Post by: sed on May 11, 2021, 08:03:30 AM
Hi
Sed - wondering if the acupuncture has started to help with things? Hope so.
Blitzen5- hope you get your hysteroscopy results soon - the waiting is hard going along with everything else.
18 weeks off hrt for me now. I had a blip at the weekend - got very tired and wee smelled a bit strong (coffee?). Think I was fighting off a bladder infection and I did - but I've gone into a little bit of a low mood dip since. Beginning to over worry as lockdowns lift ... even though it's welcome. Prospect of travel (work and family related) is making me nervous and feel a bit overwhelmed and self esteem taking a hit.  Talking to partner about  possibly moving has rattled me too! Even when we might want these things they can be a big challenge! So, although I'm doing OK off the hrt I'm a bit thin-skinned and 'wobbly' at the moment. There's going to be highs and lows I know - fingers crossed I'll be back on an even keel soon!

Hi, thanks for checking in.  yes I have noticed a slight difference so far with acupuncture- I have about 6 more sessions.  I have had a few good days which enables me to get out and walk and loving it.  I know what you mean about getting anxious about rules lifting.  I am expected back to work very soon and felt slightly off about the prospect of travelling into London everyday.  Pushed it to the back of my mind as really trying to focus on the present moment. 

I have also been referred to a long Covid specialist  as believe I have a combination of symptoms. 

On the upside will keep pushing and hopefully will improve even more even though I come accustom to the dips and falls.  X
Title: Re: Accepting HRT isn’t working for me....
Post by: sheila99 on May 13, 2021, 08:23:07 AM
Cherrysg if gel/provera suited you why not go back on that? Most GPS won't prescribe testosterone because there's no product licensed for women in the UK so it needs a specialist. You can ask for a referral to a menopause clinic who can prescribe it. Meno symptoms are a result of low oestrogen so it's better to replace the missing oestrogen rather than take ads. This is in the NICE guidelines.
Title: Re: Accepting HRT isn’t working for me....
Post by: CherrySG on May 13, 2021, 08:48:36 PM
Hi Sheila! I'm concerned about the bone loss element of Provera, but went back on it with an Evorel 50 for a couple of days. I called the GP and asked to be put on a Conti patch instead, so he's given me a month's supply of Evorel Conti to try.

It's only day 2 but weirdly I'm less tired than on Evorel 50. No side effects yet, but I know it's early days. I've been able to cut citalopram down a bit as it can just get rid of all emotions not just the bad ones. I know norethisterone doesn't have the best record for depression but I'm hoping it will be better than Provera as transdermal.

The conti patches are completely transparent so that's different from the cloudy-looking Evorel 50. Makes me wonder if I react to the delivery system in the Evorel 50. Oestrogel is good but 3 pumps is needed at a minimum and it gives me acid reflux, which I'm already medicated for and struggling to manage. In an ideal world I'd take 4 pumps as feel great on that!
Title: Re: Accepting HRT isn’t working for me....
Post by: Deeble on May 18, 2021, 04:04:36 PM
Hi - wondering about anyone else's progress without hrt. About 19 weeks without for me now. Well I was doing ok, and better generally. Many issues had settled down (tiredness particularly is much better without hrt) , but, I do seem to be emotionally very thin skinned right now. I'm surprised how upset I can get and how long it takes me to recover my equilibrium if I get really angry or sad ... I do seem to get stuck in a mood and feel a bit overwhelmed at times. Sounds a bit like pre-menstrual moods as I write this ...
I guess it's still early-ish days off hrt and I have room for more improvement.  I'm not planning on a return to hrt. I still feel more me without it and have more energy, but I hope this thin-skinned me isn't going to last too long!!
I've been cutting down biscuits/choc too - wonder if that's had an effect on my moods. I was turning into a sugar-seeking machine ....
Good luck everyone- wherever you are on the journey. X