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Menopause Matters magazine ISSUE 62 out now. (Winter issue, Dec 2020)

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Author Topic: Hi Everyone - New, Confused & Hoping You Can Offer Some Suggestions  (Read 680 times)

EllasMum

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Hi everyone,
I'm new here and I'm hoping you lovely ladies can help to un-confuse me as my GP isn't being overly forthcoming with advice. I've been struggling for just over a year with hot flushes, night sweats, increased anxiety, insomnia and really horrible mood swings and finally approached my GP for some help. She referred me to this site and told me I needed the coil and a low dose HRT but when I asked why she told me to read about it on here and come back to her with a decision and that was that! I'm at a bit of a loss where to start and how to make a decision, and as well as feeling totally clueless I also feel a bit desperate and like I'm only just holding everything together. I've heard some negative things about the coil in the past from colleagues and I'm concerned (perhaps unnecessarily) about HRT and breast cancer but I have heard some positive things about CBD oil and I'm curious if any of you have used it and if it's helped at all?
Thank you  :)
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NinaCB

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Re: Hi Everyone - New, Confused & Hoping You Can Offer Some Suggestions
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2020, 11:30:23 AM »

My goodness she sounds like a very weird doctor :-)
I have just started HRT and stopped as quickly and have a call with my GP to discuss other options.  Maybe ask for another doc - good luck xx
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CLKD

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Re: Hi Everyone - New, Confused & Hoping You Can Offer Some Suggestions
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2020, 01:06:34 PM »

Not at all, at least she knows about MM!  It's about sharing information.   :welcomemm:

Some ladies find that keeping a mood/food/symptom diary to chart progress.  Then decide which symptom they would like to ease first.  We have a good search box so put any queries about symptoms or medication in there to see what pops up.  Make notes  ;)

Mirena coil has several threads here as do anxiety and various types of HRT.  What did she suggest that you use? 

The studies about the link between HRT and breast disease several years ago have been discredited.  Quality of Life?
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EllasMum

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Re: Hi Everyone - New, Confused & Hoping You Can Offer Some Suggestions
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2020, 01:57:40 PM »

Unfortunately she's the only female doctor at the practice and I feel more comfortable discussing things with a woman. I think it's great she knows about this website but I would have much preferred that she take some time to explain things properly to me rather than telling me to find out myself, that is her job after all! :)  Do you mind me asking why you've stopped HRT NinaCB?

CLKD - she just said the coil and HRT and didn't elaborate any further and referred me here. I'm very surprised to hear the studies about the link between HRT and breast disease several years ago have been discredited as the NHS website (I'm in the UK) states:
"Women who take HRT for more than 1 year have a higher risk of breast cancer than women who never use HRT. The risk is linked to all types of HRT except vaginal oestrogen. For women in their 40s and 50s who take HRT for 5 years there would be:
1 extra case for every 200 women taking oestrogen-only HRT
1 extra case for every 70 women taking cyclical HRT
1 extra case for every 50 women taking continuous HRT
The number of extra cases is thought to double among women who take these types of HRT for 10 years.
Research shows that the increased risk of breast cancer falls after you stop taking HRT, but some increased risk remains for more than 10 years compared to women who have never used HRT."
That concerns me and makes me wonder if there is any alternative but I'm pretty clueless what those alternatives might be.


« Last Edit: December 15, 2020, 02:18:32 PM by EllasMum »
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CLKD

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Re: Hi Everyone - New, Confused & Hoping You Can Offer Some Suggestions
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2020, 03:07:53 PM »

Quality of Life.

They are figures which might happen.  Other diseases have similar statistics.  One needs to weigh up how much 1 requires HRT to cope with what is natural, i.e. menopause.  I had breast disease in the 1990s when in my early 40s with no input of HRT.  Go figure  ::). Still here.  And if I had symptoms enough to make me feel as ill as some do, I would be pushing for HRT.

Read round.  Make notes. Then decide - it's about taking on board experiences shared to be used or lodge for later consideration.  Do U feel that there is any rush?
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EllasMum

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Re: Hi Everyone - New, Confused & Hoping You Can Offer Some Suggestions
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2020, 03:54:17 PM »

CLKD - The NHS website states "Many studies on HRT that have been published over the past 15 years highlight the potential risks. As a result, some women and doctors have been reluctant to use HRT. But more recent evidence says that the risks of HRT are small and are usually outweighed by the benefits." which is vastly different to your claim that the risks have been discredited. The risks are still there but are small. Nor does it state statistics "might" happen. They've specifically stated women who take HRT for more than 1 year have a higher risk of breast cancer than women who never use HRT. "Have a higher risk" not "might" have a higher risk. I'm also very well aware you can get breast cancer without taking HRT. I appreciate the fact you've taken the time to respond but as we seem to have very different opinions perhaps agreeing to disagree would be best.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2020, 05:26:41 PM by EllasMum »
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sheila99

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Re: Hi Everyone - New, Confused & Hoping You Can Offer Some Suggestions
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2020, 04:55:29 PM »

There's a different risk depending on the type or hrt. Transdermal carries less risk than oral and particularly the older types that used horse urine. It's hard to find studies that look only at transdermal hrt, most include all hrt and many combine data from many studies. As transdermal is relatively new far more refer to older hrt types. I can't now find the research that convinced me, there was still an increased risk for transdermal but far less than for all types. There was a greater risk if you drink, smoke or are overweight so maintaining a healthy lifestyle can mitigate the risk.

I'm not convinced a mirena is your best option. It provides contraception too if you need it but the dose of progestin is higher than that required for hrt. I would go for a patch (evorel sequi is widely used) or else oestrogel and utrogeston. You can't tell beforehand if a particular type will suit you so have to try it and see. Starting on a cyclical regime can be beneficial because you can separate how you feel on oestrogen only. It's usually the progestin that causes problems.

Taking hrt is a personal decision. I decided quality of life was more important for me than the small increased risk.
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EllasMum

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Re: Hi Everyone - New, Confused & Hoping You Can Offer Some Suggestions
« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2020, 05:23:44 PM »

shella99 - Thanks for that, you've explained more in your message than my GP did!  :)   (Horse urine?!)  She also said she prescribes the coil for "all her ladies" so seems to have a one size fits all approach to the menopause which is a tad concerning as I know I'll undoubtedly have to try different things before I find something which really works for me. She made no mention of a patch which I wouldn't have a problem trying so thank you for that. I had thought she would explain different options and why she thought a particular thing might work for me so having so little basic information is far from ideal. I have to wonder if she refers all her patients to websites or if it's just the menopause she can't be bothered with  ;D
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sheila99

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Re: Hi Everyone - New, Confused & Hoping You Can Offer Some Suggestions
« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2020, 05:41:33 PM »

If you look at the Treatments tab you can see what's available, pity she didn't say what the oestrogen would be. Most women are perfectly fine on the first hrt they're prescribed. You get a bit of a distorted view on here because you tend to get the few who have problems rather than the many who don't. You can ask for a referral to a menopause clinic if you have trouble with your gp but really she should be able sort it out. Good luck  :)
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EllasMum

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Re: Hi Everyone - New, Confused & Hoping You Can Offer Some Suggestions
« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2020, 07:58:14 PM »

shella99  You've been so helpful, thank you  :)
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CLKD

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Re: Hi Everyone - New, Confused & Hoping You Can Offer Some Suggestions
« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2020, 10:46:59 PM »

Interesting .............
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EllasMum

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Re: Hi Everyone - New, Confused & Hoping You Can Offer Some Suggestions
« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2020, 08:57:36 AM »

CLKD   Indeed.
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Sophie79

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Re: Hi Everyone - New, Confused & Hoping You Can Offer Some Suggestions
« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2020, 03:52:17 PM »

Hello,

Also new here. I am a bit in the same boat  as you but I have been listening  to Louise Newson podcasts, she is a UK doctor that specialises in the menopause and gives lots of information about the benefits v risk of hrt. Definately recommend a listen and you can also find her on Instagram or info on her website.
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Kathleen

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Re: Hi Everyone - New, Confused & Hoping You Can Offer Some Suggestions
« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2020, 05:07:46 PM »

Hello EllasMum and welcome to the forum.

CBD oil has been mentioned before on the forum and if you put it in the search box the other posts should come up. There may also be mention of it in the Alternatives Section of the forum.

I think anything is worth considering to help us navigate this unsettling time in our lives.

Wishing you well and take care.

K.
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EllasMum

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Re: Hi Everyone - New, Confused & Hoping You Can Offer Some Suggestions
« Reply #14 on: December 20, 2020, 09:14:59 AM »

Sophie79 - Thanks so much for that!  :)  I didn't know about Louise Newson and have just had a look at her website and it's so helpful so I'll definitely check out her podcasts. I had been watching some of Menopause Taylor's videos on Youtube but she's an American doctor so I was hoping there would be a UK doctor doing something similar.

Rattymaid - That's one of my concerns with having a coil fitted as well so I think the patches will be a much better option for me as I'll feel much more in control and comfortable about things if that makes sense.

Katheleen - Thanks Kathleen  :)  Totally agree with you, anything is worth considering. I'm not sure what resources there are in other parts of the country but I'm convinced every city at least should have some sort of drop in one stop shop/hub dedicated to imparting information, help and treatments to make things a bit easier for us.

Thanks for all your helpful responses ladies and I hope you all have a lovely Christmas!  :)
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