HRT and menopause
HRT and menopause

We’ve come a long way in women’s health from our mother’s version & knowledge of the menopause. No longer are we shamed into pressing on regardless, whilst the whole family also suffers. The fact that the divorce rate shoots up in this age group is no coincidence. I want to ensure as many people as possible have links to the up to date data, and healthcare options that are open to them. I’m not an expert in this field, but I’ve been there, learnt the hard way about what works for me, and listened to so many podcasts that I can spout about it for hours. So, I’ve put together this info as a resource, so folks can have the links at their finger tips.

There are over 30 symptoms of being perimenopausal: this is the time of declining hormones until we’re menopausal (that is just 1 day -a year after the last period). Even when post-menopausal the risk to your bones, heart, and brain doesn’t go away.

30 + symptoms! Heart palpitations, headaches & migraines, low mood, bladder issues, joint pain, muscle aches and stiffness, to name just a few. Oh, and anxiety, even if you’ve never known a day’s anxiety in your life!  Did you think they were just signs of getting older? They are of course, but personally I can now run up the stairs again, and I’ve stopped worrying that I’m about to expire with heart issues. There are several options, and it might take a few experiments and trips to GP to get it right for you. I personally love the gel. Last week I decided to try cutting back a little. Within 3 days I was anxious again, and so I stepped it back up. Patches don’t allow you to have this flexibility.

Women give up work earlier than they need to, and the suicide rate at this time rises too. We owe it to ourselves to be informed, for ourselves, partners, and mothers. You also might lose bone density, have brain fog, and experience skin & hair changes, and fatigue. Oestrogen also helps our bodies fight infection. (There’s also a study in long covid being worse in perimenopausal women)

Myth busting:

In 2002 the paperers were full of the WHI Study on HRT. The “results” of this study, and the fact that they were released to the press before the scientists had properly analysed them, is a huge injustice to a generation of women. Decades later, that study is now seen as flawed, and the details of why are too complex to cover here.  But please don’t just believe me, or dismiss me: Dr Louise Newson is a leading menopause specialist in the UK, who, due to the lack of funding, education & support for women’s health, had to start up her own clinic. Her podcasts cover every aspect of female hormones, and why HRT should be the gold standard treatment for perimenopause symptoms. Thanks to Dr Newson’s work,  it’s not such a battle to get HRT these days.

Only 14% of age-appropriate women (at time of typing) are on HRT. That’s 86% left more vulnerable to osteoporosis, depression, heart disease, and dementia!

Whilst we all must do what we believe is best for us, please check out the resources, and make your own minds up. HRT is first line treatment, and is now easily obtained, and NICE are currently reviewing the guidelines on it.

Podcasts on every single aspect, and a whole load you weren’t even aware of.     Smart phone app to track symptoms, (handy to prepare for a trip to a prescribing nurse/gp, and give guidance. A great resource to help you feel in control. Free for the first year.  

Suggestion: Before you go to the surgery, do use the balance App to check out your symptoms, and know the options available. This will help you with a joint informed decision and will help you feel in control.

Lastly, beware of the new trend of “menowashing” –  As women’s health takes a step towards equality, there are many companies trying to ride on the back of it. Face creams are one example –  We don’t need a special, and quite expensive gloop with the word “menopause” on it. Any good moisturiser will do the trick, although admittedly we might need it a little more.

Remember, you’re in control of your own health & this time is a vital part of your future health. Please be aware also, that this is MY experience, and opinions, there will be others that disagree.

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