HOW HRT IS HELPING ME THROUGH MENOPAUSE

How hrt is helping me through menopause

From the moment I began HRT just over four months ago there have been some incredible improvements in my Menopausal side effects. By far the most obvious was that my hair immediately stopped falling out in handfuls! Now I don’t know if the growth rate has also increased but if you have a look at todays photos you can can clearly see how much longer my hair is! Therefore either the growth had slowed before taking the drug & now it’s merely back to normal or there has actually been a growth surge. Whatever, needless to say I’m chuffed to bits with this outcome.
Relief from other symptoms such as mood swings & hot flashes has been pretty obvious too. I noticed that I’ve not shouted at the children in bloody ages! I mean even the tail end of the school holidays was bearable – Cor Blimey that’s saying something!
As wonderful as all that is I have to tell you up until recently I was still waiting for one of those terrifying out-of-body experiences to knock me over. Memories of the hideous psychological meltdown we talked about in my last Menopost have quietly niggled at the back of my mind. Until recently I would drive my car expecting an “episode” to suddenly overwhelm me. It hasn’t happened, nor do I feel the irrational sense of urgency that used to randomly come a knockin’. Crazy town, like Jack Nicholson in The Shining – Heeere’s Johnny!

In fact come to think of it all anxiety has left the building! What’s that you say? As if I’m also taking anti-depressants or some kind of happy pill?
Going by the large number of your comments relating to these particular symptoms I’m thrilled to report this significant result. The mental torture of anxiety & bizarre black thoughts, often brushed aside by others as simply part of the process, is the most debilitating of all. To find HRT has ridden me of those fears is truly a life changing revelation.

How hrt is helping me through menopause

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Symptoms HRT has not helped

Don’t get me wrong I’m incredibly pleased with Hormone Replacement Therapy & impressed by how much it can literally fix. And ladies when I use the word “fix” I mean it. There were dark times before HRT when I actually felt broken. However like most medications it doesn’t do everything for everyone. Since there’s an absence of literature on what HRT doesn’t improve It’s up to us to open the dialogue. It’s paramount to clarify the differences we’re experiencing so we can not only help women at the beginning of their journey but also swap potential remedies as well. After all it could potentially be years of abject hell or otherwise, an enlightened voyage through to the other side. If it’s at all possible, & I believe it is, to experience the latter then it’s up to us as Women to unite & share warts & all! Women of our generation are in a unique position for the first time in history – We have choices & we have a powerful voice, let’s not be afraid to use it.
I’ll start the discussion by sharing what side effects I still have followed by what, if anything, I’m treating them with.

First up is THE most annoying physical side effect…

  • DRYNESS
    Oh Mother!
    As you know the lack of Estrogen leads the female body into becoming a desert – Yes a barren desert & also a very dry desert. Personally I’m rather ambivalent about the dry Vag situation (sorry Greetje) To be honest as I’m not particularly horny these days lubricant is a perfectly fine substitute on the odd occasion. You know, like Christmas & His birthday? The dryness of my skin & eyes is far more debilitating & something that if left untreated has caused me quite a great deal of discomfort.
    Since taking Hormone Replacement Therapy there has been little improvement on my flakey & itchy skin. Yet worse still, no improvement to the burning dryness of my eyeballs Ugh which incidentally adds to the feeling of tiredness even when I’ve slept well.

CONCLUSIONS

EYES – I’m using a pharmacy eye gel lubricant (such as this) every morning which has helped reduce the burning enormously. I probably should shut down my computer in the evenings to rest my eyes but I’m yet to make that happen. Perhaps a screen free day is on the cards?

SKIN – If you follow my Instagram you’ll have seen this Caudalie Resveratrol cream. Omg A-MAZE-ING! Simply put, it has given me back my glow. I only use it in the morning because I found twice a day was too rich for me & I broke out in some spots. I recommend anyone using it for the first time to trial & error for a fortnight because for some people morning & night is absolutely perfect. I’m also about to test a new Caudalie eye cream which I’m hoping will help combat the puffiness under my eyes. Curiously I’ve never used an eye cream before as I’ve never felt I needed one so this will be an interesting experiment. If you’d like to try any products from Caudalie, now is the time to buy. They’re offering free delivery on everything online from January 26th-29th using the code PAYDAY17. For more about them read this review I wrote about the equally brilliant product, VinoPerfect Serum.

HANDS – This may sound extreme but my hands have been so dry they hurt. Seriously. To keep the moisture in I’m only using the most gentle hand soap on the market which is from Aesop. It’s expensive so keep away from children! Additionally I use what is essentially a face cream as my hand moisturizer – The luscious Antipodes . I suppose that sounds excessive but trust me when I say this moisturizer is like no other in its ability to soothe & absorb into my paper-thin skin. Our hands often age more noticeably than our faces & certainly take more of a battering in daily life yet we skimp on hand cream? Not me.

BODY – I use Knackered Cow from Cowshed, a thick body moisturizer. I apply a generous amount on my arms & legs every morning after showering. It lasts all day although initially does take a little time to absorb.

  • WAKEFULNESS
    Unfortunately I am still waking occasionally during the night. I get up for a wee & usually manage to get back to sleep but not always. On reflection, I should be going to bed earlier. I believe it’s the first stretch of REM sleep that yields the most rejuvenation of body & mind, not the wee hours in the morning. Therefore getting up early isn’t the problem, it’s going to bed late. I need to work on this. My issue being that down time we all need to unwind before attempting sleep. If I log off my laptop sooner I’ll be relaxed enough to go to sleep earlier. Must try harder.
  • TINNITUS
    After describing the Tinnitus in my earlier Menopost, reader Rozanne who also suffers from the condition, left incredibly helpful information in comments. If you have Tinnitus watch this Youtube video. More than anything it was wonderful hearing affirmation on a condition that’s impossible to describe to others. Check out Julian Cowan Hill who offers simple techniques for managing the problem. Mwah! thank you Rozanne.
  • PERIODS
    Ok I feel pretty silly saying this but it has to be said…sigh I did not know my period would return when I started HRT. DOH! It was a complete surprise when I came to the end of my first months sheet of pills & got a period. I guess it makes sense & if I had the choice to never get another period again I’d take it in a heartbeat. Who wouldn’t right?
    HOWEVER NOT AT THE EXPENSE OF MY MARVELLOUS MIRACLE PILL!
    So I’m back to having a monthly period which to be fair is a minor trade-off for my sanity, you know what I’m saying?

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Beauty Edit

My make-up for today’s outfit is the usual natural look I wear with one exception. I smudged on a little eyeshadow from my favourite Chanel palette. My lipstick is a pinky nude as opposed to the usual beige tone Nars. All the products I used are listed above including the pale pink, almost white nail polish. If you’d like more details you’ll find Make-up Tutorials in my MENU bar under BEAUTY at the top or the BEAUTY MENU boxes in the side bar of the HOME page. There’s also a super simple HAIR Tutorial for this same look here.

Chocolate brown plaid wool coat with white skinny jeans - Fashion over 40

Ultimately taking HRT is like giving myself a hug

I could get by without it but why should I? I have no medical reason not to take it, so for the time being, I’ll carry on.

What are your experiences with Hormone Replacement Therapy? I’d love to hear everyone’s opinion on this so please do be frank, there are no judgements here.
Lots of love, Mx

Gold Star ring from Lizzy O & Pink Silk shirt from Winser London
Linking up with Not Dressed as Lamb #iwillwearwhatilike & Honest Mum Brilliant Blog Posts

  • Comments ( 61 )

  • avatar
    Lizzy

    Michelle…what a brilliantly written, honest and insightful post. Your openness is so refreshing and I’m certain this will be incredibly helpful for so many women. What I love too is the gentle humour that runs through xxxxxx

    • avatar
      MT

      Thanks Liz! I think it’s important not to get too caught up with what is basically just a part of getting older. It’s easy to take life seriously isn’t it? I mean, ist’s bloody hard some times! But ya gotta laugh otherwise you really will go mad! Hahaha
      xxx

  • avatar
    rachel

    I’m becoming more and more convinced that HRT is the way to go. Am furious to discover that my GP’s preferred course of treatment for menopause is Prozac!!

    • avatar
      MT

      Bloody hell are you kidding me! That’s just ridiculous. I don’t know how difficult it is to register with another Dr where you live but if I were you that’s exactly what I’d be doing. Alternatively you can do your own research & then with all your information decide how to proceed. It’s nice to have a GP with some incite into the Menopause but it isn’t a pre-requisite to your well being & I’m sure you can navigate this journey yourself if you have to. Stick around Rachel, we’ll help wherever we can xxx

  • avatar
    drew myron

    Thank you for your honesty in sharing your experience. I’ve been contemplating HRT but cannot find a doctor who agrees in the approach. The two doctors I’ve been to (both women) have suggested “natural” fixes, such as acupuncture and herbs. Ack!

    • avatar
      MT

      Hmm interesting Drew. I wonder if they’ve been through Menopause themselves yet? Anyway, in my opinion the drug has been developed for a reason – We bloody need it! With any other Scientific/Pharmaceutal advancements in human history nobody ever questions the use of a drug that alleviates symptoms & benefits the patients quality of life. The trouble is Menopause isn’t considered a “problem” to be cured or treated. It’s simply a part of life that Woman must endure. Phht nope not doing it…
      My life is my life & I want it to be good so I choose HRT! Why should I suffer for 5 or so years if I don’t have to? Bearing in mind my family & friends will feel it too. It’s utterly ridiculous! The only issue being a pre-existing health problem that means you can’t take it. Keep trying Drew & be strong xxx

      • avatar
        drew myron

        Thank you for the encouragement. I agree with you that this is a medical issue. With any other health problem doctors have no qualms about prescribing a chemical solution but too many believe, as you said, menopause is something you much buck up and get through. I will press on!

        • avatar
          MT

          Indeed xxx

  • avatar
    Nancy

    My housedoctor, don t know how else to name it but I mean the doctor you go go for simple things, told me there was nothing to do on all of that. So I am waiting to go away by itself! Grrrrr

    • avatar
      MT

      Yikes that’s harsh Nancy. It may be a long wait my sweet how do you feel about that?

      • avatar
        Nancy

        Well, I never thought it would bother me this much. The hot flashes are awful but it’s everything that changes, from sex drive till getting a belly that was never there.

        • avatar
          MT

          Changing body shape is a strange one. It hasn’t happened to me but I know a few women have commented here that it’s happened to them. The thought of not being able to shift extra weight is frustrating & by the sounds of it, it’s nothing to do with diet or exercise!

  • avatar
    Elizabeth

    Thank you so much for this post…as with Nancy I avoided HRT for the first few years of menopause and after being on HRT for the last three months, I regret that decision. Going to watch the YouTube video now and get the cream for my hands asap! Thanks again for sharing, lord only knows how our mothers went thru all this…
    Elizabeth

    • avatar
      MT

      Thank goodness you’re on it now Elizabeth, I’m really pleased to hear that it’s working well for you. I believe HRT has had a bad wrap & perhaps even been percieved as a cop out? Taking a pill can seem to be the easy way out. I for one want an easy life so I’m taking the pill – simple.
      I don’t know how the previous generation went through it. How could I? None of them ever talk about it! My Mother & I are estranged & to be honest even if we weren’t I know for a fact she wouldn’t be sharing her inner most thoughts about any of this with me. I have tried to talk to other family members about the Menopause & only one (my second cousin, an enlightened soul – Christine) was open & frank. The stigma attached to Menopause is absolutely bizzare to me. I cannot fathom what the problem is with discussing it. I guess it’s similar to them never saying the word “period” Lordy lord give me strength… you know what I mean? But if you think about it they were burning women alive for being witches not so long ago. It’s like Erica Jong said “Women are the only exploited group in history to have been idealized into powerlessness”
      See you soon xx

  • avatar
    Gill

    Hi Michelle. I’m so glad it’s not just me. I’ve been on HRT for over a year. I feel so much better for it. When I first started them I had breast tenderness a week before my period. I had that for a few months and it went. I suffered with a ‘wobble board’ sound in my right ear for ages – Dr sent me for MRI scan on my ear – that’s gone, must have been a symptom. Severe dizziness. Gone. Anger issues – I’m still a short fuse, but nowhere near as bad. Hair loss – I was bald in placesπŸ˜₯ and you could see through my thin hair in the sun and see my scalp (i was about 39 years old at this point). It has grown back, but I also use a weekly scalp cleansing pack from a tricologist, so I feel they have both helped. I was suffering night sweats. Every 30 minutes or so I woke up. I was a walking zombie. I only wake up a couple of times a night now. Sex – what’s that? I have gained a bit of weight. I was always 9.10 now I’m 10 stone. I’ve always run 4 times a week, but I can’t shift it. This morning I went to take the 1st pill from my new pack – only to find I had completely run out (I was sure there was an extra pack in the box). Complete horror. It takes 2-3 working days for a repeat prescription to go through our Dr’s. Luckily the lovely ladies that work there pushed it through for me and I picked it up tonight. Phew!! Apologies for the lengthy reply.
    P.S. – I have short hair, but my daughter has long to her waist. We watched your vlog together last night – my French plaits are so rubbish – a bit of guidance and ‘voila’ everyone commented on her gorgeous plaited fringe into her pony tail at school – she’s 9 πŸ˜€πŸ˜€

    • avatar
      MT

      Yep yep yep! Absolutely relate to all of that Gill.
      But whatis making me properly wet myself right now is your story about coming to the end of the pack of HRT & not realising you didn’t have anotjher box! OMG! I actually did the exact same thing. I called the Practice & was almost in tears when the receptionist said “Don’t worry it’s ok I will get a prescription signed for you now & send it across to the pharmacy for you to collect this afternoon. YOU WON’T MISS A DAY”
      Later when I’d calmed down I realised she’d probably been there done that before Hahahahaha. It’s par for the course right?
      Thanks for telling me you enjoyed my hair tutorial – I know it’s pretty amateur but I’m doing my best to improve xxx

  • avatar
    Lorraine

    I was on hrt for two years and it was heaven….then I got breast cancer and had to stop it…. and I’m now on a drug that stops the production of oestrogen altogether.

    • avatar
      MT

      Hi Lorraine, how are you? What is it like for you without estrogen? I know you are a beautiful & vibrant woman because I saw you not so long ago but if you’d like to share more detail we are all ears xxx

  • avatar
    Sara

    Honey – flipping amazing post πŸ‘ŠπŸΌπŸ™ŒπŸΌ

    For the other symptoms I turned to Dr Sovra Whitcroft at the Nuffield here in Surrey – genius lady who has seriously good answers to menopausal symptoms – definitely scope her out – she changed me from mad menopausal woman back to the me I remember πŸ‘πŸ˜˜

    • avatar
      MT

      Thank you Sara – Mad? You? Never! I will do a little research on Dr Whitcroft for sure thanks for the tip πŸ˜‰ xx

  • avatar
    Samantha

    Oh you straight shooter, Michelle! Immediately forwarded your post to a friend who has been complaining of similar symptoms, she read it, and is off to the doctor today! Thanks heaps!

    • avatar
      MT

      My pleasure πŸ˜‰
      xxx

  • avatar
    Rozanne Swift

    I’m so, so glad that Julian Cowan Hill’s videos and info have been of help to you Michelle and really hope that others will also benefit. His management techniques are indeed wonderful, and all the more potent because he is speaking from personal experience. I turn to them whenever my mood dips and my ears start pissing me off again – which, I strongly suspect, correlates with hormonal fluctuations. I’m not yet in menopause but do have symptoms that I am attributing to perimenopause so it is really helpful to read posts like this and understand what is “normal” (albeit unwelcome) at this stage of our lives. It is fantastic that you are engaging in a dialogue and encouraging women to open up. We really do all need to pull together and support each other. If we do, we are able to cope so much better. xxx

    • avatar
      MT

      No thank you! Rozanne I am still experiencing some pretty awful shushing & the occasional squeal but only when I’m extremely tired or have had a stressful day. I think the trick to Tinnitus is accepting that you’ll have good days & bad. When there are techniques so readily available to us it amazed me that I hadn’t heard of them before! So once again thank you for sharing your knowledge, I know you’ve had some pretty awful days/nights, I hope that when you do reach Menopause the Tinnitus is well & truly under control. xx

      • avatar
        Rozanne Swift

        Spot on Michelle, it is about accepting there are good days and bad. On the bad days it is incredibly calming to think about the good days. Over time, with acceptance and habituation, the bad days do become less and less troublesome. I find mine T builds, spikes, then backs off again to a much lower level in pretty regular cycles… Now, if only my periods were that predictable….. πŸ˜‰ xxx

        • avatar
          MT

          Yep same for me as a matter of fact x

  • avatar
    sequinist

    I’ve not hit the Menopause yet, but I’m reading your posts and will definitely reference them all in the future when things start to happen. Thank you for your honesty and for sharing your experience, Michelle. How lucky we are to have the internet to bring our heads together to discuss these issues! xx

    • avatar
      MT

      Gosh yes the internet has given me a path to control my own health where Menopause is concerned but also a platform to discuss it. Perhaps this answers Elizabeth’s question too? The previous generation didn’t have the internet!
      xx

  • avatar
    Abby@Midlifecrisisnut

    It’s me who’s weeping now! You had me crying so hard with that ‘horny’ bit, Michelle! Funny how it all comes down to sex 😜 As for the rest I can tick off every item on that list. Plus the immense lack of energy, dragging my feet through the day – but I guess that would be my thyroid. Hang in there Girl! ❀️ Abby

    • avatar
      MT

      I know, aren’t we a wicked lot! The poor men cop a bit of a bad deal in all this, to be fair to Mark he has put up with a fair bit. Then again, he aint no angel πŸ˜‰ Heeheehee
      Is there anything you can take for the thyroid issue Abby? It must be hard being so lethargic with the littluns.
      Mxxx

  • avatar
    jessica jannenga (@jessicajannenga)

    Yes, I was too laughing about the horny bit! Maybe I AM in Menopause! I appreciate this post Michelle, although I do not know if I am in Menopause or not. Its a different situation for me, as I am on BC pills to stop my period. With EDS, because of the laxity in my collegen, and because when one has a period, there is more laxity, my pelvis would dislocate due to this and my disease. It was very painful and had to be adjusted. My Gyne suggested that I stop the period and therefore, prevent this from happening. I havent had a dislocation in a year! The only way for me to know if I am in menopause is by going off the pilll and checking estrogen levels. Its a no-win!
    However, I enjoyed reading your post and it sounds quite beneficial to you, happy for you.!!I do have some symptoms of fatigue, dryness, irritability but can’t go off these pills at the moment. I suppose if at any point I wanted to see if I am in menopause, i would have to begin the process of skipping the period ( taking BC pills with no placebo week).
    Wonderful to hear the positives you are getting.

    • avatar
      MT

      Teehee I have to laugh, glad you did too πŸ˜‰
      As for your EDS if you’re only experiencing minor possible Menopause side effects would it not be best to leave it be? I mean your situation could be far worse if you started your period up again so maybe let sleeping dogs lie with the Menopause stuff? I guess by a certain age it’ll be without doubt so you could safely stop taking the drug that prevents a period knowing you won’t get one. Does that make sense? It’s complicated for you Jess although you have it all under control right now – Why rock the boat? xxx

  • avatar
    robjodiefilogomo

    It is amazing how differently our bodies respond to a natural process. I’ve just started the journey, so it’s nice to know there are options available!!
    jodie
    http://www.jtouchofstyle.com

    • avatar
      MT

      So far so good for you Jodie? Do you think you’re Perimenopausal or started Meno?

  • avatar
    Ros

    HRT is fabulous. Although I was very unsure about starting – years ago now, my GP said I had to weigh up the minimal increased risk of getting a cancer against my quality of life. At the time I had not had not been able to sleep for more than a couple of hours at a time due to night sweats for almost 2 years! It is a wonder drug and I’ve told my doctor I never want to stop it! She is happy to presecribe it as long I have the usual regular check ups so I’ve no plans to stop yet. It’s been almost 7 years now – if your doctor thinks you are suitable to try it don’t be afraid – it can give you your life back!

    • avatar
      MT

      Halleluja Ros! Thank goodness you got there in the end hey? Yes it is a wonder drug which begs the question – Why are some Doctors resistant to prescribing it?

  • avatar
    cecileparisCecile

    Such a relief to be on HRT for 2 months now. All the symptoms you describe so well have just disapeared. Except for specific medical cases, I can’t believe that some doctors don’t offer the opportunity to just try it. I was really surprise to read that! It makes me very angry too. HRT isn’t such an “avant garde” treatment. My own mother (78 yrs old now) went on HRT and she aged very nicely without any medical issue…

    • avatar
      MT

      Now that is interesting about your Mother. Was that her suggestion or the Doctors I wonder? Glad you’re enjoying the benefits Cecile, isn’t it incredible how fast acting it is?

  • avatar
    No Fear of Fashion

    Well, since you mentioned me in your post (haha), I am going to comment of course.
    First the funny bit: a cream called Knackered Cow.. haha, brilliant. I have heard of the Cow company so it makes sense, but still hihi.
    Then on to the serious business. In the Netherlands the GP’s are not very keen on giving any hormones. Not unless you are in a very bad way. As the common belief is that if you use it too long (longer than half a year) you will highly increase your chances to get cancer.

    I had a vaginal hormone pill for half a year which made everything function as if I was in my mid 30-ies. YAY. Got the prescription from my doctor, but when I came to the pharmacy to pick up a refill after 6 months, they checked, shook their heads and told off my doctor. I should not use that any longer than 6 months… And that was that.
    Now I have to say, my menopause wasn’t that bad, I sailed through it rather smoothly. A year of hot flashes during the day, but that was about it. The dry vagina stayed. Of course. Now that we are both a bit older (68 and 62) both our libidos have diminished a lot (a lot, I tell you). But if I were younger I would be scared that my decreased libido would be a danger to my marriage. (Do I need to spell this out?)
    Actually I don’t even want it to be over just yet. Diminshed yes, totally gone? No please no.
    Eyes, hands, skin … didn’t have much bother. Didn’t experience it differently.
    Losing hair? Yes, through my life my hair has become thinner and thinner, compared to my teenage years. But that already happened when I was 23. No severe change when I hit menopause.
    My waist growing 7 cm? Yes that happened and I had it sucked away. Not everybody’s choice, but it made me really happy.
    Greetje

    • avatar
      MT

      Well Greetje how could I not mention you by name in my post since your BRILLIANT comment in the last one had me (everyone else) in stitches!
      As for the vaginal pill, I haven’t heard of that one but what’s concerning is you were ordered off it. How strange, not even a consultation?
      It sounds like the attitude is very different in the Netherlands regarding Hormone Replacement Therapy. Is this because of the nature of the drug or is it just about taking drugs in general? There is a lot of scientific evidence that taking HRT for a short number of years is quite safe although at this age we should all be keeping check on cancers anyway due to the increased risk with age. Of course this excludes women with pre-existing medical conditions or a genetic cancer risk who are sadly unable to take HRT.
      I understand it’s also quite discouraged in the US as well & the advice is to take vitamin & mineral supplements.
      I wonder if any American readers can elaborate on why that is? I also wonder if it’s very expensive in other countries & whether that could be a factor?
      Although obviously for you it was a mute point in the end as your symptoms were so mild, lucky duck. For those of us who were struggling to get through the day it should be handed to on a silver platter πŸ˜‰
      Thank you for another thought provoking comment Greetje xxx

      • avatar
        No Fear of Fashion

        Yes, we are careful with medication in The Netherlands. Nothing like Belgium or France where you can get nearly anything without a prescription. And yes, it is the doctors’ belief that you shouldn’t be on hormones for too long. How long, I don’t know. I think a couple of years too. But they don’t prescribe it very quickly.

        A friend of mine who lives abroad, was so funny about it. She had gone through menopause the bad way. So if her friends seeked her advice, she would say: I would recommend herbal tea, and yoga, and hot or cold baths and accupuncture etc etc … and when you have tried all that, you go to your doctor and you say: GIVE ME THOSE Fxcking HORMONES…. NOW!
        She had me in stitches.

        • avatar
          MT

          Bahahahaha! Spat my tea! You know your friend has a point πŸ˜‰

    • avatar
      MT

      Oooh almost forgot to mention the Lipo! What was it like? Has it worked? I am fascinated!

      • avatar
        No Fear of Fashion

        As I forgot to mention you looked so lovely in your outfit. Love the pumps very much.
        Anyway: lipo.. For me, no problem at all. But I do heal very well, very quickly which is a huge advantage.
        I was under local anaesthetics, so I could follow everything. You don’t feel a thing, no pain at all. Obviously. But it is NOT very delicate work they are doing, quite the contrary. At one stage I thought : “hello, is this Invasion of the Body?” But what do I care? I have no pain, so I am not very interested in what they are doing to me.
        I came out after an hour (that is all) with cold packages of cotton wool around my waist to keep the swelling down. The next day I removed it and there were only two tiny cuts in my waist and that was that. (They made my waist 7cm smaller.)
        I had to wear a bodyshaper day and night for 4 or 6 weeks. Cannot remember exactly. I had no after pain, nothing. I never have. Not with my eylids operation and not with my bottom facelift (you knew all this, didn’t you?) either. As I say, I heal very well.
        What is tricky (I thought in hindsight) is that you want your waist to be smaller but still with both sides even. Not that one side is higher than the other… Of course it isn’t but that seemed like a risk afterwards.
        Greetje

        • avatar
          MT

          Oh yes I’ve seen this operation performed on TV & I understand it appears quite agressive. If you know you’re a good healer then it’s not a problem so I guess the other thing is that it turns out symmetrical but that would be down to the surgeon you chose. With any cosmetic surgery it’s always best to research well & choose the best. Take no chances there. I’m amazed you were awake! Yikes not sure I’d like that, although of course it’s pain free & much safer than general anesthetic. By the way I didn’t know you had facial surgery, I couldn’t tell!
          xx

          • avatar
            No Fear of Fashion

            I did research the surgeon well… actually it was my doctor who recommended him. And my doctor always knew where to find the best of the best.

          • avatar
            MT

            Oh of course Greetje, I assumed you would have πŸ˜‰

  • avatar
    Gail

    Thankso for your honesty and humour! Have been on HRT for 5 years, fantastic! Tried the natural remedies first but as the doctor said, “they don’t work do they?” Full of energy and no more black moods. Can’t recommend it highly enough.

    Gail
    http://www.isthismutton.com

    • avatar
      MT

      You’re very welcome Gail, I prefer to be candid particularly when time is what we could be losing here. So far I’ve been shocked by how many women were deterred from taking HRT either by what they’d read/heard or more concerning, by their Doctor!
      It seems to me often many years of unnecessary struggle.
      I hope that by more of us opening up through internat chat we can keep this conversation open & get more Women discussing their options freely. Information is power right?

  • avatar
    Wendy Kate

    I went onto hrt patches when I was 49, having had my menopause when i was 46. I had been having panic attacks, palpitations and anxiety. This all went literally overnight! It was amazing. The downside though has been the heavy periods, like being a teenager again, very painful! 8 months ago my gynae put me onto hrt tablets, which stopped the bleeding for 3 months but then it came back in dribs and drabs and also I didn’t feel the tablets were as good as the patches. Anyway, as I am having a dry January I decided to come off them to ‘see how I was’…and so far I feel bloody amazing! Not even hot flushes, just the odd warm moment. Let’s see how it goes but so far so good. Just so you know there can be light at the end of the tunnel because I was dreading having to come off them. I know it is different for everyone. x

    • avatar
      MT

      This is incredibly interesting Wendy Kate because I’ve been talking with a lot of Women about what happens when we come off the pills. You’ve given me an idea for the next Menopost!
      As for the patches vs pills question – I’d like to hear more from other Women on patches as you’re the first to comment on them. It’s good to know they also take effect immediately & I’m happy to hear they worked so well for you. Thanks for sharing your story xxx

  • avatar
    Stephanie

    I stumbled on your site via somewhere else… I am a 51 year old Sydneysider..who has been struggling with symptons for the last 6 years. Sleep where are you!!!!!!. I have raging hot flushes, no libido either (the old boy on the other hand ugh).. a revolting gut that I abhor… (I have suddenly gotten a body image issue I have never had before as well).

    And the ringing in the ears.. I didn’t think to put that down to menopause as it has only just started.. I am checking out Mr Cowan Hill. And yes it does make it hard to go to sleep when one ear is ringing and the other one is swooshing…Jeezus!

    I have been on HRT patches for the last 12 months.. they work ok for the hot flushes but that is pretty much it. Dry skin yup. And dry downstairs..

    I have been lucky with my periods in that I haven’t had one for a couple of years, but I am currently using a Mirena (IUD) as I use to have very heavy periods and this does stop your periods, so not sure if they have “stopped”. You have it for 5 years but my time is up this month… so will see what the Dr says about whether we put another one in..

    I too had a few panic attacks in the first few years, which I have never had before – boy were they scary, I forget names of people I have know for years and just have a general fogginess.

    Here’s to us getting over it soon..

    • avatar
      MT

      Hi Stephanie,
      I read over your comment many times before I felt able to respond. First, I was really upset to learn how horribly you’ve been suffering, evidently with little help. Second, I wanted to break down what you said & address each issue seperately. So here we go – I’m surprised to note that your IUD hasn’t reduced the side effects of your Menopause as I’ve heard it often does. With that in mind it sounds wise to discuss with your GP the possibility of removing it altogether.
      As for the hormone patches, there again I’ve heard they can be quite effective however as they’re only addressing the hot flashes I’d say forget it. Would you try HRT pills? My dose is not the highest but it is high & it has truly been a God send to me. Many Women who start out on a very low dosage aren’t getting any relief & give up entirely disappointed instead of upping the dosage. Yes the down side is my period is back but I have to say it is incredibly light & brief so well worth putting up with, at least for the time being. There’s no way of knowing if your period will return heavy like before so it could be worth considering this option? Besides, we don’t know how much longer you have left to get through the Menopause – Would you rather tolerate your symptoms or not have them? I know what I’d choose, life is way too short to be tired & cranky all the time πŸ˜‰
      Although HRT hasn’t fixed my Tinnitus it has reduced it somewhat by removing the other issues. What I mean by that is I’m no longer having panic/anxiety attacks plus I’m getting more sleep therefore inadvertantly this is helping the tinnitus. All of those things exacerbated it. You’ll find Cowen-Hill explains it perfectly.
      If you haven’t yet read all the other comments I urge you to do that before you see your Doctor as it will give you more insight & arm you with plenty of questions. Knowledge is power right? I really want you to get this sorted, it’s not fair that you feel this way. Please do let me know what you decide about the HRT & best of luck! xxx

  • avatar
    Julia @ When The Girls Rule

    I know I’m late to the party here, but I’m so happy you’re bringing this topic out into the open. I didn’t know anything about menopause until I started going through it. The generations before us just didn’t talk about it. Yes, the women before us brought up a lot of other issues (like sex) and talked about them, but this one is our generations area to enlighten the ones who come behind us. I have a friend who highly recommends HRT mostly because of the “brain fog” and how we have become incompetent at work and our relentless teenagers and spouses make fun of our forgetfulness. I hate wasting what, 2, 5, 10 years to being in a brain fog where you can stare out the window for an hour and have no thought at all? I just don’t know what version of myself will show up on any given day. Keep talking about these subjects! Julia

    • avatar
      MT

      Welcome Julia, you’re never too late to hang out here!
      This converstaion is ongoing so any time you feel like popping in please do πŸ˜‰
      I agree with you that the Menopause is “our” learning curve to get out there for Women coming into to it. Which is why I’m continuing my research into all aspects of it including different treatments. I was asked to sit on an Advisory board by Bayer which took place yesterday as a matter of fact. It was incredibly enlightening & I’ve come away with some new information about not only Menopause but also heavy periods. I’m putting together my next Menopost covering what was discussed so I hope you’ll weigh in on that conversation too. Remember you can subscribe here so you don’t miss the next post x

  • avatar
    Sally

    I’m 51 and post menopausal for about 3-4 years now. I resisted HRT with every ounce of my being due to the cancer scare. Subsequently, I tried all the “natural” remedies, ultimately without success. On the day I almost screamed at my sweet daughter to get away from me when I felt a hot flash coming, I knew I needed to do something. I had an awesome ob-gyn walk me through the options. I am taking almost the lowest dose available – 1mg estradiol and 100mg prometrium, and they are magic. My hot flashes/night sweats are gone and the anxiety is significantly reduced. When all this started several years ago, a bothersome thing started happening – I felt a heavy fog and like I wasn’t very smart anymore. Somewhere I read about the benefits of Magnesium and now swear by 500mg before bed every night. It helps with sleep and has made the fog disappear. I recommended it to a friend once and she said it literally saved her life.

    And, not to give too much information (but I will anyway…), around the time I turned 39, I started having super heavy periods and would literally do a weeks worth of bleeding (super heavy and very clotty) in one fell swoop. I would stand up and emergently need to run to the bathroom RIGHT THEN or it was too late. After a few years and a doctor’s visit, I had an endometrium ablation, and it solved the problem, and never had a period again. A blood test a few years ago showed by hormone level that I was post menopausal.

    Things are not perfect, and sleep is still a little bit of a struggle, but my mood is better and the hot flashes are gone, especially the night sweats. I like the regimen I’m on, it works for me. I also take a Calcium and D3 vitamin, plus Omega 3’s – I love vitamins!

    • avatar
      MT

      Hi Sally, first I want to say THANK YOU so much for your open, frank & detailed comment. We can never have too much of this talk, it’s what will dispell the myths surrounding not only Menopause but also & even more worryingly, HRT.
      I am about to speak to my Dr about trying a different type of HRT to the one I’m on now since I had an enlightening conversation with a Woman using patches & natural hormones combined. Her name is Leah Hardy & she co-authored the book “Your Hormone Doctor” which explains why we don’t have to “put up with” any of it & gives options to try. As I’m very happy with taking hormone replacement I don’t want to stop that, I simply want to stop my period which has returned with the medicaton.
      I’m in the process of writing a post covering this aspect of treatment & your comment leads me into the next issue of heavy bleeding. Although I don’t experience it, many other Women do. Remarkably described to me exactly as you just have here!
      Many Women reading your comment will be relieved to know it’s not just them & that there are things they can do.
      On another note I am going to buy some Magnesium tomorrow πŸ˜‰ Thanks for the tip.
      Great to have you on board! xx

  • avatar
    maudie

    Hit the menopause at 53 and had two heart attacks at 54. Consequently I was unable to take HRT due to heart disease and a ton of medications. Apparently, as soon as oestrogen leaves the building, women are vulnerable to heart problems. My menopause has been quite a rough ride but now, at 59 I hope that the worst is over.

    • avatar
      MT

      Oh blimey that is a rough ride Maudie.
      I’m glad you left this comment though because you wouldn’t believe how many women I speak to don’t realise taking HRT actually protects your heart. In fact I spoke to a woman just today who said “I’m too scared to take HRT because it’ll give me cancer”
      I have been doing a lot of research about the health benefits of taking hormones as opposed to the risks to counteract the negitivity that seems to have deep roots in our minds. Mostly we don’t know where it originated yet we’re frightened all the same. This has to stop & we need to learn the facts about our hormones, what they actually do & what happens to our bodies when they leave the building as you so succinctly put.
      I too hope the worst is over for you & I hope you stick around to share more with us here. It really does help other women xxx

  • avatar
    Wendy

    I was prescribed HRT but in the end I never took it, because my husband is a doctor and he says that outcome evidence suggests that it might not be safe. He did say, BTW, that if you do take it, the safest way to come off it is very very slowly reducing the dose over a long time rather than suddenly stopping it (unless you get cancer or something, obviously). But given how scared he looked when I told him I’d been prescribed it, I decided to manage without it. Reading about menopause symptoms reminds me how bad it was to go through. Now, though, everything has settled down for me, and actually for the first time in my life since childhood(!) I have a deep feeling of calm or peacefulness that I think must be related to my hormones no longer doing their crazy-making thing. I’m still not the best sleeper, but as long as I drink zero alcohol (or one tiny glass at most) and don’t eat a big meal in the evening I can often sleep right through the night now. It feels like a miracle. If I do eat a big meal, or drink alcohol I can’t sleep. I also can’t drink coffee after noon if I want to sleep. Gone are the days of youth when I could drink coffee and wine like a fish and eat whatever I want and still sleep through the night, not gain weight, etc. But hey, this post-menopausal peacefulness is fab! Never felt such equanimity before! It’s GREAT! So that’s something to look forward to if you’re going through the ghastliness of menopausal symptoms.

    • avatar
      MT

      Such a beautiful image you’ve painted for me Wendy – “Post Menopausal Peacefulness” sounds like music to my ears, even the words are calming.
      Your Husbands tip of gradually reducing the dose of HRT to come off it is good to know & I appreciate you sharing that. I am about to start taking natural estrogen & patches combined as I’ve learned new information about stopping the period that has returned with HRT. After 2 years of no period I am none too keen to get it back let me tell you, additionally patches bypass the liver. As for your no coffee in the afternoon rule, Ugh I am the same! Not a minute past 11 or it affects my sleep. So it’s one cup first thing in the morning & that’s it but boy is it a big cup Heeheehee…

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