A Menopause Update: How My HRT Stopped Working

How_My_HRT_Stopped_Working

I thought I’d write another update about my menopause journey. 2021 from a hormones point of view hasn’t been that great for me. It took me a while to ask for help and to find out that potentially the way I was feeling might be down to my HRT not working anymore.

The last time I actually wrote a blog post about my menopause was in August 2019:

My GP Sent Me for A Brain Scan For My Menopause Symptoms

This was another period where things weren’t great for me. Fast forward a year to August 2020 and here I am on Instagram  feeling fabulous….

 

 

I clearly spoke too soon as towards the end of 2020 and early 2021 my symptoms started to creep back … all of them. This time they were coupled with intrusive thoughts. For months I thought there was something much worse wrong with me.  I was really starting to crumble again like before I’d ever gone on HRT. Finally, the thing that drove me to seek help from my GP was that I needed a review to get my next HRT prescription. This was in June. I decided to complete the online form and ask for a consultation. Around about this time I’d also done the Dr Google thing but nothing really jumped out at me. I had no clue that my HRT could’ve actually stopped working. I also think I’d held out ‘bothering’ my doctor because of the whole ‘worse people than me’ COVID thing. Yes, I was that person. I thought I was sensible. Just shows how a pandemic can throw other curveballs too,  doesn’t it?

I think I’ve mentioned before that the last 3 or 4 years I’ve been under the guidance of a very sympathetic, female GP. She was the one who sent me for the brain scan at the beginning of 2019. She’s also going through the menopause herself so we can really relate to each other.

When the call finally took place in mid July what she told me really surprised me. She told me that it’s not uncommon that after several years of being on HRT that symptoms could re-emerge. During early menopause  my ovaries will have more than likely still have been producing some oestrogen. That the HRT is still working but that my body is now producing less oestrogen and could need a top up. Who’d have thought? It makes sense when someone explains it but I just never twigged.

I think women should be offered menopause classes 

I even created my very first IGTV a coupe of weeks ago to explain the conversation I’d had with my GP

 

 

The first step though she said was to have some blood tests. One to check my hormone levels and another to check over things like my thyroid and for diabetes as so many symptoms can also mask themselves as menopause symptoms.

Turned out when the blood test results came back that everything apart from my hormones was fine. My oestrogen level had dropped through the floor since last checked. It seems my ovaries were withering away and were finally packing up.

The solution she said was for me to wear a second patch alongside my twice weekly Evorel Conti. It’s what I refer to as my oestrogen boost. This patch is called Evorel 50. It’s hopeful that they will replace the down surge in oestrogen that has possibly been responsible for my symptoms coming back.

Oestrogen_Boost_For_HRT

At the time of writing this I’m 10 days in so that’s 3 additional oestrogen shots so far. I can’t really say there’s any change but I am hopeful. I’m to have another blood test at the 6 week mark and she also suggested that I could maybe benefit from some testosterone. I did try this about two years ago to try and improve my sex drive but I got frightened off by stuff I read online. Next time, I’m not going to be swayed if she thinks it will help further. She didn’t want to introduce it at the same time as the new patch. This way helps us understand a bit better about what’s helping me.

It’s interesting that when I first started HRT about seven years ago, my then male GP said it was a great idea to be on it, gave me a prescription for gel and tablets but added as I left ..

  “there’s nothing else though, that’s it”

I do actually feel as if  some progress has made in not only us women talking about menopause but in pressing for change. As that’s happening it seems like the medical profession is improving it’s own outlook and subsequent further research on menopause management.

Ladies, we deserve the best … let’s ask for it!

I’ll keep you all updated after my next bloods. In the meantime, please let me know in the comments how you are getting on if you are on this journey too and about your experience.

 

 

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9 Comments

  1. juliet brown
    / 8:13 pm

    Brilliant post, they say sex was discovered in the 1960s (just as we were born) but I think its fascinating that we are only now in the 2020s able to START discussing menopause, lord knows what might be the discussion in another 60years… We need these discussions and by that I think as you have proven it is an ongoing discussion, all strength to you xxx

  2. Jackie
    / 11:09 pm

    That’s really interesting as I’ve felt lately that the HRT isn’t hitting the spot. I wondered whether an extra dose of oestrogen would also require an additional boost of progesterone – but I guess not. My problem is that EVERYTHING aches – I only need to sit down for 15 minutes and I can barely get up again, I feel about 847 not 55! Hope it works for you, will keep an eye out for your updates x

    • Sharon Sinclair.Williams
      Author
      / 8:56 pm

      I so know that feeling, Jackie. It’s so worth the ask … I definitely waited too long before seeking further help. Iy literally never occurred to me that I might need topping up! xo

  3. / 2:36 pm

    Oh I am currently on Everol Conti & it seems to work for me … (atm) topped up with a high dose B12 supplement, I will refer to this post if it changes at all!

    By the way how do you get the sticky stuff off?? I use white spirit on a cotton wool pad, works a treat but not the best perfume!

    Thank you for more information.

    Leigh xo

    • Sharon Sinclair.Williams
      Author
      / 8:59 pm

      What’s the B12 for, Leigh? And is that from GP or over the counter? I need all the info and help I can get!

      Oh and yes the sticky stuff … it’s a nightmare to remove isn’t it? I’v used white spirit and sometimes olive oil. What a PIA. Often now I pick it off 🙈 Bad I know …

  4. / 10:51 pm

    Interesting post Sharon. I’m on Evorel Sequi patches which is progesterone patches and then oestrogen patches. They seem to work fine although I’m not sure I still need progesterone.

    This post has made me think I’ll try and get a HRT review – blood tests and to see where the hormones are at. I’ve heard great stuff about testosterone for low libido – I’d like to check that out too!

    Thanks for sharing and keeping us updated.
    Lisa xx

  5. / 10:48 pm

    Interesting to read that your symptoms have crept back. The menopause is such a journey and so unpredictable. I stopped taking HRT (gradually) over a year ago, I’d been on it since 2013. I wanted to see if I could cope without it, this was my decision, there was no pressure to come off it from my GP. This caused awful, uncomfortable dryness (down below), which came on gradually. I eventually went to see the GP. Like you I thought there were people with much worse things, so left it until I was so uncomfortable and pretty desperate. The GP prescribed an Oestrogen pessary which has helped, but it’s still not great. I have an under active thyroid (hypothyroidism) too which came on at the beginning of my menopause, plus my B12 readings weren’t right so I take a pill every day for that also – oh the joys! It seems difficult to get everything balanced doesn’t it. The good old menopause seems to knock everything out of kilter. Hope this new patch works for you, great that they are going to check you again in a few weeks. xx

  6. Cassie
    / 8:21 pm

    Hi I’m newbie follower and just reading your gumpf which, BTW resonates just perfectly 😔
    The best thing I found to remove the sticky residue from patches is baby oil and a cotton wool ball 😊

    • Sharon Sinclair.Williams
      Author
      / 9:16 pm

      Helllooooo!!! Thanks for stopping by over here. It’s a long way to come from Instagram these days so I really appreciate.

      You know what I’ve only recently found out and it really works? Rubbing the patch you’ve just removed over the sticky bits left on. Result!! xo

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