Have HRT Patches Ever Really Worked Properly For Me?

Questioning_Face_Best_Before_End_Date

I literally couldn’t stop sobbing when the call ended. On Wednesday my GP called to discuss my latest blood test for my hormones. You might remember I wrote a couple of months ago about how my HRT stopped working. We’d made some changes to my HRT and this latest blood test was to check if we’d achieved the uptick we’d hoped to my oestrogen levels.

Well, she dropped a bombshell on me this time.

  “I’m sorry to tell you that the test has come back even worse than the previous one. I didn’t think your oestrogen levels could get much lower but they have.”

 

She said that the only thing that she could put it down to is that transdermal patches don’t always work for everyone and looks as if they might not work for me.

How can that be? I’d never heard this about HRT patches. It was news to me. I mean it makes sense when you get it explained to you but I’d literally had no reason to think this could be why I still felt so shit all this time. Why would I?

She was going to send a prescription to the pharmacy for oestrogen  gel and I’m to book in for another blood test straight after Christmas.

I came off the phone pretty stunned.

You see before adding the extra Evorel  50 patch just over two months ago I’ve been on Everol Conti patches for maybe 4 years.  I’d originally tried  tablets and gel. My current GP persuaded me to try the patches and I went with her recommendation. Brain fog stops me from remembering exact dates!

 

Have HRT Patches Ever Worked Properly For Me?

 

The reality started to sink in. Had they ever worked? They are transdermal patches after all, too.

It was at this point I began to really get upset.

The last couple of years have been rough on and off but culminated this year in me feeling was this it? Was this how I was potentially going to feel the rest of my life? More bleurgh days than good days.

When I talk about symptoms getting worse I mean tiredness off the scale.  Exhausted. I don’t say this lightly. Anyone who knows me knows I’m a pretty tireless sort of person. I’m working hard building up a tech business. I’ve got no time to be tired. I don’t do tired.

But then this year the intrusive thoughts came into the mix and they were mostly about .. and I’m going to be brutally honest here …  not being here.

The times I’ve thought I was going mad.

I’m tearful again now writing this. How do I dare put this out into the world?

Because it helps me get it off my chest.

I also think  … imagine if any other woman has felt like me? Might reading this help her?

 

Essentially, has my body not been able to absorb the HRT from the patches I’ve been on all this time? I couldn’t understand why I never really felt better despite on some days desperately trying to talk myself up into feeling ok. We all do that don’t we? Generally in life? Pull ourselves together?

Blood tests weren’t offered to me when I first started HRT. It was only this June when I went to my GP and said look I’m really not well. Shouldn’t the menopause be getting easier now at 58? It was the first thing she said  “Let’s do you a blood test.”

I thought my HRT had just stopped working because I was at a different stage. Now it looks like if my body is one of those that doesn’t respond to transdermal patches then potentially they’ve never worked for me since being on them  for around 4 years!!

Now I also know that blood tests are recommended at least annually for menopausal women to check their hormone levels. If only I’d learned this myself sooner I could’ve pressed for it  and the hell I’ve been through might never happened. Reminds me of that famous quote “it is what it is.”

 

The gel I’ve been prescribed is out of stock at the manufacturer so I’m waiting for a response from my GP. You couldn’t make this up could you?

I’m struggling today as I write this.

I’m hopeful though that the gel when I get it will help. That’s the positive I’m taking away from this. I feel like a bit of a guinea pig though I’ve got to admit.

I’m starting to think that I never needed EXTRA oestrogen I just needed SOME oestrogen that my body has clearly not been absorbing from the patches.

I thought my life sucked but turns out I’ve been deficient in HRT. Who knew?

I am trying very hard to keep positive.

Now when am I getting that bloody gel?? 😆

 

Just as a footnote; there are more and more resources about menopause cropping up online all the time. You could hardly find anything when I first started writing about my menopause journey. There’s a great source of information via The British Menopause Society.

 

Sharon x0 

 

 

 

 

 

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3 Comments

  1. Lisa P
    / 4:21 pm

    I’m so sorry that you are going through this. Have you had a full physical checkup lately? Just in case other issues are exacerbating your symptoms. For me, thyroid replacement tablets (Synthroid) have made a huge difference in how I feel—less fatigue, sluggishness, low mood and brain fog. Low thyroid crops up pretty commonly among us mid-life women.
    And I hope you have time to enjoy simple pleasures while things get sorted. Regular walks with a friend, funny podcasts that feature women (Fortunately with Fi and Jane highly recommended) and a few minutes of daily semi-yoga/stretching have added some “taking care of me” time that I find helps more than I expected. Making it a frequent priority to get together with a friend is a mood-booster too. We all have ups and downs but we deserve to feel great and it’s worth taking time to pursue that goal. Sending good wishes to you from a Canadian mid-lifer.

  2. Wendy
    / 4:27 pm

    Chuffs sake Sharon… it’s a minefield isn’t it? Just about to ask about patches and pessary HRT… This week my anxiety and panic atracks, wanting to kill someone and feeling like no one understands has been off the scale. I’m so appreciative of you sharing your story and in turn making it OK to talk about the menopause..

  3. Cassie
    / 7:19 pm

    Hi Sharon
    I hear you amd I’m gutted for you, in a non patronising way.
    The constant battle with the everlong list of peri/post/menopausal symptoms is friggin debilitating at times! I’m 47, still have periods but struggle immensely. I tried hrt in tablet form x 2 different doses and patches last year and didn’t find any benefit so stopped everything. I mean, why would I continue to buy a product that 1 is in demand by so many women and 2 doesn’t seem to help?!
    Since Sept this year my symptoms have returned with a vengence; extreme mood swings, depression, anxiety, palpitations, insomnia, headaches, fatigue, lack of motivation, paranoia, weight gain, night sweats, sugar cravings, joint pain to name a few so I almost begged my GP for oestrogel. I’m 4 weeks in and feel no better but keep persisting as per the healthcare professionals advice. I’m signed off work with Mixed Anxiety and Depressive Disorder, which I’m convinced stems from my hormonal imbalance! And the worst thing about it…..this could continue for 10+ years!!!!
    I too have recently had the intrusive thoughts- why would anyone want to spend any time with me? I’m a negative, moody, temperamental stranger in my pre- perimenopausal, confident, upbeat, outgoing body!
    Self care is a huge part of my daily routine and gives me a little light relief but what also helps is hearing the experiences of others who totally get what it feels like to be a woman in this b@*&d of a life stage!
    Keep on keeping on….and sharing your story, it’s inspirational.
    Much love and warmth x

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