The Menopause Diaries #5: Hormone Replacement Therapy

I had already planned to write about Hormone Replacement Therapy for the fifth post of my menopause series and then this comment was left on my last post:

The menopause is the one thing about ageing that scares me… this is the first of your themed and memed posts I can read as fear prevented me before…
My mum has HRT, and she is like the woman she always was, but she went through a phase without it and she was a completely different woman, she stereotypically discovered cardigans… maybe I should just banish cardigans from my life?
I am not afraid of Alzheimer’s, most of my elder family have it, on all sides, I don’t doubt it will come my way, it’s inevitable, just like the menopause is… but I’ve just got my sexuality back, my desire, my passion, and well fuck it, I am scared to loose it, more than loosing my mind, which is odd as well coz my job is as an academic and I define myself so closely with that role, but nope it’s my desire that I am a scared of losing through biology…

 

My last post was on orgasms and libido and how we have less sex than we had before. I would love for us to get back to having sex at least twice a week, but getting older is just a bitch. I still believe it will pass. Not the getting older, but the lower libido. Once I get past this first rough spot, my libido will return. I firmly believe that.

But it might return sooner, who knows… with a little help.

There is something like HRT, which is exactly what it says: it replaces hormones, in other words they help to elevate the levels of estrogen and progesterone in the body. This can help with a lot of symptoms that women experience during (peri-)menopause. So, you will think that it’s easy: once you hit the (peri-)menopause you should start hormone replacement therapy and the menopause will be smooth to get through.

Wrong.

HRT
Hormone Replacement Therapy
Source: Genconnect

HRT estrogen comes form pregnant horse urine and plants. In our country the horse urine is not allowed anymore, because the horses are being kept pregnant. Also, even if it was still allowed to be used, the doctors are very hesitant to prescribe it, because it can cause breast cancer. I have read somewhere that tests has been done and that the chance of a women getting breast cancer by using HRT is less than 2%. Still, that’s the first thing doctors tell you: you can get breast cancer. This scares many women into not using HRT and continuing their suffering.

I have not yet asked the doctor to prescribe meds for me and I am not going to. About a year ago, when I suspected that the peri-menopause had hit me, I bought some alternative meds. These are all made of natural ingredients and were supposed to help with the symptoms of menopause. The reason I wanted the meds wasn’t because I wanted my libido to come back, but because I wanted to stop sweating. That is the one thing I hate: the sweating. Especially in the morning when I have taken a shower and within minutes of getting from the bathroom to the bedroom, sweat is rolling down my back. Even before I get dressed I have the urge to get under the shower again. The alternative meds helped with this… for a while. The first brand I tried helped for about four months and then the symptoms started getting worse again. I changed over to a different brand, which worked for a couple of months and then I changed back to the first I had. I was well into the second month of tablets when I was recommended something totally different. They’re veggie capsules and contain rice flour too and they’re supposed to ‘activate’ natural hormones in my body again, which means that it should help with the menopause symptoms.

With my hot flashes getting worse and my moods swinging from north to south then east to west, I was putting a lot of hope in this new treatment.

I’ve been on it for 13 days now and in the first week of using it I noticed changes. Yes, I still sometimes felt warm during the day, but when I checked with my colleagues, they did too. In the week before that when I said I felt warm, they told me I was crazy. There was even one cooler day on which I considered putting on a cardigan, as my arms were a bit chilly. Something else I noticed was that I yawned less during the day. I always have gum on my desk, because when I chew gum, I don’t yawn. Whenever I take a piece of gum out of my mouth and throw it away, the yawning starts within minutes. But, in that first week I barely chew gum at my work. The yawning was almost gone and when I chewed gum it was because I wanted to, and not because I tried to stop the yawning.

On the ninth day of using the new meds I followed my normal ‘getting-ready-for-work’ routine. This routine includes a shower, blow drying my hair, getting dressed, putting my hair up and wiping away the sweat from my neck, going downstairs, having breakfast, getting back upstairs to brush my teeth, put my hair down again and comb it and then leaving for work. By the time I get back upstairs I am not entirely cooled down, but cooled down well enough to allow the hair to cover my neck again. It was on day nine of using the new meds that I came back upstairs, sat down in front of the mirror to let my hair down and then I realized: I had never put my hair up and I wasn’t sweating. Granted, it was raining outside and cooler than the week before, but not cooler than the day before when sweat was indeed running down my back. Was this a sign that the meds were taking effect?

I think it was. That and the fact that I yawn less, which to me means I am more focused and not as tired as I was anymore. I even seem to sleep better. I wear a Fitbit Flex every night and it monitors my sleep. For months it told me that I am getting no more than 4.5 hours of sleep a night. Many nights it was under 4 hours. Now, for the last couple of days I averaged between 5 and 5.5 hours. Damn, that extra hour is definitely worth a lot. Something is working, that bit I’m sure of!

© Rebel’s Notes

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The Menopause Diaries

2 thoughts on “The Menopause Diaries #5: Hormone Replacement Therapy

  1. twiglet at hundred acres says:

    I am so chuffed you’ve found something works for you, that’s fantastic. I sincerely hope that it lasts longer than the others too.Some people are so skeptical of traditional alternative and herbal solutions, but when they work who cares why?
    best wishes,
    twiglet

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