Here are the benefits of HRT:
- A significant reduction in heart disease and stroke (the most common cause of death in women post menopause)
- It reduces and often stops hot flushes and night sweats
- Reduces insomnia
- Reduces weight gain
- Improves mood disorders such as depression, irritability or anxiety
- Improves libido
- Improves vaginal dryness and urinary problems including incontinence
- Helps to maintain the collagen in the skin
- Reduces the loss of bone and invertebral discs
- Reduces aching joints and muscles
- Helps with migraine
- Helps with heavy or irregular periods
- Stimulates muscle repair with better mobility and power
- Helps with skin related issues like dryness, itchiness or tenderness
- Prevents osteoporosis
- Reduces accelerated furring of the arteries
- There is a possible reduction in Alzheimer’s disease
- It reduces the risk of colon cancer
Current thinking is that the risks connected with HRT treatment are minimal and the benefits are significant.
Why put up with all this when you don't have to? There is now no need to just get on with it - time to feel your old self again!
As you approach menopause in your forties your hormone levels become increasingly erratic and this is known as being in perimenopause. This time of life varies from woman to woman - for some it's 6 months, for some its 5 years. During this time women report
- flushes and sweats
- heart palpitations
- increased anxiety
- mood changes
- disturbed sleep
- reduced libido
Because these symptoms are intermittent and vary in intensity you may not realise that these are actually being caused by the wildly fluctuating hormones that signal perimenopause. Indeed it is not uncommon for these symptoms to be misdiagnosed as depression with anti-depressants offered as a "solution."
Fortunately you no longer just have to "get on with it" Research over the past 12 years has led to a change in medical thinking and the International Menopause Society now suggests that a low dose of hormones can provide more benefits than risks.
Coupled with lifestyle changes these not only help you manage the perimenopause more effectively; it can help you avoid some of the more distressing menopause symptoms you may experience in your 50's and reduce the risks of osteoporosis and heart disease in older age.
It's also suggested that those entering perimenopause with a strong family history of heart disease, stroke or osteoporosis should explore the possibility of taking low doses of HRT - even when there are apparently no menopausal symptoms
The idea of a male equivalent of menopause - andropause - may come as a suprise. However, this is a recognised condition caused by a reduction in testosterone. This can begin as early as 40 and is a natural part of the ageing process.
Men possibly suffering from lower levels of this essential hormone may find themselves battling with:
- mood disorders
- reduced libido
- memory loss
- lack of energy and drive
- issues with bone density
The use of BHRT can in fact stop these symptoms and will restore wellbeing in a simple and effective way. Why not find out more about this treatment?
Technically menopause refers to the time in your life when you've not had a period for 12 months. Many unpleasant symptoms can present themselves at this time - and unfortunately some of these are ongoing.
This is because, as we age, there’s a naturally occurring decline in hormones such as oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone. When these are out of kilter we can experience all sorts of distressing consequences
The symptoms of menopause are many and varied and you may not realise at the time that these very disparate conditions are actually connected to a fundamental change in your hormones.
I list these below and have covered many of these in more detail in separate blog posts. Just click on the link to read more:
- Hot flushes, and night sweats
- Poor sleep
- Anxiety or feeling irritable or depressed
- ‘Brain Fog’, or poor memory
- Vaginal Dryness and Urinary problems
- Loss of Libido
- Weight gain
- Joint Pain or Menopausal Arthritis
- Itchy Skin
- Tension headaches and Migraine
- Prolapsed uterus, bladder or bowel
- Hair loss
This 45 minute consultation forms the basis of the effective and bespoke management of menopause.
This will include a review of your medical and gynaecological history and family history of significant illness.
Your weight and blood pressure will also be checked
Blood tests to be discussed during consultation. This ranges from baseline hormone tests to a full profile including thyroid tests,
diabetic check, liver and kidney function, cholesterol levels, vitamin D levels and blood profiles for anaemia and iron deficiency
From £90 to £300
Follow up consultation if required: 30 minutes
3 month review by phone or via skype.
Once established on treatment, patients will be reviewed initially at 6 months and then annually
Annual review consultations include breast examination: 30 minutes
Most women’s busy lives mean that multi-tasking trumps menopause challenges. Particularly when work and family commitments make it tricky to find the time to come into London during the working day.
Because of this I have launched Skype/Face Time consultations which not only increase your access to menopause consultations but also provide a one to one opportunity to discuss your menopause problems with me - without having to travel. By special arrangement this can even be during the evening.
A good talk about how you are feeling is not only helpful but can allow us to create an individual plan for you. Because we haven’t seen you face to face we can’t prescribe but we can write to your GP with tailored suggestions.
This 30 minute consultation is charged at £150 and if you would subsequently like to have a personal follow up with me - including blood tests - this can also be arranged. Just get in touch to book your first remote appointment.
It's often easier to see things explained in a visual way so I have created a library of resources to help with this.
I also hope you will get a sense of the kind of person you will be talking to when you make an appointment to see me.
There is more information on menopause if you click on my blog page and select the purple tag "menopause" at the bottom of the page. This will bring up all the posts I have written on the subject.