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
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 consultation forms the basis of the effective and bespoke management of menopause.
During a menopause assessment, we discuss:
- all of your symptoms
- menstrual history
- medical history
- gynaecological history
- family history of significant illness
We look at risk factors for other conditions including heart disease and osteoporosis and your weight and blood pressure will also be checked
We then discuss the best treatment option for you.
We normally review 3 months later. Thereafter patients are welcome to continue to see me or I am happy to write to patients' GP's for them to continue.
Mammograms and bone density scans can be arranged and blood tests if necessary.
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 after 2 months
Once established on treatment, patients will be reviewed annually
Annual review consultations : 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 £190 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.
For many women the menopause is something they ignore until it is upon them and then it may be a real shock to the system.
Suddenly the body you took for granted appears to be playing you up physically, mentally and emotionally.
Strangely this does not seem to have been a subject discussed with the sisterhood in your life (maybe because they have also ignored its approach or perhaps because they feel they just have to get on with it) so at this point you may take to the internet for answers to your menopause questions.
But in searching to find answers to questions like “How long this will last?” or “How can I best manage this time of my life” or “Should I take HRT” you appear to hit a wall of conflicting information and half answers.
For all of these reasons I have gained qualifications which allow me to arm my female patients with impartial and practical advice about perimenopause and menopause. I also became an associate specialist in the menopause at a London teaching hospital.
However I have identified a still growing need to give more women up to date advice and information which enables them to make informed decisions and for that reason I now offer an outreach programme of webinars and talks on menopause for groups of 20 or more women in and around Central London.
Are you running a membership association or a networking group? Are you working in an organisation with many women? These talks and webinars are likely to appeal to mature women of 40 plus who are concerned that their business and personal life should not be affected. You might like to read about the success of one such talk here.
If you would like to find out more please get in touch.
What a woman!...Steph has literally changed lives by empowering women and dispelling the myths of taking HRT. Over three evenings she spoke to around 150 women at our lingerie shop in South West London, answering all our questions bar none.
Her professionalism, charm, and wit soon put us all at ease as she spoke about what the menopause actually is, what happens to our bodies and the many options available to get us through what can be totally miserable time! Steph, Thank you!